Ms. Rachitta Juneja, Founder, Whide, is a social entrepreneur. Prior to starting WHIDE, she was working as CMO with Letstack – an IoT-enabled global leader in GPS, Mobile Tracking and Security Systems. She was also recognized as Inspirational Women in Business in 2020 by Business View and CMO of the year in 2019 by the World Federation of Marketing Professionals & Making of Developed India.
Technology and innovation play a crucial role in our lives. It is also shaping the world we live in. For example, there is a sudden boom in fintech, ed-tech, food delivery, among other businesses just as India and the world deal with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent restrictions. In fact, there is a growing demand for skilled IT professionals. There is a place for all, as we see more innovation every day to cater to the different needs of the people just as the world around us undergoes a change in face of several challenges.
The question is, does this open the space for women in what has largely been a male-dominated field? We can’t say for sure.
But this sector needs more women leaders, here’s why:
The subconscious bias
We live in a connected world, one small decision can make or mar a company’s future. Several research reports have shown how a diverse team achieves better performance simply because they can solve problems more creatively after assessing different viewpoints.
However, we don’t realize the inherent bias in us that comes in between the progress of one gender. We are known as mankind, not humankind. We hear of businessmen, not business people, likewise, chairman, not chairperson. There are plenty of business named as XYZ & sons, and hardly XYZ & daughters. The change needs to come right from the scratch.
Empathy – higher EQ
Women are likely to have higher emotional intelligence that helps them overcome challenges and defuse conflict, at the same time build stronger relationships and empathize with others, that helps them make informed decisions.
Take the example of Falguni Nayar, the founder of Nykaa who single-handedly built a beauty-focused retail business in a span of a few years. It took a woman to achieve all that amid cut-throat competition from foreign brands and other homegrown competitors.
This is just one story, from beauty to travel, ed-tech to fintech, women entrepreneurs are taking in the reins of various start-ups as well.
Women are good at multitasking
Women, for years, have managed homes and are street smart. They have learnt the art of utlising whatever resources are available to maximum use. From family to professional commitments, the leadership and managed is seeped inside their system right from the start. If used in business, firms can gain from their practical experience.
Women provide a more balanced view
For a developing economy such as India, women in the leadership are needed to bring alternate opinions and perspectives so that issues that females can identify with, can be addressed. For that, we need more women in the board room.
Need for more role models
We have Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Indra Nooyi, among a handful of women leaders who inspire women to break the glass ceiling.
Consider Roshni Nadar, the chairperson of HCL Technologies and the first woman to lead a listed IT company in India. Likewise plenty of women leaders are shaping various fields. We need more of them to inspire the budding entrepreneurs and coming generations.
A fine balance
Technology is entering our homes like never before, from smart TVs to electric toothbrushes, everything is tech-driven. There is a marketplace of female-oriented products where technology can play a great role.
However, the tech industry is still unbalanced compared to media, advertising, travel etc. Customers are women – creators should be women, too, to relate better.
Take an example of apps that can measure female health parameters and smartwatches that can act as menstrual trackers. For all these innovations to address deeper issues and concerns, feedback and insights from females would be ideal.
Mental health is one area where a lot can be done, especially in the case of females as they face several challenges on the professional and personal front.
Diversity means creativity
Diversity brings dynamic solutions to modern day problems. A sizeable amount of women in decision-making opens the door to finding creative ways to approach new challenges. That said, companies can gain a great deal from the talent, skillset, experience, and intelligence of women leaders.
A new normal
We need to stop having this conversation; today, it’s normal for women to work and it’s high time they get their due. It’s time to acknowledge their role.
Moreover, there is a need to address gender and pay parity, and an under-represented women workforce needs strong leaders who can bring the change so that the digital transformation and transformation in the workforce go hand in hand.
To conclude, women’s representation is important in tech companies to meet and gain from the changing needs of society. Else, it would just be a missed opportunity