While women fill pivotal roles in technology, medicine, engineering, and as CEOs or world leaders, we are far from achieving true gender equality.
We are, however, making great strides in creating a future that enables women to progress and take up space in previously male-dominated roles, in the workplace. Strong, independent women are showing us the way and building up the women around them, based on the strength of their knowledge, experience and abilities.
Despite much progress towards gender equality over the past decade, to a place where it is not uncommon to see women occupy powerful roles at boardroom tables or leading teams of engineers, we still have a long way to go before we can truly claim we are on an equal footing to men both from an opportunities perspective, but also when you consider the fact that women remain underrepresented in the workplace, especially in senior roles in Technology. There are many contributing factors to this, including societal expectations of women, limited opportunities for growth and historical social biases.
There are many ways women can enjoy personal and career success. This includes the promotion of quality personal development plans, strong support systems and extensive networks.
“In my experience, women tend to give up on their careers and dreams when they have babies and during critical milestones in their lives requiring them to focus more on their personal life."
Anjali Mahajan, Amdocs Regional VP - SmartOps tells us: “In my experience, women tend to give up on their careers and dreams when they have babies and during critical milestones in their lives requiring them to focus more on their personal life. It's sometimes due to a struggle to balance between personal expectations, needs of a family and a career is the most difficult part. This is also at the peak of their career and the right support can make a big difference. This is why it's critical for women to have a plan for personal development and a strong network of support. With the right mentoring and needed interventions, we as leaders can bring a change, ensuring no woman is giving up.
A large part of the problem lies in the inequality in the divisions of parenting and domestic responsibilities. In most of the households globally women are still carrying a heavier load which creates constraints for their careers. This leaves women with more responsibilities and less time for their careers.
"Women are talented, skilled and brilliant in their own right and deserve to be considered for any roles they are capable of fulfilling."
“True equality for women can only be achieved when a fundamental change in thinking occurs by both men and women. We need more women to share their successes; inspire others to follow them into tech careers; and believe that women can reach any role or position they aspire to. Inspiring other women is one of the crucial roles that women in senior positions need to embrace. When young women are exposed to other women leaders that really succeed in their careers and have a good family life, they start to be inspired and have a lot of interest which will encourage them to pursue their dreams and tech careers,” says Lilach Zacharias, Amdocs Head of Solution sales - Digital Brands.
An emphasis on women’s promotion and hiring does not mean compromising on excellence. It’s exactly the opposite - if we don’t intentionally strive for gender equality we are missing out on talent.
“Every woman needs the opportunity to be judged on her merit. Women are talented, skilled and brilliant in their own right and deserve to be considered for any role they are capable of fulfilling. Women often have to work harder and be smarter than their male counterparts to make it in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) workstreams, which are traditionally male-dominated spaces. We need to build the confidence of women around us to take up spaces and own them. We all need to take responsibility to ensure women are equipped with the tools to develop skills, especially in the fields of STEM to own their space.” commented Neha Bhargava, Amdocs Director of Engineering - Identity and Commerce
“True equality for women can only be achieved when a fundamental change in thinking occurs by both men and women."
To reach equality we need to level the playing field and overcome biases that make us label the same behavior for men as assertive and for women as aggressive. This is just one example.
“We need to actively counter the narrative that fuels the flawed idea that women’s biological make-up and, in some cases, a more empathetic approach are not suitable in high-level decision-making scenarios. These are gender-based biases, which women are constantly proving to be wrong. Empathy, compassion, and different ways of thinking are strengths that make gender-diverse teams formidable in any field.” continued Bhargava.
Nicoleta Stanciu, Amdocs Development Manager - Global Delivery says:
“We need to find ways to accelerate equality, show what we are doing to reach this goal, because the real change and the greater impact may only be felt and seen in the future. To accelerate and inspire changes in mindsets and society, even if they are incremental and small, we need to highlight the results. The more visible these results are, the more people will be inspired to continue in the same direction.”