Worldwide stats say that only 26% computing jobs are held by women. [Ref.1] Even in major tech companies’ percentage of women working is around 30%. [Ref. 2] Lot has been said and done to achieve the gender diversity in tech. But it seems, prejudices still prevail and stories of discrimination take us back to the basic question…what are we doing wrong?
At Ellicium 40% of our employees are female. Amusing it may sound, we didn’t realise it even though numbers were in front of us. During brainstorming session for Ellicium’s vision 2020, we listed values we have stood by since our inception. And we are proud to say that, one of the most important value which we always stood by was ‘diversity’.
Our conscious efforts to make Ellicium workplace encouraging for gender diversity have paid off. Ellicium as an organization has gained a lot by fostering diversity. We have got enriching experiences. Our team has learned a lot. And it has in many ways contributed to our growth.
How we achieved this?
1) Conscious Efforts
We made conscious efforts, right from hiring to building daily work environment. And it is a continuous process.
2) Unconscious Efforts
Best way is to leave our preconceived notions behind. Though seem easy, it can be as hard as it can get. In tech, it might be even harder where male domination is a norm. But fight it with all might!
3) Stick to your values
Many a times work environment becomes hostile for opposite gender when values of companies are compromised. Latest allegations on UBER work culture is the horrific example of this. Do not compromise on values, even at the cost of your growth. Again, look at the UBER example!
(*This image features just some of our team members. Kindly don’t assume it as representation of our female workforce)
4) Encouragement and Support
These are most clichéd but never exercised ‘words’. Gender roles are changing but we are still behind the expected turn. (In India, still way behind.) It is vital to create work environment, if not just policies, which is conducive for women to work. You will be surprised to realise how simple things can do wonder!
Above equal opportunities, to change the narrative, creating specific opportunities is crucial. At Ellicium, we encourage employees to pursue higher education by sponsoring it under our EDGE – Educational Development and Growth Scheme. In typical Indian setup, women are under constant pressure to get married. We started assuring and offering opportunities to female employees who relocated to other cities due to marriage. They were promised job position if they want to come back. We always keep our doors open!
For all the wrong that has been done over the years to women in tech, onus is upon tech companies to correct the course. Even if it means going out of the way. It is our responsibility which needs urgent action. This responsibility must be sown in each and every member of your organization.
At Ellicium, we still have a long way to go and we do understand the challenge in sustaining this as we grow. But we believe that we have strong foundation to build upon.
On this Women’s day, we urge everyone to vouch to create a workplace which is accommodative for women. This would be a true celebration of this day, which has now become a marketing gimmick than anything else.
Tech companies need women more than women need tech companies.