Dreams, ambitions, talent, opportunities, and mentors shape career trajectories for women. Bolstered by the 4-Cs of confidence, courage, conviction, and chances, girls with big dreams become women with a big vision. However, when only 3% of women cite a career in technology as their first choice, it mandates a re-think especially since gender-diverse leadership unarguably drives innovation by 20% while diverse groups are known to reduce risks by 30%.
To explore the dichotomy among diversity, inclusion, and technology further, KPIT Technologies’ marketing and thought leadership team hosted the second edition of Women in Mobility, around the theme – “I am where I am, because….” with a virtual panel of industry leaders. Drawing on instances from their lives and careers, the panelists shared views, experiences, and insights on how to make the field of mobility more inclusive going forward.
Jayada Pandit, KPIT Technologies
Gary Johansen, Vice President, Engineering, Power Systems Business, Cummins
Michele Kaiser, Business Development Manager, John Deere
Karen Horting, Executive Director and CEO, Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
Kenefra Carter, TheMomProject
Lorraine Parker Clegg, Global HR, Allison Transmission
Sophia Suo, Vice President, Electrification, KPIT Technologies
Statistics indicate that only 5% of women in tech are in leadership roles while women board members in the tech space account for 12.2%. It’s clear then, that STEM still remains male-dominated. What then, can organizations do to level playing fields, encourage women to be and stay mobile, end the bias, and initiate collaboration?
From enduring unconscious bias1 at work and having to repeatedly prove themselves, to being stalled by the “Maternal Wall” and having to perfect the tightrope walk on work-home balance – women employees face an uphill task at workplaces, globally. This results in significant early-career drop-outs. Without a paradigm shift in domain-thinking and, experience given due weightage, change seems a tall order.
Organizations can start by acknowledging that women are the sum of many parts – daughter, wife, mother, and professionals. Having robust support from society, an empathetic family, and resilient “He for She”2 campaigns at work, can transform the “mom in battle” into the “mom in balance”. Recognizing motherhood as a value-enhancer, productivity-booster and a chance to improve conversations at workplaces can take this a notch higher. However, for women to be heard, they must stay the course and not be overwhelmed by expectations. That requires a change in mindset.
Change, begins with oneself; with shattering the glass ceiling in the mind, first, and learning to move on to the “next play” because only concrete micro-action can lead to large-scale macro-action.
In a post-Pandemic world, a global survey finds that 51% of women are less optimistic about their career prospects though 84% report better work-life balance, 52%, access to flexible working, and 32% experience a strong sense of belonging under gender-equality leaders.3 It’s a long road to normalizing diversity in tech but the first step is accepting “I am where I am because — I’m meant to be there.”
Access highlights of the event and the entire video by clicking here