“The Tech Industry Must Create Equal Opportunities for Women Professionals to Grow and Lead from the Front,” says Alok Bansal

Media reports in 2021 stated that Indian women make up nearly 43 per cent of the total graduates in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) but just constitute 14 percent of scientists, engineers, and technologists in research development institutions and universities. Alok Bansal, MD Visionet Systems India and Global Head of BFSI Business addresses this anomaly and says, “Women face gender-specific professional challenges all over the world. In fact, a 2022 study by LinkedIn states that 72 percent of women in India are rejecting jobs due to lack of flexibility. This study should be a constant reminder to companies to reevaluate their employment policies and make them more accommodating. The tech industry must create equal workspace opportunities for women to grow and lead from the front.”

Mr. Alok Bansal, MD Visionet Systems India and Global Head of BFSI Business

Women, he says, often suffer from the broken rung‘, a phenomenon where their promotions happen at a slower rate than their male counterparts. Lack of female role models, gender bias, unequal remuneration and stunted growth opportunities are some of the factors that hinder the progress of women in the tech field and Alok adds, “Many women also have to take a sabbatical to manage caregiving or child-rearing responsibilities. To ensure that when they return, their skill sets are second to none, companies should promote reskilling, upskilling, and mentorship programmes. Ensuring a proper work-life balance, flexible timings, timely increments and fair growth opportunities will go a long way in retaining women in the workforce.”

He believes a larger percentage of female leaders and representatives in boardrooms not only leads to financial gains but can also precipitate a trickle-down effect to usher in more diversity and inclusiveness in workspaces. He refers to McKinsey & Companys ‘Diversity Wins Report 2020‘ which states “Companies whose boards are in the top quartile of gender diversity are 28 percent more likely than their peers to outperform financially.

He concludes, “Women in powerful positions tend to safeguard the interests of female employees and also foster a culture of multi-perspective organisational feedback that augments the companys brand image and its growth in the long run.”