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Empowering Change: Fostering Gender Diversity In Tech

Embarking on an innovation-fueled journey, the tech world stands at a crossroads: smashing barriers for diversity and gender equality isn’t just crucial, it’s the rocket fuel that is propelling us toward progress. While men have long held the spotlight, a dazzling surge reveals women claiming their stake in tech’s boundless domain.

“In recent times, the tech industry is proving to be an enabler for greater gender equality,” says Bronwen Rohland, Retail and CPG Consulting Head at Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) South Africa. “The sector is making strides to bridge the gender gap parity, create more inclusive opportunities and invest in support for women already building a career in technology.”

As one of the largest employers of women globally, TCS strives to provide an equitable workplace for all. Today, 35.7% of its workforce is made up by women, who each play an integral role in the ongoing success of the business.

“We recognise the significance of diverse perspectives in driving innovation,” reveals Rohland. “Thus, empowerment is not just a buzzword – it’s a commitment to workplace policies, zero tolerance for discrimination, and an inclusive culture, that combined form a nurturing ecosystem for women in tech to grow and reach leadership positions.”

Breaking the glass ceiling

In the pursuit of inclusivity and diversity, TCS’s initiatives, such as the inclusive leadership development programme Leadership and Diversity (LeaD), provide access for women on a global scale. By offering personalised career mobility and opportunities across the world, the company looks to empower women to break through barriers and make their mark as industry leaders.

“There’s a lot of potential for growth and development for women in tech,” says Malefo Maunatlala, System Engineer Assistant at TCS South Africa. “At TCS, there are various programmes that celebrate the achievements of women and offer networking, mentoring, and professional development. There’s also great focus on encouraging girls and young women to pursue career in STEM fields.”

As TCS expands its technological capabilities, women form an integral part of ensuring these fields are successful, sustainable, and most importantly, impactful. The company holds the belief women are poised for excellence in emerging domains such as quantum computing, robotics, 5G and more.

“Women bring a unique perspective and set of skills to the tech industry,” adds Maunatlala. “We are well positioned to thrive in AI, thanks to our innate pattern recognition and problem-solving ability. We are often detail-oriented and analytical, making us perfect for careers in cybersecurity. While data science occupations rely on people with good math and statistics skills, women have that too.”

TCS’s initiatives such as Women@Work and SHEroes also provide platforms for mentorship and support, enabling women to not only navigate their career journeys with confidence, but to think innovatively, adapt to change, and create solutions that customer exceeds expectations. While initiatives like Rebegin offer experienced female professionals the chance to reignite their tech careers after taking a break, reinstating that it’s never too late to chase one’s dreams.

“I have found that there are great support systems within TCS,” Amanda Beukes, Executive Assistant to Country Head at TCS South Africa. “There are also the phenomenal women who are always willing to participate in initiatives, volunteer their time, and share knowledge on how I can make the most of my skills and strengths.”

Women can have it all

While fostering a culture of mentorship, within TCS’s ecosystem women are also supported with a flexible working policy that allows them to balance their work and personal commitments.

For many, having to choose between work and personal life is not easy. A good organisation understands this and supports it by making sure both aspects flourish. What’s more, supporting work life balance is a way of ensuring women are included in the work force.

“Compassion in the workplace also goes a long way for women,” adds Amanda Beukes. “TCS is considerate to working moms through a programme that helps with the cost of childcare. This is another one of the ways we’re ushering in a new era of gender equality.”

TCS believes that the contributions of women are indispensable. But there’s still a long way to go for the glass ceiling to be distant memory. More work needs to be done by the global tech industry to foster an inclusive and equitable sector where women not only participate but thrive.

“Women have the potential and the abilities to do great things,” says Rochelle Blaauw, Skills Development and Localisation Lead at TCS South Africa. “As the industry advances, now is the time for women to prove that when given the chance, they can be the impact.”

For women who are considering a career in the tech sector, now is a good time to enter the market. Organisations across the world, like TCS, are actively working to foster diversity and gender equality.

“TCS remains steadfast in its commitment to balancing the scales for women in tech,” adds Blaauw. “It’s up to us to find what innovations we’re passionate about and open the doors to a more accessible workplace for women.”