We know the tech industry has a gender imbalance, so what how can we make it easier for women to join and thrive in technology?
We talk to Tanuja Randery
, a leader in the industry, now an Operating Executive with Apax Partners, a global Private Equity fund and former President of Schneider Electric UK & IR, CMO of BT Global Services and Managing Director of Colt Technology Services
about her experiences.
Thinking about a career in the tech sector? Here’s how you can get geared up to overcome the imbalance.
What’s your view on the gender imbalance in the tech industry?
The industry is attempting to overcome the gender imbalance however we need to accelerate – the pace of change is not fast enough at all. Even if the number of women on boards in FTSE 100 in 2017 did rise to nearly 28%, we will need a greater push to get to the 33% in 2020. There are only 6% women CEOs in FTSE 100 and in France, the first female CEO of a CAC 40 company was appointed in 2016. The Cranfield school first female FTSE index is a good indicator on how things are changing.
Today, men and women need to work harder and together to create the diverse environment we require in the business world. The best organisations have worked it out and have outperformed those that have yet to figure it out, so it just makes sense.
What needs to be done to address the imbalance?
As women it just means we must work harder to make an impact and stand out from our peers. As a woman it’s very important to have a plan – you shouldn’t rely on the organisation to define who and what you want to be.
I have lived by this in my career and I am a firm believer in looking forward to getting ahead. I tell all those I mentor to take charge of their trajectories. Map out where it is you want to go, and then work with your employer, family and external support system to build the network you need to find opportunities and convert the plan into results. Whether you decide to stay in one organisation for a long time or change companies, having a plan enables you to make better decisions. We make use of plans for almost everything on a daily basis, so why not plan your career?
In my previous role, all our leaders (male and female) were encouraged to mentor/coach female colleagues across all levels of the business. Instilling this message from the outset and having positive role models for women is a vital part to re-balancing gender inequality. I would always encourage women to give it a go – support one another to make a difference. This is the reason I have also founded PowerWomen Network, a network for senior women business leaders to enable them to have access to other women who can provide peer to peer coaching and be a sounding board for career plans and ideas and be the sponsor into new opportunities.
How can initiatives like FutureScale make a difference to the industry?
Any initiative that matches talented people with job opportunities is a big benefit. When it also comes to specifically bringing the topic of gender imbalance in the tech industry to the forefront of UK businesses, that’s even better. Having a scheme in place that actively discusses the gender gap and makes strides to bridge that gap proves we’re making fervent steps in the right direction.
FutureScale is a positive initiative that could change the landscape for women entering the tech sector and progressing their careers here. The more discourse and noise that surrounds this topic, the better – it’s empowering a generation that may have previously been perturbed from pursuing a career in the tech sector. Learn more about FutureScale here
Become part of the women in tech initiative