two female colleagues laughing and smiling together in office, women in tech

By Divya Handa, Senior Director of Marketing at Ping Identity

With the technology industry rapidly evolving and becoming increasingly present in all aspects of society, it is time for us to shift our approach toward digital solutions instead of relying on old and outdated analogue methods.

Time after time, a diverse workforce has proven to be an effective way to drive innovation. However, even though technology is fuelling global change, women remain underrepresented in technology, accounting for only 28.8% of industry employees.

The industry’s growth has resulted in a surge of job opportunities, yet the representation of women in the workforce remains low. Despite accounting for 14% of all job opportunities in the UK, the demand for women in the industry is expected to increase in the coming years.

Introducing young women to the world of technology is a great way to address this issue. Without the participation and perspectives of women, the technology industry misses out on the diverse ideas and perspectives that are crucial for driving innovation and progress in both the industry and society.

However, one of the most pressing issues tech organisations now face is how to go about introducing young women to the sector.

Closing the gender gap: A company-wide push

It is important to note that it is everyone’s responsibility to help fix this problem within the STEM field.

We are witnessing a slow but significant shift in historically male-dominated fields, such as technology, where women’s representation rose 2.1% between 2019 and 2022. By implementing impactful programs, we should aim to not only maintain but accelerate this progress in 2023.

These results demonstrate that actively promoting and supporting young women to enter the technology field is not only worthwhile but effective.

To drive this change, it’s crucial to bring the company together to emphasise the need for diversity and inclusion. At Ping Identity, we’ve made a strong impact by declaring International Women’s Day (IWD) on March 8th a company-wide holiday. This allows the entire team to reflect on and celebrate women’s achievements and participate in IWD activities.

Leading the charge: Educating for gender equality in the workplace

One very effective way for businesses to try to close the gender gap is to offer mentorship and networking opportunities to young women. This is so young women can feel connected within the field, by meeting successful women in the field and learning from each other’s experiences.

For example, Ping4Good’s initiative offers courses aimed at introducing young women to the tech industry. The program teaches school-going children the significance of digital safety and privacy through interactive and engaging lessons. This empowers children to manage their digital identities and make informed online choices. Available to both schools and parents, the course provides a fun and educational experience to help them learn about digital safety.

Ping4Good’s initiatives aim to broaden young children’s perceived possibilities at a young age, empowering them to pursue different avenues in their education.

Additionally, it is important for organisations to adopt the practice of providing training for their employees in order to promote a safe and comfortable environment in which women can discuss their challenges and aspirations with a mentor, which can make a significant difference in their professional lives.

Industry leaders can help to promote gender diversity and equal representation in leadership positions. They can create opportunities for women to develop their leadership skills and increase their readiness for these roles by offering targeted training programs and initiatives. Furthermore, implementing rotational assignments across departments can provide employees with a variety of experiences, foster teamwork and collaboration, and increase their chances of success and contribution to the organisation.

Empathy driving equality: A vision for a gender-balanced workplace

Many modern-day workplaces have become caring spaces for employees. Gender equality, mental health, and work-life balance discussions have grown in popularity across all employee levels, whether for the new intern or the CEO of the company. These conversations can help us unite as a collective and further promote equality across the industry.

By creating actionable campaigns to support girls through IWD or promoting diversity of thought through forums, events, workshops, and talks at schools and universities via our own spokespeople, women in identity can help shape the future generation and open doors where possible.

Introducing initiatives like Ping4Good can spark important conversations and drive lasting change. And by encouraging more young women to pursue STEM-based careers, we help address underrepresentation and promote diversity in the industry. These steps provide women with endless opportunities to succeed in an exciting and rewarding field and have a lasting impact on the world we live in.

About the author

Divya HandaDivya Handa is a technology professional and marketing strategist with a career spanning IBM, Intel, Reliance Infocomm, growing businesses and delivering revenue. She has spent over 20 years in the IT and Telecom sector, her career started in India during the dotcom era after which she moved to the UK where she has spent 15 plus years across IBM and Intel working closely with CXOs to drive strategy and business execution while leading the marketing organization across customer acquisition and retention, brand, demand generation, and product marketing. She has worked in Europe in global and regional roles, and driven strategic initiatives in LATAM and MEA, she enjoys the cultural diversity of working across regions.

Divya is a big advocate for sustainability, she’s on the board of advisors for Earth 51, a company dedicated to bringing profit and the planet closer by incorporating Sustainability in the private sector using the UN’s SDG framework. She has an MBA from Lancaster University and is a certified project manager (Prince 2 – practitioner level). Outside of work, Divya is a proud mother of two, championing girls in STEM and the BAME community, a fitness and travel enthusiast, and whenever time permits, an avid reader.