Closing the gender gap has been a long-standing issue in many industries but progress is accelerating, especially for women in technology.
On a national level, the Singapore Government has recently declared the year 2021 as the Year of Celebrating SG Women and it will conduct a review of issues affecting women. Its aim is to bring about a mindset change on values such as gender equality.
The technology sector has also been moving in the right direction. Last year, the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) launched the inaugural SG 100 Women in Tech list, celebrating outstanding women in the field.
At Bank of Singapore’s technology department, numerous senior positions are filled by women. Many of them have held key roles in software development, and in introducing and implementing new technologies to the bank such as chatbots, open APIs and core banking platform upgrades.
Working towards ‘better’
I am glad to hear of many technology companies which are increasingly hiring for future potential rather than previous experience – this was a sticking point that inhibited women from entering the field.
Many technology companies that I know of are also working on a cultural change to become more diverse and welcoming. They are increasingly implementing inclusive policies across the board, affording benefits that impact both men and women. These include equal parental leave, paid family or parental leave, and childcare subsidies.
Such policies go a long way toward supporting diversity and inclusion, said the Forbes Tech Council in an article last year.
This is all to be lauded as women should have a seat at the table. Those like the Boston Consulting Group note that women tend to be collaborative and highly empathetic, which are benefits to the workplace.
We certainly value those traits at Bank of Singapore, which has been described as “gender agnostic”, with colleagues of both genders working to raise each other up and be clued-in on projects at hand.
A balanced workforce equals profitability
While it is important that any workforce be made up of a mix of genders, it is equally important that companies do not hire for the sake of filling a gender quota. Instead, businesses leaders would do well to remember that a balanced, welcoming working environment leads to measurable gains.
To ensure that there is balance throughout their workforce, leaders can consider one point: Women make up half the consumers in the world.
The ideal is to have both men and women in the room as equal participants, able and excited to ideate on product development. The result of such an inclusive environment will be more balanced products. These would be engaging to all consumers, thus boosting profitability while raising the bar for women across industries.
Many of our female colleagues are making an impact in technology at Bank of Singapore. Click here to read about two colleagues who share their thoughts on women working in the technology sector.Disclaimer applicable to recommendation
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Version: July 2020