Women and Tech: Great Progress That We Should All Promote
Women crushing it in tech may sound clichÃ© if you are in touch with the current trends worldwide. However, when you start to consider where the statement is made from and who is making it, you can quickly sift out who is actually progressing and who is making noise.
Through massive governmental and private partnership initiatives, Malaysia can count itself among the evolving countries. This headway is most evident in tech and its related fields.
In this article, we look at the progress women have made in the tech space and why everyone, including yourself, should be at the forefront of encouraging this advancement.
Progress for Women in The Workforce
The various initiatives by different parties have been at the forefront of changing how society views women employees. Such sustained efforts have resulted in an upward trajectory of the number of women currently engaged in the workforce.
The Department of Statistics, Malaysia, and the Malaysia Digital Economy Corporation put out encouraging statistics a few years back. In essence, the number of women personnel had reached 55.1%. However, the most exciting part is that, of these females, 35% were in tech.
As Malaysia aims to be the heart of a digital ASEAN, such statistics give fresh motivation to organisations such as the GLOW Penjana (Global Online Workforce), eUsahawan Muda and eUsahawan Micro programmes.
The first programme is making continuous development by attracting women to learn how to earn an income online. However, the two latter programs have carried the lion’s share of the number of women in rural areas who have received training. They made up 63% and 61% of participants in the respective programmes.
Scrutinising the number of participants from all three programmes in combination, you notice that women account for a substantial 54%.
Women are Literally Trailblazing
Tech-related workplaces have always tended to be male-dominated. The few women who have made it through the glass ceiling have always had some much-needed recognition and appreciation come their way. This is particularly true for Sharala Axryd, the only woman from the SEA region to make it into the Strong Women in IT list for 2021.
This inclusion into the list is not her first award. She also has an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year honour for her collaboration with the National Association of Women Entrepreneurs to make their “Data For Her” initiative a reality.
Her inclusion was specific and strategic. Sharala Axryd made the list as one of 200 of the most influential people currently working in IT globally. All these accolades are well-deserved. She is the founder and CEO of the Centre for Applied Data Science, which also happens to be an award-winning company.
By her own declaration, Sharala spoke of how her vision and grit prompted the men to open doors for her in the traditionally male field. Even though it was quite a challenge trying to reach the executive suite, ultimately, her hard work saw her break into the “boys’ club.”
The Role Technology Plays in Empowering Malaysian Women
The fight to reduce gender inequality goes beyond education. Access to information plays a crucial role and what better way to do it in the 21st Century than with technology? However, this same technology that encourages egalitarianism needs to be readily available to the women who need it most.
Through the Sustainable Development Goals, the UN and related bodies have identified technology as a significant multiplier in the endeavour to bring gender parity to the world.
If the fight to degrade gender inequality is to be sustained, the people to benefit most from it need to be healthy enough to enjoy it. Thus, technology makes it easier for Malaysian women to access healthcare services and address their medical care needs. Excellent health implies that women can concentrate on other aspects of their lives that require their attention.
Additionally, with good health comes the need to better their lives through access to social services. When loans, grants, subsidies and scholarships are available to women, they are no longer disadvantaged in making life and investment decisions. Digital payment services also facilitate commerce and possibly make it easier for Malaysian women to start and run businesses.
Perhaps, the final goal for technology in empowering women in Malaysia is to combine all the above and facilitate women to invest in assets such as real estate or other financial instruments.
Commitment to Empowerment
Despite tech typically being a boy’s club, it’s now time for new perspectives. It’s ideal to raise homes to become intellectually innovative and developmental positions across Malaysia. There’s only one significant way of doing it; empowering the women in our homes.
This is why Allo is committed to the drive to decrease gender inequality. This is reflected first and foremost within our own ranks, with many women being appointed to key decision making roles as Heads of Department and beyond. Employees are hired based on their skills, with gender taking a backseat to the process.
Allo believes that women hold the key to pushing Malaysian society into a first-class beacon for the rest of the world to follow. The potential is visible for all to see. All we have to do is put in the time and resources to make this a reality.