Rising together: The dividend that women can provide
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Rising together: The dividend that women can provide

Rising together: The dividend that women can provide

Women bring unique perspectives and experiences to the table, which can lead to new ideas and approaches

Gulf Business
Women in tech

As the world of technology changes quickly, women are becoming more important in shaping its future. Despite progress, women still face significant barriers to entering and succeeding in this field. However, companies have the power to make a difference and ensure that women have the skills, resources and opportunities they need to succeed in technology.

In the Middle East region, we have seen significant growth and development in recent years, and technology has played a key role in driving this progress. Women have recently made a lot of progress in the tech industry, breaking down barriers and challenging gender stereotypes. Their contributions are not only changing the face of technology in the region, but they are also having a positive impact on society.

UNESCO’s latest report on girls’ and women’s education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) has revealed that in the Arab world, 57 per cent of STEM graduates are female, with the UAE having 61 per cent of female university STEM graduates. The region has also produced trailblazers like Her Excellency Sarah bint Yousef Al Amiri, the UAE Minister of State for Advanced Technology and the Chairwoman of the UAE Space Agency.

Research shows that having more women in technology leads to better outcomes. According to a McKinsey study, companies with diverse teams are more likely to be innovative and profitable than those that do not. In addition, women bring unique perspectives and experiences to the table, which can lead to new ideas and approaches.

However, they are still significantly underrepresented in technology. They hold about 26.7 per cent of tech-related roles in the global workforce, according to Gartner Research. There are many barriers that prevent women from entering and advancing in technology.

One of the most significant is a lack of access to networks and mentors that can help them succeed in technology. This can make it difficult for women to find job opportunities, gain new skills, and advance in their careers. It can also contribute to a gender gap in the tech industry and limit the overall diversity of talent. To address this issue, programmes and initiatives that provide networking and mentorship opportunities should be prioritised and supported.

Here are a few ways companies can make a difference:

Provide access to education and training

One of the most significant barriers is a lack of access to education and training. Companies can help address this by offering training and certification programmes, sponsoring educational programmes, and partnering with organisations that support women in technology.

For example, AWS offers a range of training and certification programmes designed to help them develop the skills they need to succeed in technology.

Address bias and discrimination in the workplace

Bias and discrimination in the workplace can make it difficult for women to advance in technology. To address this, companies can take steps to ensure that their workplaces are inclusive and welcoming. This includes providing anti-bias training for employees, setting clear expectations for behaviour and holding individuals accountable for discriminatory actions.

Companies can also take steps to ensure that women have equal opportunities to advance in their careers. This includes offering mentorship and sponsorship programmes, providing equal access to training and development opportunities, and setting clear criteria for advancement.

Foster networks and mentorship opportunities

Access to networks and mentors is critical for women to succeed in technology. Companies can help by fostering networks and mentorship opportunities. This includes creating employee resource groups for women in technology, sponsoring networking events, and providing mentorship and sponsorship programmes.

Also, it is important for women to come together to amplify their voices and advocate for their rights. By supporting each other, they can build a network of resources, encouragement and mentorship that can help them achieve their goals and overcome obstacles.

Additionally, supporting each other can promote a culture of inclusivity and empowerment, which benefits everyone.

Women play a key role

As we look to the future, technology will continue to be a driving force for economic growth and social change. And at the forefront of this transformation are women, who are playing an increasingly important role in shaping the future of technology in the Middle East. By providing women with the resources and support they need to succeed, the tech industry in the region can become more inclusive and diverse, unlocking new opportunities for growth and development.

Ghada Elkeissi is the head of Professional Services – Public Sector – Middle East and Africa at AWS

Also read: UAE Space Agency signs strategic agreement with AWS

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