It’s no secret that there’s a lack of gender diversity in many industries globally, and tech is no exception. BCG and IMDA’s report, Boosting Women in Technology in Southeast Asia, found that there’s a critical lack of women in leadership positions across all industries. The share of CEO and board-level positions held by women is just 15%. Despite this, research shows that organisations with more women in their workforce and leadership teams show better performance. And a more vibrant technology sector can help national economies grow.
In celebration of International Women’s Day and in an effort to address these challenges, Autodesk has joined the Singapore Women in Tech initiative. Our company has committed to several actions, including continuing to grow and engage the Autodesk Women’s Network, facilitating more mentorship opportunities, and engaging with students at tertiary level institutions. I am excited to help represent Autodesk alongside major companies like Microsoft, Salesforce, LinkedIn, IMDA, and more.
Autodesk employees pledging for SG Women in Tech (left to right): Alison Yuen, Jennifer Nockels, Michelle Go
Changing the perception of tech
There’s a constant need for upskilling and reskilling in order to remain relevant in fast-paced industries like tech. Women sometimes face the stereotype that they can’t quite manage the stresses of both work life and family life. We need to change this perception, and the industry must evolve to embrace and encourage diversity.
I am proud to be part of an organisation like Autodesk, which values its people by creating an inclusive environment where everyone can bring their authentic selves. Our company prioritises diversity and belonging in many ways. In fact, we recently announced two new female C-suite hires at the global level, Debbie Clifford as CFO and Raji Arasu as CTO. In Southeast Asia, Serene Sia also joined as Managing Director last year, alongside other female leaders within our organisation.
Attracting the next generation of women
Attracting the next generation of women is critical for the future of tech. We must keep telling young girls about the various types of roles that they can be a part of, and the different ways in which they can be successful.
Engaging with tertiary level institutions and providing mentorship opportunities are a few ways for the community to rally around girls. Organising career fair days to raise awareness about the opportunities in tech has also proven to be effective.
And finally, it’s important to capture the girls’ imagination at an early age by encouraging interest and excellence in STEM. Autodesk is leading the way in digitally-inspired learning by engaging with children and schools through software such as Tinkercad. For girls specifically, we’re supporting programs like Girls in Tech and Girls who Code in order to help close the gender gap.
Encouraging women in ASEAN to join the tech industry
Today, there are increasingly more efforts to encourage women to join the tech industry, globally and in Singapore. Singapore Women in Tech and company-led groups like the Autodesk Women’s Network are incredible programs that women and men can join. It’s an exciting time to be a woman in tech and I can’t wait to see the results of these initiatives in the coming year!