Today marks International Women’s Day (IWD), an internationally instituted day on which women from different divides are celebrated globally. Celebrated annually on the 8th of March, IWD is a United Nations (UN) recognised day which hallmarks the economic, cultural, social and political achievements of women.
On this day, gender disparities and inequalities towards the female gender are raised and discussed around the world. Strategies and actions are drawn to champion the cause for female equality across board. This year’s theme of #BreakTheBias is to forge gender parity and raise awareness against the bias and unfairness that is meted out towards women worldwide. Additionally, it is to celebrate the remarkable achievements of talented women internationally.
As leaders in the technology space, Infinity Group are Breaking the Bias in the delivery of managed IT support services for global businesses, by empowering our female workforce to be self-leaders in their respective roles. We have also created a supportive environment for the improvement of their wellbeing which then translates into excellence in work output.
International Women’s Day has been observed for more than a century. It stems from a labour movement which was led by 15,000 women who marched through New York demanding shorter working hours, better wages and the right to vote.
A communist activist and advocate for women’s rights, Clara Zetkin, first suggested the creation of an international day for women. She put her idea to an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen in 1910, where 100 women present (from 17 countries), agreed unanimously to it.
Supported by scores of people, the gathering was a tremendous success and the awareness created then led to the first celebration in 1911, in countries such as Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.
Attention grew after the UN officially started to celebrate the day in 1975. Since then, it has become a recognised annual commemoration, backed by groups globally, to raise awareness for female equality.
IWD is an important date to honour women who are breaking barriers in a plethora of sectors. Furthermore, it also serves a reminder to advocate for the closing of the gender gap, that exists in many areas of society.
Some factors impeding the growth of women in technology related careers include sexism and discrimination. A study by The Corvallis Advocate showed that the exclusion of women from STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) takes place during childhood. Gender stereotypes enforced during formative years then trickle down throughout adulthood careers. Statistics from the National Science Foundation revealed that in 2017, only 29% of individuals employed in science and engineering were women.
Women make up only 28% of the workforce in STEM, and men vastly outnumber women majoring in most STEM fields in college. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) revealed that gender gaps were particularly high in some of the fastest-growing and highest-paid jobs of the future, like computer science and engineering.
It is also pertinent to note that girls and women have limited access to opportunities in STEM fields. Appropriate measures such training workshops and sensitisation would have to be put in place to curb the issue.
Due to the seemingly complex nature involved with the study of technology, women have been side-lined from the industry as compared to their male counterparts. According to a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) report, although women play a critical role in the advancements of science and technology, there is still a gender bias that exists towards them. It went on to further state that female scientists are discriminated against, with only 28% of engineering graduates and 40% of graduates in computer science and informatics.
Infinity Group prides itself in providing an encouraging and supportive space for our female staff to excel. All women regardless of background or culture are empowered to take bold strides in their work. Our passion for development has led to the creation of innovative technology workshops and other avenues such as mental health programs, to ensure that a conducive environment is created for gender parity.
The exclusion of women from the industry can also be linked to the stigma and ‘mystery’ attached to it. To break this chain, Infinity aims to recruit the best talent and to also equip female staff to take on new challenges in their respective careers.
In addition, the business has seen an acceleration in female leadership with about 50% of the top senior positions in the company being occupied by women. We are also dedicated to empowering and supporting women in senior positions with young families with incentives including flexible and part-time working arrangements if needed. This is to ensure that equal opportunities are created to bridge the female gender parity gap.
In solidarity of this year’s #BreakTheBias theme, Infinity Group is committed to getting rid of the bias and glass ceilings by empowering as many women as possible to venture into tech and other STEM related fields. Over the years, women have been excluded from the tech industry, due to the lack of education and the stigma associated with it.
Rob further mentioned, “Our industry is about solving problems and we need creatives to do this, that means we need to listen to every opinion and have women involved at every level of the conversation.”
To curb the gender gap, women at Infinity Group are encouraged to explore the various facets of the technology landscape that are open to them such as Artificial Intelligence, Cloud Expansions and System Engineering.
Furthermore, the championing of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion by Infinity Group, empowers all female employees regardless of their backgrounds, to be confident in the approach to the execution of their jobs for increased efficiency. The requisite tools and equipment required are also provided to enhance the overall work experience, which then leads to higher customer satisfaction.
Here, we throw the spotlight on a few of our female talent that are working hard to #BreakTheBias and drive change in the sector.
Her problem-solving skills are what grew her passion for tech. In addition, Bettina’s interest for programming and developing solutions to meet the ever-evolving needs of businesses are also another reason why she decided to chart a path in this space.
Bettina advised women interested in STEM fields to follow their passion and do what they enjoy. “These opportunities are more diverse than many realise,” she reiterated.
Jamie Gilbert, Business Applications Engineer is also making her mark in STEM through self-leadership and innovation. Coming from a male dominated construction background, she was not phased when she entered the space. Her passion for IT dates back to her years in school. Jamie mentioned, “I love that technology is always evolving and there is always something new to learn.”
Advising other women considering a career in tech, Jamie said, “Being female should not deter you from following your passion. If you love technology or want to learn then nothing can stop you!”
In buttressing Jamie’s assertion, Breaking The Bias is crucial in expanding the impact and reach of women within the STEM sector. Endless opportunities should be created for all women to explore in technological advancements.
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