Kavita Viswanath, GM, JFrog India

Kavita has over 19 years of experience in leading Enterprise Sales, Alliances, Strategy & Planning for core technology & e-commerce companies. As General Manager for JFrog India, she manages India Business and Operations including R&D, Support, Sales & Marketing, Finance & Operations. Before joining JFrog, she was associated with Flipkart, where she worked directly with Sachin Bansal on building the B2B business of their Made in India brand Billion and also with Flipkart Ads as the Head of Planning & Strategy. Her most recent stint with them has been leading Global Sales at Myntra, for their AI-based SaaS product.

 

With everything going digital, the pandemic gave a boost to the tech industry, thereby creating more opportunities and roles for job seekers to explore. This has also given impetus to the women workforce in the tech industry as many companies have envisaged a hybrid office and home model and a blend of full-time employees and gig workers. Many tech companies, who are real ambassadors of workplace diversity, have introduced policies and programs to make it easier to have women come back to work after a sabbatical. Pandemic or no pandemic, I believe that Indian women can rule the tech world. Some of the reasons being

Power of STEM

India has one of the highest percentages of women entering STEM (science, technology, engineering & mathematics) education, unlike developed countries, where women aren’t going into science and tech education. According to Catalyst, a global nonprofit working with leading companies to build workplaces that work for women, India has 32% women in engineering education, compared to just 20% in the US and 28% in the European Union. In IT education, the difference is even starker – it’s 52% in India, compared to 19% in the US and EU. If the base is strong, which women in India have by pursuing STEM, they are sure to lead and grow in the tech sector.

Support from the industry

Most companies have put in place programs that allow women to get back to work at a level closer to where they were when they had to take a break. Steps are being taken to develop communities for women coders and to encourage more girls to study Science Technology Engineering Mathematics (STEM) while in school. This is also because companies see value in having a women workforce and increasing that number. IBM has a program called STEM for girls in collaboration with state governments whereas Mastercard has the Girls4Tech program, into its eighth year now, encouraging girls to take up STEM careers. It is interesting to see how India and its leading tech companies have taken the sourcing of female talent seriously and have powered ahead of the West in achieving gender parity at the graduate level.

Growth of Tier-II and III markets

Women in Tier-II cities have been breaking more glass ceilings as compared to women from the urban areas and that holds true even in the tech industry. Over the years the industry has seen a great number of job applications and participation of women from Tier-II markets. The Ed-tech revolution has helped many women take up focused online training courses that have helped them bag roles in big tech companies thus enabling them to get out of their comfort zones and challenging their cultural conditioning by moving cities and towns for building a career in the tech industry. With companies focusing on diversity, India will gradually become an attractive destination to work in.

The Work from Home pattern

The pandemic has pushed discussions on future work models and strategies, especially regarding arrangements like staggering employee shifts, rotating days or weeks of in-office presence. This will see work going to people rather than people going to work. Women who earlier couldn’t work due to travel issues or night shifts can now look into working again because of the work from home model. With flexible hours or selected workdays, women with secondary degrees could now find employment. Given time and location flexibility, we will see fewer drop outs and a much better work life balance.

A growing number of women have taken up roles leading India for many large MNCs. Very often, they come from a strong engineering and technology background and drive tech roles like Sindhu Gangadharan – SVP & MD, SAP Labs India; Debjani Ghosh – President, NASSCOM; Kalavathi G V – CEO, Philips Innovation Campus; Sukanyya Misra – Senior Vice President and Head, India Tech Hub, Mastercard. At JFrog, we have more than 40% women at the executive level leading core technology and business functions. Not just that, more than a quarter of our employees in India are women. As more women in the workplace rise through the mid and senior levels, it is only a matter of time before many make it to the top. Product engineering is now becoming a big part of the industry and as it grows, we will see more women leaders taking up key technology roles.

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