SAP Labs India was adjudged #1 in “Great place to work” survey for “Supporting Women to remain at Work” this year. It is with immense pride SAP Labs India hosted the “SAP Women in Tech” Summit on 7th Nov, 2015. The event was attended by around 400 women professionals comprising of middle to senior women from technology companies, students from select engineering colleges in Bangalore, our associate companies and of course our women colleagues from SAP and few brave men. I would love to see the number of men increase though in the next summit.
This blog is about my thoughts on how such an event helps women professional.
Usually I don't find most of the women centric events interesting as the topics are more stereotype, it starts from work-life balance and ends on work-life balance. With the advent of globalization and smart devices, it’s more work life integration these days. This summit we, the organizing committee, made it a point to include lot of technical topics from our technical women leaders in various domains. So there is talk on cloud, mobility, rack scale architecture and yours truly also gave a session on microservices. The agenda can be checked here. Check the twitter handle #SAPtechpowHer for the summit updates.
Many of us might think that why such an event focusing on women only. The women professional is at par with the male counterparts. As long as she is proving herself and delivering results continuously, why should we make any bone of the fact that she is a woman? The woman professional should be getting promoted or recognized based on her work and gender has got nothing to do with it. Mostly true. Having said that, there are different challenges which women face in their personal or professional life. So having such events provide more insights on why companies like SAP are investing so much in women’s career and how these events help groom a women professional towards more leadership positions.
It’s a known fact that Diversity – be it gender based, region based or any other type of diversity helps in coming up with a more holistic picture. The teams with such diversity produce better results. For example if people from only one country are part of a team, they might completely miss out on the practices followed in other regions and thus the design wouldn't be complete.
Most of the people are aware that having diverse teams has its own advantages and yet we see that 1) Women in same position are paid lesser than their male counterparts. 2) There are very few women at top leadership positions.
Why is that ?
The summit helped in understanding some of these disparities -
- Women generally are shy about talking their achievements. One doesn't need to be aggressive, but need to at least proudly talk about what one has achieved so far.
- Similarly women rarely negotiate their salaries unlike their male counterparts.
- Women need to actively engage more in networking. It’s not just enough to do your work and let you work speak for itself. No, we need to engage with others. When we network we not just learn from others, we may find a potential mentor or a career sponsor.
Through such summits, we get to learn from the top women leaders what they did to be different, how they climbed the corporate ladders? There is no one-size-fit-all, so the same solution may not work for all. However one does get to learn some tips and tricks and can brainstorm on what would work for one the best.
And of course, one does get to learn about the new topics, the exciting stuff that people are involved these days, the new buzzwords of technology, how the user experience can be manipulated, how IoT, cloud , mobility, microservices are shaping up the business decisions, how the intellectual property needs to be preserved and collaoborated on with your competitors, where the world is moving to, how the current trends are going to shape the future etc etc.
In all, definitely event worth attending. I am looking forward to the next year’s event, hoping that this would become an annual event.
Signing off for now. And as usual awaiting your feedback.
With Best Regards,