Saraswathi Ramchandra, Head – Analytics CoE: Danske Bank
The space of technology is often construed as full of biases, lacking gender diversity and having minimal women presence in C-suite segment. Lately, a change in trend is being witnessed. The shackles of biases appear to be loosening, however, there is still a long way that women need to walk. To understand how women can move up the career ladder and accomplish greater success, Xtechalpha caught up with Saraswathi Ramachandra, Head- Analytics Centre of Excellence at Danske IT who has 22 years of proven experience in the technology space.
Started her career at the backend side of technology; largely performing coding with minimal understanding of business context, Saraswathi accredits her managers who were the true eye openers for her.
Be the risk-taker and grab the opportunity
When asked about what the possible reasons could be behind the lack of gender diversity in the exponential technologies space, she mentioned that women wait endlessly without pushing the boundaries till they are ready to grab an opportunity. This is mainly the reason why we see less women at the top of the hierarchy. She says that it is very important for women to move out of their comfort zone and push themselves a little harder to change their status quo. According to her, “Be disruptive to yourself and add value to the organization”.
One prominent challenge that the exponential technologies space poses for women is not having enough women role models to emulate. She explains,
The flip side of this is a dilution of their own strengths and individualities. They need to leverage and hone their inherent skills: empathy, dedication, communication and multi-tasking to create their own space and sustain spells of success.
Exponential technologies and Gender Diversity
There is a large consensus on the fact that gender diversity is needed to be enhanced in the exponential technologies’ space. But the question is – how?
As she hails from the sphere of analytics, she says that business analytics is a lot about solving a business problem and gender outlook differs from every business problem. As both sides of the viewpoints are important, none of the genders can be ignored. Hence, if gender biases would exist in the work place, biases will be reflected in business analytics as well.
The exponential technology as an ecosystem is required to be made more inclusive and women friendly. As human beings, we can not let go of the fact that we are a part of the society where personal and professional lives co-exist.
For instance, maternity is a very crucial period in a woman’s life. However, unfortunately, this is often considered as a huge halt to a woman’s professional life. To alter the current scenario, organizations must take up initiatives where maternity is considered as a natural break and women are given a regular opportunity to work part-time and keep reskilling themselves.
She says networking is a huge concern among women in the workplace. Sharing her example, she said that networking is essentially done in late evenings or at night which deters women from participating. She raised her voice about how this makes networking convenient exclusively for men, which lead to a change in her organizational culture to be more inclusive. Hence, she says that women must learn to raise their voice and speak their mind if they want to move ahead.
Future of women in exponential technologies
Exponential technologies arena at large and AI and analytics specifically, hold tremendous opportunities for women.
She sums up the conversation by advising women, “Believe in yourself and be yourself. Enjoy life and enjoy what comes your way by leveraging your own strengths.”