The two main aspects that have been eluding modern working-class women are equal pay and representation. While there has been a concerted shift towards making offices more women-friendly, only a handful of women have made a mark in the technology world.
In India, the IT sector continues to be highly male-dominated. Unlike in the West, there are far lesser avenues for women to come out of their bubble.
With their male counterparts climbing the corporate ladder successfully, women often tend to be overlooked when it comes to promotion and pay hike.
Given the future of emerging technologies like AI and ML in disrupting the industry, there’s a lot that needs to be done to give women the right opportunity and chance to prepare them for the workspace of the future.
While work commitment does matter, meetups and exclusive women-centric conferences centred around AI and analytics can be a great avenue for you to network and connect with peers from across the industry. In addition to helping you build an impressive network, an exclusive women-centric like The Rising 2019, will be the right platform to meet and exchange ideas and gain newer insights.
In this article, we look at the top five reasons as to why we should promote more women-centric conferences around emerging technologies such as AI and data and analytics in India.
Optimism about future: According to a study by Harvard Business Review, which interviewed attendees of Conference for Women, 78% of the women opined that the conference made them feel more optimistic about the future and made them more connected to others. As per the study, having a positive outlook can affect the way you view your career and will also motivate you to strive harder to achieve your goals. In her book Broadcasting Happiness, Michelle Gielan explains that words can move people from fear-based mind-sets, where they see obstacles as insurmountable, to positive mind-sets, where they see that change is possible — and orient them to take action.
Will increase chances for a pay hike and promotion: The study says that women were able to get a promotion and receive a pay hike after attending the conference. Post the conference,18% received a promotion during the time period the study was conducted, compared with 42% of women who had already attended the conference. Additionally, 5% of the women in the control group reported a pay increase of more than 10%, compared with 15% of women who had attended the conference. In other words, by meeting and interacting with peers, the conference had a direct positive impact on attendees’ career.
Making connections and building relationships: It is a known fact that networking and building contacts can shape your career. Women in the IT sector have the advantage of attending numerous tech summits and conferences to solidify their reach in the industry. By attending more women-centric conferences, you can meet and greet leaders in the field, share ideas and update your knowledge. Moreover, women are likely to mingle freely and connect on personal levels more in an all-women conference compared to regular ones.
Gaining perspective: In a highly competitive field like IT where everybody is trying to climb the corporate ladder, your mark of excellence will depend on the ideas that you share and your capability to find a solution for the most toughest challenges. Hence, by attending more conferences and by meeting top leaders in the industry, not only are you sharing your thoughts on a particular subject you gain a different perspective from different people which will help you think differently
Learn how to ask for a pay rise and promotion: Men tends to be more straightforward when it comes demanding a pay rise or promotion. On the contrary, women shy away from doing this. We tend to think that is too audacious and perceive that it might strain our relationship with colleagues and our boss. One of the biggest take away from organising a women-centric conference is that they can easily converse with their peer and learn from industry practitioners about the dos and don’t when asking for a promotion or pay hike. By offering and imparting knowledge about practical applications for moving forward at work through such conferences, women will feel more empowered to demand their rightful share of the money and recognition that they truly deserve.
Where To Head Next?
We at AIM, recognises the importance of giving women better avenues and acknowledge their talent. The Rising 2019, is a perfect platform for women in AI and analytics to interact and meet stalwarts in the sector. The event which is to be held on International Women’s Day — March 8, 2019, will see the participation of women from the field of data analytics and AI who will come in to discuss and share their thoughts on some of the challenges women face and the role of women-empowerment in shaping the next generation inclusive workspaces.
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Akshaya Asokan works as a Technology Journalist at Analytics India Magazine. She has previously worked with IDG Media and The New Indian Express. When not writing, she can be seen either reading or staring at a flower.