SG Women in Tech marks one year of advancing diversity in Tech Sector

Photo by Ekaterina Bolovtsova

The SG Women in Tech movement (SGWIT), an initiative by the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), industry, government and community partners to attract and develop girls and women in tech, celebrated its 1st  year of advancing diversity in the tech sector in Singapore. Over the past year, the SGWIT has made significant strides.

Some of the key milestones include:

  • Connecting girls in schools with female tech leaders through a series of StudentsAsk videos that have since reached out to over 115,000 people in the community
  • Bringing together over 600 women in the tech workforce for networking and mentoring activities
  • Launching the inaugural SG 100 Women in Tech List to honour women who have achieved outstanding accomplishments and made significant contributions in tech.

To provide more insights on the strategies that companies, governments, schools and individuals can take to advance gender diversity, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has partnered with SGWIT and IMDA on a new study which surveyed 1,650 women in tech in Southeast Asia.

The study found that the participation of women in tech in Southeast Asia is slightly higher than global averages, and about 65% of respondents agreed that the tech sector does better than other industries in offering programmes specifically tailored to recruit, retain and promote women.

With demand for digital talent growing faster than supply, the report identified three critical junctures for intervention to boost the number of women in tech. These “moments of truth” are the choice to pursue higher education in tech, the selection of their first job, and the decision to remain in tech over the long term.

Based on these, the report has also identified areas where companies, policymakers and academic institutions, and even women themselves, can work on, to further attract, retain and develop more women in tech.

BCG’s global leader for the Technology, Media & Telecommunications practice, Vaishali Rastogi, said, “Technology is radically disrupting businesses and industries, driving an urgent need for more digital talent across the region as demand for such profiles rises faster than supply. Women need to be part of the long-term solution.”

Vaishali, who is one of the authors of the BCG report, further explained, “Our research shows that gender diversity can make companies more innovative and agile. For example, companies where women account for more than 20% of the management team have approximate 10% higher innovation revenues than companies with male-dominated leadership”.

Senior Minister of State for Communications and Information, Ms Sim Ann, also announced the extension of the MentorConnect programme for a second year at a webinar organised by SGWIT to commemorate its first anniversary.

The cross-company mentorship programme was started last year by Dell Technologies as a platform to guide and empower the development of women professionals in tech and promote best practices among participating companies from all industries. The programme will see four new companies, DBS Bank, VMWare, Aon, and BHP, joining the current ones – Dell Technologies, IMDA, Salesforce and ST Engineering.

The MentorConnect programme was lauded by one of the mentees, Ms Tracie Teo, Department Manager, Public Safety & Security, ST Engineering. She said, “The topics covered were very relevant to me as a middle manager aspiring to be a business leader. I especially appreciated the personal stories and examples that my mentor at Salesforce shared as they brought the lessons to life in a real-world context.”

 “More talent will drive the fast growth of our burgeoning tech sector and spearhead digital transformation for the Singapore economy. It is heartening to see the strong interest and support for the Singapore Women in Tech movement from schools, industry and community,” said Mr Lew Chuen Hong, Chief Executive, Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA).

“We are glad to see tech companies and leaders taking action to attract, retain and develop girls and women in tech, and look forward to bringing on board even more stakeholders to develop an exciting and enabling environment for women in tech.”