It is widely acknowledged that women are underrepresented in the technology industry – in fact, only 19% of the tech workforce are women. PWC research found this gender bias starts at school and carries on at every stage of women’s lives.
Whilst there is much we can and plan to do at Quantela to encourage greater diversity across all positions in our organization, Anitha Gorli, our Lead Software Engineer, shares her perspectives about working in such a male dominated environment.
Entering the field
According to the same PWC research, only a small number of female students would even consider a career in technology – just 3% would say it’s their first career choice. This wasn’t the case for Anitha.
“I was attracted to a career in Engineering because I wanted the opportunity to solve problems and design things that really matter – things that could make the world a better place.”
With the encouragement and support from her family, Anitha pursued her passion at the Anil Neerukonda Institute of Technology and Sciences (ANITS) in India, graduating with an engineering degree in 2014.
Facing the bias
In the US alone, women make up only 21% of all software engineering roles. On the other side of the world, Anitha says she hasn’t experienced much bias in her career. Having worked as a software engineer for nearly 10 years – with more than half of that tenure at Quantela - Anitha has witnessed full support from male and female colleagues alike and has never felt that her gender has been a hinderance to her career or progression.
“At Quantela, I have never been subject to any gender inequality; in fact, it’s the culture and work environment that made me come back to the organization after a short stint with another company earlier in my career.”
Being a role model
A lack of female role models is one of the key factors that may hinder young women from pursuing a technology career. Worryingly, only 22% of students can name a famous female working in technology; whereas two thirds can name a famous man working in technology. Whilst Anitha says she doesn’t have any role models in the industry, she is clear on her responsibility as a role model for her two younger sisters and brother who are still studying. Speaking about her family, she said:
“I want to show my family – anyone – that you can be anything you want to be as long as you follow your passions and strive to forge your own path, regardless of any stereotypes.”
Whilst being very self-driven and motivated, Anitha believes industry changes are necessary to address the gender imbalance within engineering, and the technology industry more broadly. “Looking ahead, I’d like to see greater flexibility and leave support for women to be able to manage family commitments, and greater support to enable women to return to the office after a career break.”