Leading up to International Women’s Day on 8th March, as we celebrate the achievements of women around the world, we must continue to look closely at gender equity in the workplace. While many industries, including technology, are making advances in becoming more inclusive, there is still work to be done towards being more diverse and open to all.

For those of us who have non-technical skill sets, have worked outside tech, and are looking for a career change, the transition can seem difficult. And for many women, the first step can be even more daunting because the global average of women in the tech sector is only 28%. This often translates to a lack of role models to inspire younger entrants to the field. AWS is proactively working towards breaking down these barriers and inspiring more women in India to pursue a career in technology.

“AWS has launched SheDares in India, in collaboration with local learning startup Aspire For Her and The Dream Collective.”

Gender equity in tech

Research from The Dream Collective, a global diversity, equity, and inclusion consultancy, has shown that there are several barriers to entry to the tech sector for women. These include a steep learning curve, not knowing where to start in terms of exploring tech career pathways, and lack of visible female role models. At AWS, we believe the future of tech is diverse in every sense of the word: gender, colour, belief, origin, religion, community, and more.

Demystifying tech

To help level the playing field and encourage women to consider joining the tech sector, AWS has launched SheDares in India, in collaboration with local learning startup Aspire For Her and The Dream Collective. The free online program features four, 45-minute self-paced modules focused on expanding perspectives, understanding transferrable skills, and supporting participants with pathways to build skills and find tech job opportunities. The interactive learning experience aims to demystify careers in technology for professional women in non-tech industries and equips them for a move to the sector. Modules include practical advice for making inroads into the technology industry, worksheets to apply new learnings, a career skills quiz, and fireside chats with women sharing advice about how they successfully transitioned into tech.

“ The interactive learning experience aims to demystify careers in technology for professional women in non-tech industries and equips them for a move to the sector. ”

New beginnings

One such learner is Dipali Gupta, who rejoined the workforce after some time away from the workforce, and India. With more than ten years of experience in various industries, Dipali stopped working to follow her husband on his international assignments. Once back in India after a five-year break and able to consider a long-term position, Dipali completed the SheDares program. Through the program, she gained access to training as well as mentors, which gave her a huge confidence boost and convinced her that she had the potential to start a new career in tech. After completing training with AWS, Dipali found a new job as an IT project manager and is happily back in an office doing work that she finds fulfilling.

Another learner, Parna Mehta, worked in IT before taking a 13-year break, and was looking to modernize her skillset. Cloud technology appealed to Parna because she believes it enables innovation and it facilitates remote work from anywhere. After completing the SheDares program, Parna transitioned into the EdTech sector and is teaching kids programming and app building. The program introduced Parna to the world of cloud services and nudged her to take the first steps towards starting a career in the cloud.

SheBuilds also motivated Parna to explore free training and skills development opportunities provided by AWS, including live webinars, workshops, and self-paced training on the AWS Skill Builder portal. Parna was able to build foundational cloud knowledge through a one-day intensive live AWS Cloud Practitioner Essentials class. Parna feels that SheDares gave her wings, and she is proud to be one of 1 million-plus people that AWS has trained in India with cloud skills since 2017.

“Encouraging more women in India to consider a career in technology benefits both women who can pursue new opportunities and organizations across the subcontinent that are looking to tap into a pipeline of diverse talent. ”

More diverse, inclusive workplaces drive better outcomes for all. Encouraging more women in India to consider a career in technology benefits both women who can pursue new opportunities and organizations across the subcontinent that are looking to tap into a pipeline of diverse talent. Having a diverse workforce not only strengthens workplace culture; it also makes good business sense. The world’s most diverse companies are more likely to outperform less diverse peers on profitability. Through SheDares, we hope to open up new pathways and possibilities for women in India.