“The number of women in tech is increasing but the growth path for them is not very lucrative”
Women are underrepresented in the tech sector —myth or reality? Last year, we launched a diversity series aimed at bringing the most inspirational and powerful women in the tech scene to your attention. Today, we’d like you to meet Sarika Sinha, Senior Software Engineer at IBM.
A research study by The National Center for Women & Information Technology showed that “gender diversity has specific benefits in technology settings,” which could explain why tech companies have started to invest in initiatives that aim to boost the number of female applicants, recruit them in a more effective way, retain them for longer, and give them the opportunity to advance. But is it enough?
Last year, we launched a diversity series aimed at bringing the most inspirational and powerful women in the tech scene to your attention. Today, we’d like you to meet Sarika Sinha, Senior Software Engineer at IBM.
Sarika Sinha, Senior Software Engineer IBM
Sarika Sinha is a Senior Software Engineer at IBM.
Follow her on Twitter @SarikaSinha1
What got you interested in technology?
When I was selected for Computer Science Engineering, it was my entrance to the world of technology. That was the first time I worked with computer and then there was no going back.
When I was in grade nine, I started liking Mathematics a lot and then decided to become an Engineer. Both of my parents are Doctors, my father wanted me to pursue a medical career but after hearing about my passion, he was happy to let it go.
My parents could not guide me much to prepare for engineering as they are Doctors, but they always supported me in preparation and encouraged me to do my best. My brother used to be more eager to find out the Engineering college test results. One of my uncles studied at IIT Mumbai and worked at ISRO, so listening to all his stories I always dreamed of becoming an Engineer.
I have been very fortunate to always get all the needed support from my family They all have been very encouraging and supportive. I have two lovely kids and I was able to go back to work within six months of their birth, both times.
A day in Sarika’s life
I currently work as Senior Software Engineer at India Software Labs, IBM India Private Limited. After going to the office at 8 AM, I clear emails and try to read on some technology stuff before planning my day’s work. After that, I prioritize my work for the day and try to finish the planned items in between the meetings. On Fridays, I prefer to dedicate some time to inventions; It can be a brainstorming session or reviewing the ideas by other team members.
I am overall satisfied with my career. I gave up the leadership role to came back to the development world which gives me more satisfaction and the flexibility to manage my time. Having six patents submitted to US patent office gives me satisfaction and encouragement to achieve higher goals.
Why aren’t there more women in tech?
First, all the girls are not so privileged to reach the level of higher studies due to social and economic factors. Even if they receive higher studies, they still prefer less demanding jobs like teaching or other time bounded jobs. They need a strong support system at home to be able to balance work and home duties. Unless the society as a whole treats women on par, we can not see an equal number of women in tech as well.
Challenges women in tech face
Women had to fight for the right to vote to the right to education, but slowly and steadily they are fighting through each obstacle. The number of women in tech is increasing but the growth path for women is not very lucrative due to various reasons like lack of networking, demand of putting extra hours etc. Leadership roles are more demanding and they are still crowded with men but slowly, women are achieving top positions.
Women in STEM
The world would be much more beautiful and easier for women if we had more women in STEM. It would have a major impact on all the social, economic and cultural fronts. Especially in a country like India, where girl literacy has still not reached the optimum level, it will give a big boost to the confidence level of all women.
It comes along with the respect and the feeling of empowerment. Currently the burden of managing the house and children is mostly with the women, hopefully, this will bring the acceptance of equality in the real sense.
Don’t miss our Women in Tech profiles:
- “Technology reflects the people who make it”
- “In the right company, working in tech is a great career”
- Why women fall out of the tech pipeline
- Breaking the mold: ‘It’s not that you’re good — it’s that you’re female’
- How to avoid the culture of male programmers
- Creating an equal playing field is about more than just teaching someone coding skills
- The more women you see in STEM, the less intimidating it is for others to join
- The tech industry tends to lose women along the way. Change is underway
- How to get (and stay) into the tech industry: Tips & tricks for women
- Transitioning into a tech career? Silicon Valley culture is one of the biggest initial obstacles
- Abby Kearns: “Diversity ensures continuous innovation”
- “In technology, you become a lifelong learner — More women should embrace this career”
- Cultural impact is not driven by gender, but by diversity
- Everyday superheroes: “I don’t have a role model, my career was based on my mistakes”
- Diversity talk: For tech, it’s less about a pipeline problem and more of a marketing problem
- Diversity talk: It’s important to receive support from tech communities
- Everyday superheroes: Women just need to see more of us — techie women
- Anyone who wants to learn and grow won’t continue in an industry that tells them they are stupid
- There is too much allowance for tolerating toxic people in tech
- Coding myths and how finding communities like Hear Me Code helps you learn best
- 3 strategies to try out if you want to support women in tech
- Young women carry less career gender bias and more media influence
- Women are often pigeonholed into “soft skill” roles and pushed away from engineering
- Diversity talk: Many women suffer from the impostor syndrome
- How to succeed in tech: Shutterstock’s Rashi Khurana gives her tips
- Diversity talk: Using lingo is making tech sound harder than it really is
- Diversity talk: “We can’t expect men to hand us equality on a silver platter”
- How to succeed in tech: Agnès Crepet gives her tips
- “Many people still need to be taught that diversity is more than just a trend”
- “Many companies lack the infrastructure & career growth opportunities to support female employees”
- “Diverse teams can help prevent unhealthy competition that occurs sometimes in male-dominated teams”
- How to succeed in tech: Testlio’s Kristel Kruustük shares her tips
- “As the tech field becomes cloud-based, the flexibility and remote work culture will grow”
- How to win the diversity battle: Tips from Atlassian’s Molly Hellerman
- Diversity talk: “Women should not be herded into a career to meet quotas”
- “The tech industry can move even faster by increasing the diversity of talent”
- Diversity talk: Even if your team is not very diverse, what matters is that they value you
- Diversity talk: Exec reveals her secret to success — Always be curious
- How to win the diversity battle: Tips from GitLab’s Barbie Brewer
- Diversity talk: Tips from Lisk’s Gina Contrino on how to succeed in tech
- “The combination of tech IQ and people EQ can set you apart in the tech world”
- “Mentorship, acceptance, and trust are really important in fostering gender diversity in the workplace”
- The tech industry is not solely responsible for pushing gender diversity
- “There isn’t enough clarity on what it means to work in tech and to be a woman in tech”
- Diversity talk: Exec reveals her secret to success — Become comfortable with change
- Diversity in the AI world & how imposter syndrome is vital!
- “Even if women decide to work as developers because they are passionate and qualified, they are sometimes treated like diversity hires”
- “We need fewer WiT luncheons and more women coding & deploying projects side by side with men”
- Diversity talk: How to overcome challenges in the workplace
- “We need to increase the awareness of the benefits and challenges of diversity”
- Diversity talk: The biggest obstacle we currently face is the idea that equality is here already
- How to succeed in tech: “Go ahead and do it. This is a great option for women”
- “I think the topic of diversity is viewed very narrowly to only mean race or gender”
- Breaking the mold: “Women are not solely responsible for solving the diversity challenge”
- How to succeed in tech: Katerina Skroumpelou gives her tips
- How to get (and stay) into the tech industry: Ana Cidre shares her tips & tricks
- Diversity talk: “We need to ditch the idea that women don’t love their careers as much as men do”
- How to succeed in tech: Samantha Quiñones gives her tips
- Diversity talk: People who act as gatekeepers in the tech community are part of the problem
- How to succeed in tech: Tzofia Shiftan shares her tips
- Diversity talk: “Tech is one of the most flexible and evolving industries that can work in women’s favor”
- Diversity talk: “If you want to advance, make it known and be persistent. You’ll need a thick skin”
- How to get (and stay) into the tech industry: Sherry List shares her tips & tricks
- How to win the diversity battle: “Well behaved women rarely make history”
- Diversity talk: “When dealing with challenges, it is not a time to be depressed or let self-doubt engulf you”
- How to win the diversity battle: “The tech industry is not as bad as it sounds”
- How to succeed in tech: Áine Mulloy gives her tips
- “Having more women in management roles can and will create a safe place for other women to flourish”