Road for women to become tech innovators: Preethy V. Warrier, IEEE Senior Member

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Road for women to become tech innovators: Preethy V. Warrier, IEEE Senior Member

Academic, industry, technology, entrepreneurial, managerial and leadership positions have all seen women, but very minimally. It took years for women to break the barrier of entry, come out of their shells and showcase their potential and capability in handling multidisciplinary tasks. Yet becoming innovators in technology was still a stretch as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) education was not something women were frequently involved in. Over the years, scenarios and preferences changed and the importance of having a basic understanding of technology gained more attention. According to a study by Intel and consulting firm Zinnov, women technologists constitute nearly 30% of the overall tech force.


Gender diversity and gender equality are key performance indicators of every organization now. For example, women’s participation in the IT sector has increased from past years when compared to other sectors. Alternatively, the energy industry still sees fewer women in careers. According to the LinkedIn Opportunity Index 2021 report, while the Asia Pacific average stands at 60%, with 85%, Indian women face the strongest gender biases across the Asia Pacific countries. Furthermore, the pandemic has disproportionately impacted women with the pressure of juggling home and work. 89% of women believe to be negatively impacted by the pandemic.

The challenges faced by women are different and more in number. For example:

Work-life balance


This would be the first answer for all working women when asked about what difficulties they are facing. They must balance work and family and prioritize accordingly. What is the most important, needs to be carried out first. It will be important to set short-term and long-term goals considering both aspects of life and prepare for each stage.

Imposter syndrome

Women often experience imposter syndrome. Men also have it, but the impact is much less. It is an internal experience of believing that you are not as competent as others perceive you to be. You don’t feel confident in your achievement until somebody convinces you. It requires some practice and understanding of your potential to overcome this. Breaking this barrier boosts your confidence level and improves the quality of your work.


Decision making

Women can often overthink in the workplace. It will be important to encourage confidence in your decision-making. This will propel women forward into more leadership roles and instil another layer of trust in their skills and capabilities.

Peer pressure


In male-dominant sectors, women can experience more pressure from colleagues. The race to become the best performer starts as soon as you enter the job. Constant comparisons can lead to feelings of inadequacy or anxiety. It is important to stay calm and address problems that arise, carefully and wisely. Performance is not measured by the number of hours spent on a task; rather it is based on skill, accountability, and quality of the deliverables.

Being a technical expert is challenging. For some, it takes years to get to that position. Having technical expertise requires investing additional time and enhancing your skills. Numerous opportunities are available in this connected world and I would like to share some of my experiences and learnings from being a tech-innovator.

Utilizing learning platforms


To become a tech-innovator, you must stay up to date with emerging technology trends. Developments happen within short time spans. As Darwin’s Theory of Evolution says, “survival of the fittest”, the current competitive landscape opens opportunities only for those who are willing to learn. Leveraging digital platforms can help enhance your knowledge and skills. It is important to always have a level of passion and enthusiasm for learning.

Networking & Collaboration

Connecting with like-minded people is common. Getting out of your comfort zone and interacting with others demands courage and brings forward new opportunities. Maintain as many good relationships as possible with people around you. It is important to have people who can help with your professional and personal developmentMentoring programs have also gained visibility and attention worldwide. One-to-one mentorship is very effective and can guide you in the right direction.


Make reading a habit

Reading has lots of benefits (most of which you are already aware of). The more you read, the more you learn, which increases your passion for it. Learning with joy will always have a positive impact. It widens your critical thinking and improves problem-solving skills. Follow genuine sources for information and make a commitment to reading a certain number of articles a day and try to stick to it. Make notes as you go through them. During my free time, I read news related to renewable energy, which is my passion.

External engagements


I am an active member and volunteer of IEEEthe world’s largest professional organization for the advancement of technology. Through IEEE, I have been part of many educational, technical, and non-technical programs as a participant and organizer. It has given me technology updates and the joy of volunteering. The proper utilization of available IEEE resources like technical books and papers, volunteering opportunities, and engagement programs helped me in my career development. Find a similar working group that interests you and be active in it.

Following one’s dream is not so easy. Determination, passion, and hard work can help you achieve it!

“If it’s a good idea, go ahead and do it. It’s much easier to apologize than it is to get permission.” ~Grace Hopper

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