International Women’s Day 2023: Breaking Barriers and Empowering Women in the Workplace

International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8 every year to honour the contributions and achievements of women and boost gender equality worldwide.  It is important to recognize the strides made in gender equality and the role tech companies are playing in creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace for women. From mentorship programs and leadership development opportunities to flexible work arrangements and equal pay policies, tech companies are stepping up to support women and promote gender equality.

The theme for International Women’s Day 2023 is ‘DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality’ to highlight the significance of technology in bringing gender concerns to light. On this special occasion, CXOToday spoke to few women leaders to understand how tech companies are accelerating equality for women.



“It is essential to understand the various journeys women employees take to get to where they are, their diverse backgrounds, and their goals, objectives, and priorities. Recognizing and accepting differences in experience and skill sets is critical to the success of any effort to reduce inequality. Organizations can start by acknowledging these differences and taking the required actions to identify how to support an individual’s interests and aptitudes in order to help them be successful.

At CrowdStrike, we have a keen interest in bridging existing disparities and enabling the use of technology to create a safer, more sustainable, and more equitable future for everyone. We focus on supporting our people in growing their careers, with specific groups dedicated to women, parents, veterans, and people of colour, with the goal of expanding all of our people’s perspectives through meaningful connections and conversations with those they might not interact with on a daily basis.

Leaders have the responsibility of supporting women through mentorship programmes, peer training, induction, reskilling, and upskilling courses, which in turn will help nurture their growth. Also, mentorship and guidance from women who have had successful STEM based careers encourage others that there is a pathway for them. Such initiatives can allow women employees to gain knowledge and skills that can open up a variety of career paths within the same company.

 As part of my contribution to the field, I play an active role as a mentor to women in cybersecurity and to children as part of the Atal Innovation Mission. In partnership with BetterUp, our Learning and Development team provides 1:1 career coaching for women leaders and those returning to work from parental leave. Our employee resources groups and regional diversity teams are working with JoiaWay to provide self-advocacy workshops for women employees globally. CrowdStrike India also provides scholarships to girl students who are meritorious but are unable to pay for their education due to financial difficulties.

According to me, for some women who take on the leadership role, the challenges would be more on the personal front, which is balancing the needs of the family and the demands of work. I did have my share of a few testing times; however, with the excellent support of my family and colleagues at CrowdStrike, I was able to surmount them.”

-Jhilmil Kochar, Managing Director, CrowdStrike India



“Gender bias is mostly implicit in individuals’ nature – moulded by society, culture & experiences making it difficult for women in tech too, being overlooked for promotions, leadership roles, subject to harassment etc. However, there is hope, as awareness of gender inequality is growing, and efforts are being made to address it.

Work-life balance is the most cliched topic, it is also one of the biggest reasons, women are reluctant taking vital roles despite readiness or capability. To cope, Women leaders can prioritize their well-being by practicing self-care, delegating tasks, seeking flexible work arrangements, and relying on support from colleagues, mentors and family members.

At Ascendion, we are deeply empathetic and support our women employees in various ways. Our women employees, benefit from our work-from-anywhere policy and Ascend Again program that supports working mothers in returning to work. Our focus on empathy and support ensures that women have an equal voice and can perform their best. Our ‘Revive’ program is focused on celebrating current women leaders and building women leaders of tomorrow.

My personal advice as a woman in tech is to build strong networks, advocate for yourself, continuously develop skills to stay relevant, lead with empathy, take risks, step out of your comfort zone, and seize challenging opportunities.”

-Sangeeta Shetty – Senior Director, Human Resources at Ascendion


Trend Micro

 “Gender biases are unfortunately still pervasive in many fields, including technology. As a woman, it can be challenging to navigate these biases and succeed in a competitive industry. However, I firmly believe that with perseverance, hard work, and a supportive network, any woman can thrive in tech or any field of her choosing. Though the number of opportunities available to women in technology has been growing, some obstacles persist. Some of the biggest challenges faced by women techies today include a lack of representation in leadership positions, pay disparity, and work-life balance.

To cope with these challenges, women techies should actively seek out mentorship and networking opportunities, advocate for themselves and their colleagues, and continue to build their skills and knowledge through ongoing education and training. Attending industry events, seeking out female role models, and joining communities for women in the tech industry can also be helpful. Despite the challenges, numerous inspiring women have succeeded in the industry, demonstrating that it is possible to thrive and make a meaningful impact.

At Trend Micro, we are committed to creating a more diverse and inclusive workplace. We have several initiatives and policies that are specifically designed to support and empower women, including flexible work arrangements, mentoring programs, curated initiatives, and leadership training.

As we work towards a more equitable future in which more women can enter the workforce, we must continue to address the systemic issues that create barriers to entry for them. We also need to provide more support for women who are already in the workforce, through initiatives like affordable childcare, flexible work arrangements, and mentorship programs. It is important to remember that having more women in tech can benefit the industry by improving innovation and decision-making. My advice for women in tech is to stay focused on their goals, seek out mentors and allies, and never give up on their dreams.”

Kimi Guglani, Marketing Director for Trend Micro India and SAARC



“Despite numerous obstacles, women continue to break through glass ceilings – setting examples for future generations to thrive. To foster equality, organisations must acknowledge and support the diverse perspectives and experiences that women bring to the table in different realms of industry, science and technology. A one-size-fits-all approach never works when determining an individual’s true potential. Setting appropriate guardrails to recognise this before investing in the workforce should be front and centre for the C-suite should they want true equality to thrive.”   

-Poornima Ramaswamy, Chief Transformation Officer, Qlik



I understand how challenging it can be for women to come back to work after a break. However, I believe that women should remember that their skills and experience are valuable and with a little guidance and help they can bounce back. The tech industry offers several opportunities to build and stand for an equality-led future by providing the right opportunities, normalizing flexible working hours, ensuring safety for female employees, and being supportive of returning mothers.

As an employer, I am aware that it is crucial to concentrate on offering mentorship and career development programs that enable women to return to the workforce with ease. By taking these steps, we can promote equitable outcomes for women in the technology sector and accelerate the gender parity process.

As a leader, I am committed to providing a nurturing environment where women can pursue their careers and grow into leadership roles. I believe that when we invest in the development and growth of our female workforce, we not only create a more diverse and inclusive workplace, but also a more innovative and successful one. I am particularly proud of VMware’s VMInclusion Taara that upskills women on a career break, in the latest technologies, for free. Taara has gone on to become one of the largest programs in the country and every Taara candidate who restarts her career inspires us to continue to support the cause of a more diverse industry.

Roopa Raj is the Vice President, Head of IT, APJ and Global Head of Engineering, SaaS Transformation at VMware



 “In an increasingly digital-forward world, we are always striving to innovate, push boundaries, rethink old concepts, and solve problems. A key factor for businesses here is to build diverse teams that bring with them various perspectives, unique skill sets, and distinct experiences. Organizations need to think about creating inclusive, secure workplace environments for all that encourages employees to think beyond the box.

In sectors such as IT, which are traditionally considered to be male-dominated, women often encounter gender-based prejudice, at times even struggling to get their opinions heard. Leaders can tackle such issues by actively highlighting and supporting the perspectives and involvement of women. Learning about the perspectives of marginalised groups is a crucial first step in comprehending and creating a truly inclusive workplace. This entails fostering an atmosphere in which everyone’s views are acknowledged and heard, regardless of gender, colour, or ethnicity.

In order to eliminate bias and tap into a wide pool of people, the industry must employ recruiting procedures with the same level of rigour, understanding, and accountability that we do with our technology.”

– Jen Taylor, SVP & Chief Product Officer, Cloudflare


Wipro Limited


At Wipro, we are committed to support women’s career growth and promote equity by making digital tools more accessible to women, to bridge the digital gender gap. Wipro’s #HerCode program will help create a more inclusive and diverse future for women in technology, by providing them with the tools and resources they need to succeed. It aims to provide a comprehensive and supportive environment for women to thrive, through a curriculum designed specifically for women, considering their unique needs. This will also include a customized learning pathway focusing on equipping women with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in the tech industry.

Wipro Limited


Axis Communication

“Women’s representation in tech is important from a diversity and equity standpoint, and equally crucial for building an inclusive and innovative digital future. Despite efforts to close the gender gap in STEM fields, there is still a dominant perception of these careers being male dominated. Therefore it becomes important for businesses and organizations to continue their efforts to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace. This can include initiatives such as mentorship programs, leadership development programs, and outreach efforts to encourage more women to pursue careers in STEM. Additionally, imbibing a gender inclusive culture in tech can have positive effects on the broader economy. Several studies have shown that companies with more diverse teams tend to be more profitable and innovative, as they are better equipped to understand and meet the needs of their customers.

At Axis Communications, we currently have a 40:60 ratio of women to men across South Asia Pacific. We are very proud of this diversity and we continue to work hard to challenge the status quo to bring about a positive transformation in terms of women representation in the surveillance sector.

 -Monica Tomar, Regional Marketing Manager, South Asia Pacific, Axis Communications.


Intuit India

Intuit Recognizes the Significance of Having Diversity in the Leadership Teams

“Inclusive and transformative technologies, digital education, and skills supporting this disruption are the prerequisites for a sustainable future. Organizations need a self-sufficient, diverse workforce, well-equipped with design thinking, creativity, virtual working, communication skills, and openness. Supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion is how we bring different voices to the table—all intent on representing our diverse customers and solving their greatest challenges. Women leaders continue to play a crucial role in businesses today and this is an opportunity for organizations to further empower female engineers and scientists through proper learning interventions, mentoring, networking opportunities, prioritizing their wellness, providing supportive policies and infrastructure, and cultivating a diverse and inclusive culture. Intuit aims to incorporate inclusivity in all our operations. We say with pride that we have achieved 33% of women in technical jobs globally at Intuit. We recognize the significance of having diversity in our leadership teams. We support developing the talent we already have and ensure that women continue to advance and receive support both within and outside their jobs. We rely on our Assessing for Awesome program for a fair assessment of our candidates as part of this commitment. Our Intuit Again program aims to assist women in resuming their professions by updating their skill sets through a 6-month returnship program.

Additionally, we have internal communities like Tech Women@Intuit and the Intuit Women’s Network dedicated to networking, apprenticeship, coaching, mentoring, and offering resources and tools for lifelong learning. Our talent development initiatives at Intuit assist our workers in acquiring holistic leadership skills to manage the numerous roles as they advance in their careers as leaders. Our Intuit Rise – Girl Child Education program also emphasizes holistic development for girls and funding their education as a continuation of our dedication to DEI and enhancing the tech ecosystem around us.”

-Nidhi Gopal, Vice President of Engineering at Intuit India

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