International Women’s Day is not only a day for celebration, but for recognition too. At Commvault, we are fortunate to have great representation across the business, with an array of female leaders heading up departments, regions and global functions.
Without our female employees and leaders, we wouldn’t have the success we have already tasted so far. Which is why we are also taking part in the #ChooseToChallenge initiative, which tackles the current patriarchal stereotypes that still exist around gender equality and bias in the workplace.
We spoke with a handful of our female leaders in EMEA and APJ, asking them the big questions surrounding the challenges, issues and opportunities for women in tech. Check out their comments below.
Kate Mollett, Regional Director, Commvault Africa
“Throughout the pandemic, many working women, who are often the primary caregivers in their family, may well have been faced with having to incorporate new roles and responsibilities into their daily routine and it’s probably been very disruptive. It is also more challenging for a mother or wife to immerse herself in her work if she is trying to juggle her house, home, schooling, health and mental health of her family. I think these kinds of responsibilities fall unconsciously onto the shoulders of a mother and must represent a very real dilemma when having to make work / home choices.
“As we look to progress in 2021, I believe any initiative that has its roots in promoting equality, transparency and fairness can only have a positive effect on the corporate culture. It is troubling to hear of instances where two people with the same skill set, same role and responsibilities are not paid equally. Not only is it an unfair practice, and prejudiced, but when discovered can create an untenable situation that could result in key talent leaving the company. It’s a trust thing and it should not be a grey area or open to interpretation.”
“One way to demonstrate that female talent is being identified, nurtured and promoted is by having visibility of women in leadership positions. As a result of this, we may attract young aspiring female technologists to consider Commvault as an employer of choice and worthy of their consideration when looking for a role in the IT industry. It should in turn give Commvault access to a broader talent pool.
“To young women who are keen to enter the tech industry, I’d say back yourself. If I only took roles that I was qualified for or had experience in, I would not be where I am today. Be confident in your ability to step up, lean in and adapt. Remember that “smooth seas don’t make great sailors”. When you are faced with a tough or difficult situation, that’s when you are learning and developing. Don’t shy away from hard tasks, challenging roles or difficult conversations; they all represent some form of a growth opportunity. Network in a meaningful way. Try to establish meaningful connections. I am a keen networker and most of my roles and opportunities – in both my personal and corporate life – have come from people within my network.”
Tulin Green, Senior Director, EMEA Marketing
“The potential impact of COVID-19 on gender equality is such a huge topic: apparently 70% of all health and social-services staff globally are women! So it’s women who are bearing the brunt of holding societies together during the pandemic – be it in healthcare, social care, education and at home. For women who work in tech industries, I think they are probably impacted in the same way as women in other industries who are working from home – trying to juggle work with homelife, and for those with school aged children, also juggling everything with home-schooling.
“For women entering tech, I think that the marketing element of the tech industry is often most appealing. I lead a marketing function in the tech space and there is a definite attraction to marketing; 80% of my team are women. Where there is under representation of women in tech are in terms of software development, customer support and other ‘technical’ roles. This is due to a variety of reasons, such as early formative years, gender stereotypes in education and career choice. STEM initiatives are trying to address these shortfalls but companies in the tech sector can also do so much more in attracting and retaining female employees.
“For young aspiring females who are looking to enter the tech industry, I would offer the following advice: believe in yourself, because if you believe in yourself, then others will too; be eager to learn and find a great female mentor to help you; follow your dreams and power that passion you have in all things tech.”
Elke Steinegger, Germany AVP and GM
“It is very positive that 70% of tech companies are working towards gender parity, and almost every company has a diversity strategy or target to support this in place. Gender parity will tackle the skills shortage problem; it will also help to improve productivity and creativity, as well as collaboration in general, as multiple studies have proven.
“I personally do not see COVID-19 impacting gender equality for the portion of female talent at an early stage of their careers i.e. without family or kids. I sense that companies generally needed to become more flexible, agile or even more creative in order to attract and motivate top talent to make a job change in times of uncertainty. I see female talent in charge of childcare experiencing challenges finding new jobs. This is why society has a key role to play in this regard to avoid undoing all the progress that has been made, for example finding smarter childcare options.
“The software and software development sectors are two key areas of the tech industry that may appeal to potential female recruits in particular, as this is a segment with massive growth and therefore career potential. Consulting roles across the tech industry also come to mind, as a key part of these involves bringing new aspects or solutions to clients. To get into these careers, my advice to all young, aspiring female technologists would be: be brave, believe in yourselves, have a plan and dream big. Build your network, be open to learning and find a mentor.”
Eulalia Flo, Regional Director Iberia, Commvault
“It is so important for young women to have role models, not just celebrities but also in industries like IT where they want to pursue a career to fuel their aspirations. The IT and data security industry needs talent and diversity to face the many challenges that the future holds.
“My best piece of advice to any young aspiring female technologists would be simply, understand your strengths. You don’t need to be perfect to be good. Not only that, but the IT sector is as much of a team game as it is an individual one. Don’t do it on your own, find your allies and a mentor. Dream big!
“With the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, we have learned how working from home can be very effective. Providing flexibility to parents with younger children is key to ensure that we, as a business and as an industry, retain talent – and this is not only specific for women, but for men too.
“The tech industry should appeal to potential female recruits for a number of reasons.You’ll have the opportunity to leave your mark, to advance humanity and deservedly through the technological advances needed to face the challenges that lie ahead.”
Rachel Ler, VP and GM APJ, Commvault
“At Commvault, we believe in creating an all-inclusive environment no matter the gender. We inculcate respect, inclusiveness, kindness and awareness, treating others as they would like to be treated. Fostering this inclusive culture with authentic leadership demonstrating genuine care and being true to oneself can only help to bridge all stereotypes and forge a gender equal world.”
Yasir Yousuff, Senior Director, APJ Marketing, Commvault
“Diversity matters at Commvault, we trust employees, respects individuals and offers the freedom to make an impact. Being a change agent, mentoring women (and men) to achieve their leadership aspirations and to stand out from the crowd, stand for something good would pave the way for a more gender equal world.”
Kavitha Shivakumar, Director APJ HR, Commvault
“Commvault is fostering a culture that fuels innovation and champions diversity. This is an every day journey no matter the role or where you are at Commvault, every individual step taken to challenge stereotypes with respect, be a mentor, treat others fairly and equally will collectively make a difference towards a gender equal world.”
Aileen Tang, Head of APJ Field Marketing Campaigns, Commvault
“Gender equality is an important value at Commvault, and we constantly challenge ourselves to walk the talk. The workplace that recognises talent and skill objectively and impartially, providing equal opportunities for both genders in their career progression is on the right track to forge a gender equal world. I believe that when you take care of your team without bias, they will take care of the business, and you.”