Fostering a community for Women in STEM this International Women’s Day 2018

International Women’s Day (IWD) was commemorated across the globe last Thursday, 8th of March 2018. As Singapore continues to present opportunities for women in finance, science and engineering, it has resulted in a growing proportion of females in these fields. 

Similarly for this IWD, organisations in Singapore continue to spur conversations and encourage the participation of females within STEM.

Research by SheSays Singapore gathered that while 74% of young girls express an interest in STEM fields and its relevant sectors, more needs to be done to shape these young talents into leaders. Currently, only 5% of leadership positions within the technology industry for instance, are held by women.

According to Statista, which was compiled from various tech companies’ data, leadership roles for women in major tech companies hover at well below 50%.

Data from an Asia-Pacific study, commissioned by MasterCard, revealed that one in five females said gender bias is a reason why they would not consider a STEM career. However, this does not mean that organisations are not paving the way to encourage gender diversity.

What are some of the actions top companies within STEM are taking?

Standard Chartered Singapore x Lean In Singapore x Diageo #HeForShe 

Standard Chartered Bank offers mentorship, supports networking and strives to overcome unconscious biases to achieve gender equality in the workplace.

As such, leaders at Standard Chartered Bank Singapore participated in a Lean In event to share both their commitment to #PressforProgress and their personal journeys. The event included small group discussions led by moderators as well as group sharing on personal commitments and actions aimed towards empowerment.

In addition, Standard Chartered Bank also dedicated a page on its website to highlight its commitment to International Women’s Day. The page highlights research on economic empowerment amongst girls, their pledges and goal programmes.

Their goal is to ensure that women would occupy 30% of their top four levels of senior roles by 2020.

‘Today at Apple’ sessions and recruitment event

Apple’s latest Diversity Report showed a two percent increase of women employment at Apple since 2014. Although men still account for the majority of employees, Apple is consistently striving to improve the percentage of females in the team. 

For instance, Apple is hosting an 8-day series of ‘Today at Apple’ sessions in its retail store in Singapore, Apple Orchard Road. The sessions are hosted by women who inspire the Singapore community, and include topics like lyric writing, illustration, and coding with the Swift Playgrounds app.

Across the globe in Paris, Apple held a corporate recruiting event at Apple Marché Saint-Germain on the evening of the 8th.

General Assembly’s Wonder Women and Wine event 

General Assembly fosters an elite professional community made up of individuals and companies, through education and strategic career connections. As individuals and companies struggle to compete in an increasingly technological economy, General Assembly provides an award-winning, dynamic training to close this global skills gap.

They hold a series of courses ranging from:

  • Coding
  • UX & Design
  • Data
  • Marketing
  • Business
  • Career Development

As part of their agenda to foster an elite professional community whilst celebrating IWD, ‘Wonder Women & Wine’ hosted female leaders who spearheads local innovation. It included engaging, interactive, lightning talks and sharing sessions. The sharing sessions also highlighted challenges they faced, while providing key tips and strategies on taking action to #PressForProgress.

How will Huxley #PressForProgress?

Huxley, part of the larger SThree group held a Women In Tech event ‘Break The Glass’ last year which highlighted the key trends and concerns of females leaders within technology.

This 2018, Huxley will be hosting yet another Women in Tech event as part of their series. This would be driven with the aim to foster a female community within tech which can in time, improve gender diversity across all levels in the sector.

Achieving gender diversity is not a goal but a journey to improve the mindsets of people, and ultimately changing attitudes and behaviour. Do connect with Mark O'Halloran via LinkedIn or watch this space to find out more details about our upcoming event! I would love to hear your thoughts on how you have pressed for progress this IWD 2018 or simply comment on the type of Women in Tech events you hope to attend. 

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