A 2018 LinkedIn report says that transportation, manufacturing and engineering sectors have the worst gender balance in India.
A 2017 survey by Belong states Indian tech-industry has only 26% of women in engineering roles.
A survey by DeZeen website in 2017 states that women occupy only 10% of the highest-ranking jobs in the world’s leading architecture firms.
Apparently, men have the skills that women don’t!
Gender disparity in certain sectors isn’t unheard of or new, but in 2019, these facts surely come as a shocker. Gender inequality in architecture, engineering, entrepreneurship or designing sectors runs so deep that it has become somewhat a norm now. And that is why we need to pay more attention to the women working there—to the young female students who harbour aspirations for these fields of work.
India’s workforce consists of only 25% of female employees—almost every field of work lacks women representation. And we all know it is not because women aren’t driven, ambitious or career-oriented, but because of gender inequality at the workplace and in society.
And that is why it is heartwarming for a young working woman like myself to know that there are platforms out there pushing women to the top, platforms created by women, for women. Platforms such as the Sheroes Summit, Women Entrepreneurs’ Summit, WADE ASIA, etc., encourage women to excel in their careers.
These platforms recognize the struggles of women not just the professional struggles but also their life’s battles, and nurtures the determination with which they do what they do, despite the fact that everyone expects them to fail or worse, simply burn out.
Leading from the front is the Sheroes Summit for working women, activists, Angel investors, singers and slam poets; everyone is welcome on the Sheroes stage. Sairee Chahal, started this initiative with the sole purpose of helping women on career breaks find flexible working conditions. The Women Entrepreneurs’ Summit is a government initiative dedicated to women entrepreneurs where everything from skill development to finance and technology are discussed.
WADE ASIA, the only and the largest summit in India for women in architecture, engineering and design, is another superb initiative started by yet another woman entrepreneur, Vertica Dvivedi. Her struggles have inspired her work, her fights and her life’s stories inspire many. With its fourth edition slated for October 11-12 at NSIC Grounds in Okhla (Delhi), WADE ASIA (which started as WADE INDIA in 2016) has the vision to help, encourage and congratulate women for their contribution to the workforce. This platform helps young students of engineering, architecture and design to learn from the industry stalwarts and women who have been on a long break from the industry to find their way back to the mainstream workforce. It provides a stage not only to discuss but also to network with peers while being inspired by eminent women who have successfully managed to break the glass ceiling.
What makes these initiatives special, you ask? Other than the fact that women are given a voice here, these events are inclusive. Whenever women come together to build each other up, they think creatively, uniquely and with empathy. These initiatives don’t just empower women but also promote sustainability and green ventures. The WADE ASIA awards and conference this year, for instance, will have in attendance architects and engineers who have worked extensively for the betterment of Mother Nature. Even their theme has been chosen, keeping in pace with today’s time: Woman, Water, Workmanship.
Even though women are considered emotional and all about their feelings, just like every resourceful woman we all know, they have used it to their advantage. Yes, we are emotional, and we use these emotions to drive us, but we are not weak because of them, we are passionate and compassionate; just waiting for the right platforms to give flight to our dreams and ambitions.