Dr Carrine Teoh

In the realm of technology, where innovation reigns supreme, fostering gender diversity isn’t just a moral imperative; it’s a strategic advantage. Dr. Carrine Teoh, a seasoned professional with a background in both engineering and cybersecurity, sheds light on key insights and best practices to empower women in the tech industry. Through her experience and expertise, Dr. Teoh emphasizes the significance of addressing biases, nurturing talent from a young age, and fostering inclusive workplace cultures.

Malaysia-based Dr. Teoh’s journey began in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, leading her to delve into the nascent field of cybersecurity. She currently serves as the President (Cyber Security & Governance) at the ASEAN Chief Information Officer Association. Reflecting on her trajectory, she notes, “Opportunities arise when the time comes.” Her transition underscores the importance of adaptability and seizing opportunities as they emerge, regardless of gender.

In this conversation with Collective for Equality, Dr. Teoh’s insights offer a roadmap for empowering women in the technology sector. By addressing biases, nurturing talent, fostering inclusive cultures, and championing diversity, organizations can unlock the full potential of their workforce and drive innovation in the digital age.

One of the fundamental learnings Dr. Teoh shares is the need to confront biases within oneself. She advocates for young girls to embrace challenges and enhance their knowledge while seeking supportive mentors. “Women empowerment is an important start,” she asserts, emphasizing the role of mentorship in overcoming gender obstacles.

When it comes to workplace gender equity, Dr. Teoh stresses the pivotal role of HR teams and leadership. “Don’t stereotype,” she advises. Encouragingly, she highlights the importance of CEOs and Managing Directors leading by example, setting the tone for inclusive hiring practices and organizational culture.

Dr. Teoh champions the idea that diversity fuels innovation. “Creativity and innovations increase tremendously by having more women in the team,” she states. Recognizing the unique perspectives and problem-solving approaches women bring, she underscores the value of diverse teams in driving impactful solutions.

To address the gender gap in STEM roles, Dr. Teoh advocates for early intervention. “Curiosity and love for maths and sciences need to be nurtured at a young age,” she suggests. By fostering a culture of inquiry and support within schools, families, and communities, more women can be encouraged to pursue careers in technology.

For companies committed to gender diversity, Dr. Teoh emphasizes the importance of balance at every organizational level. “A company should have a balanced female/male proportion,” she asserts, highlighting the significance of diversity in decision-making bodies like the Board of Directors.

Regarding the role of men in achieving gender equality, Dr. Teoh emphasizes mutual support and policy implementation. “Both women and men should be supportive,” she states, stressing the need for organizational policies to prevent unwanted behaviour and ensure a safe working environment for all.

Reflecting on the challenges faced by corporate leaders in achieving gender equality, Dr. Teoh underscores the importance of fairness and data-driven decision-making. “Leaders should evaluate based on skills and data,” she suggests, emphasizing the need to minimize pay gaps and promote equal opportunities.