In a world increasingly driven by technology, the importance of diversity in the tech industry cannot be overstated. Women, however, remain underrepresented in this domain, facing gender biases and obstacles that hinder their progress. To shed light on this issue and explore ways to foster gender equity in technology, Collective for Equality sat down with Aartii Sabhaney, a passionate advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Till recently, Aartii was the regional Head of Enterprise Communications at a leading technology company. Her journey is as eclectic as her interests. Born in Indonesia, raised in India, managed regional roles in Singapore, and now residing in Australia, she brings a rich blend of experiences to her work. With a background spanning journalism, academics, marketing, and communications, she strives to make meaningful contributions to society.  Her enthusiasm for technology is palpable as she delves into its ever-expanding impact on our lives and the world.

Outside her professional endeavours, Aartii is deeply committed to championing causes close to her heart. She has conducted research on the underrepresentation of women in engineering, shedding light on systemic barriers that deter them from pursuing careers in male-dominated cultures.

Moreover, her personal experience as a caregiver has fuelled her advocacy for raising awareness about the challenges faced by caregivers, a cause she actively supports through her writing and collaborations.

As a gender scholar, Aartii understands the importance of supporting young girls in overcoming gender biases and stereotypes. She emphasizes the need for societal mindset shifts where individuality thrives. Aartii advocates for young girls to cultivate self-belief, build support systems, and seek mentorship to confidently navigate their career paths.

Drawing from her knowledge and experiences, Aartii highlights two best practices for workplace gender equity in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) sectors. Firstly, fostering strong communities where women feel a sense of belonging and can openly discuss challenges and successes. Secondly, analyzing gender diversity data to address the underrepresentation of women in these fast-growing industries and the pay disparities to find ways to increase female talent.

In the quest for innovation, Aartii underscores the immense potential of a diverse workforce. Studies indicate that gender-diverse teams outperform their counterparts, signaling the business case for gender equity. She advocates for organizations to prioritize inclusivity to unlock opportunities in the AI era.

To effect change, she recommends proactive measures such as providing role models, expanding networks, and fostering a culture of belonging. Aartii stresses the role of men as allies in achieving gender equality. Their advocacy and interventions, however small, contribute to a more equitable workplace. Organizations, she suggests, can engage male allies through initiatives like unconscious bias training, sponsorship, and mentorship programs.

From translating awareness into action to fostering inclusive cultures and addressing the dearth of female role models in leadership, the path to gender equity requires a concerted effort at all levels of society.

Aartii Sabhaney’s insights serve as a beacon of hope in the journey toward gender equity in technology. Her multifaceted approach underscores the importance of collective action, advocacy, and empowerment in creating a more inclusive and innovative future for all.