In a comprehensive dialogue with Collective for Equality, Raen Lim, Group Vice President, Asia at Splunk, provides an in-depth exploration of workplace gender equality, drawing from her extensive experience and commitment to fostering inclusivity in the tech industry and beyond.

Raen Lim’s insights provide a comprehensive understanding of the strategies and initiatives necessary for promoting workplace gender equality. Through mentorship, education, responsible AI practices, and inclusive leadership, organizations can create environments where diversity flourishes, and everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

Raen Lim’s journey in the tech industry spans over two decades, characterized by a blend of passion for technology and a commitment to driving positive business outcomes. With a background primarily in marketing, Raen found herself drawn to the transformative power of technology in enabling business success. “Technology has always been an enabler of business,” she notes, “and I’m always very excited about the stories that lead on from how technology enables business to improve revenue or enhance customer experience.”

Throughout her career, which includes stints at prominent organizations like Oracle, Salesforce, and Symantec, Raen has navigated the challenges of being a woman in a predominantly male-dominated field. Despite not having a technical background, she has thrived through her dedication and expertise in leveraging technology for business growth.

Nurturing Future Leaders: Mentoring and Advocacy

Beyond her professional roles, Raen is deeply involved in mentoring and advocacy initiatives aimed at nurturing future leaders, particularly women. As a mentor at Singapore Management University’s startup incubator and a board member at the Singapore National Cooperative Federation, she actively supports the development of aspiring entrepreneurs and leaders. “I’m really passionate about giving back to the community,” Raen affirms. “Mentoring to me is really a very big topic because I’m really passionate about it.”

Raen acknowledges the gender disparity in STEM fields and emphasizes the importance of early exposure and education in addressing this imbalance. Through initiatives like coding workshops for young girls and partnerships with educational institutions, Splunk is actively working to inspire and empower more women to pursue careers in technology. “There’s a lot more that we can do to encourage more women to choose a career in STEM,” Raen asserts. “Early exposure is key, where we should provide opportunities for young girls to explore STEM subjects.”

Promoting Responsible AI: Ensuring Fairness and Inclusion

In today’s digital landscape, responsible AI practices are crucial for ensuring fairness and inclusion. Raen highlights Splunk’s commitment to ethical AI development, with principles centred on accountability, transparency, privacy, fairness, and resilience. “Responsible AI ensures that algorithms and models are fair, unbiased, and avoid discrimination against individuals,” she explains. “At Splunk, we have established principles to guide our AI usage and product development.”

Raen also emphasizes the pivotal role that men play as allies in advancing gender equality in the workplace. By challenging gender stereotypes, advocating for diversity initiatives, and amplifying the voices of women, men can contribute to creating a more inclusive culture. “Men can actively seek out diverse viewpoints and create a safe space for women to voice their opinions and ideas,” Raen suggests. “Their support and advocacy are essential for fostering a culture of respect and equality.”

Lessons Learned and Advice for Aspiring Women Leaders

Reflecting on her own experiences, Raen offers valuable insights and advice for aspiring women leaders. She emphasizes the importance of confidence, resilience, and a growth mindset in navigating challenges in the workplace. “Having a high level of self-confidence and being assertive is a starting point to overcome any form of gender bias or obstacles,” she reflects. Raen encourages young girls to set ambitious goals, cultivate strong support systems, and embrace opportunities for growth and learning.

Looking ahead, Raen envisions a future where women have equal opportunities and representation in the tech industry. With initiatives like Splunk’s commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, she believes that organizations can create environments where diversity thrives, and everyone has the opportunity to succeed. “I do think that there’s a future where women will have more equal opportunities and representation in the tech industry,” Raen affirms. “We’re already seeing that happen.”