International Women's Day Panel Celebration at Portcities

Uncover how the speakers share their experiences in the tech industry, offering insights and strategies for empowering women.

In today's rapidly evolving technology landscape, the contributions of women are invaluable. 

However, despite their immense potential, women remain underrepresented in the tech industry. As of 2022, women hold only 28% of computing and mathematical roles, despite making up 47% of employed adults in the US, due to numerous challenges and barriers.

At Portcities, we recognize the importance of empowering women in tech and fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace culture. 

This commitment led us to organize a thought-provoking event titled "Women Empowerment in Technology," where we brought together Portcitizens from around the world. 

We are honored to host a panel of accomplished leaders to share their experiences, insights, and strategies for breaking down barriers and building bridges in the tech industry.

International Women's Day at Portcities

Breaking Barriers: Challenges Faced by Women in Tech

The tech industry has long been dominated by a male-centric culture, often leading to gender disparities and underrepresentation of women. 

Mylene Gable, Director of Portcities Americas, shared her personal experience, she felt that she needed to work harder, and was judged harsher as a Managing Director compared to her male peers.

Further, biases about women's capabilities exacerbate these challenges. Monisha Voonna, Director of Solution Consulting at ContentSquare, recounted a pivotal moment early in her career when a manager denied her a promotion because she assumed she might get married and stop working hard.

When discussing women's challenges in the industry, it is hard to separate the issue from self-imposed limitations. 

Yasmine Khater, a Brain Based Researcher, discussed how she faced challenges and overcame personal obstacles many times. 

She described her transition from the oil and gas industry to the tech sector, where she led sales teams predominantly composed of men. 

At first, Yasmine herself and many others doubted her abilities. However, a supportive mentor who believed in her provided the help she needed to become who she is today.

​Building Bridges: Strategies for Creating an Inclusive Environment

Creating an inclusive environment requires a multifaceted approach that addresses various aspects of the workplace culture. 

Two of them are harnessing self-confidence to empower other women and not shying away from opportunities.

Monieq Puspitasari, our vibrant Sales Manager for Portcities Indonesia, shared her own experience of creating an environment to empower herself and other women in her previous workplace, “Through regular meetings and briefings, I demonstrated that as a woman, I possess equal rights and am equally capable of managing responsibilities and seizing opportunities, just as my male counterparts are.” 

It is no secret that in addition to women's efforts, mentorship and professional development opportunities are critical in fostering and supporting women in tech.

"I remember in my first role, I was really happy being behind the scenes, just doing my own thing. And it was one of my leaders that looked at me, and he kept pushing me to take on more ownership and manage a project. Eventually, within two years, (I) managed a regional project," said Yasmine. 

Just as crucial to fostering inclusivity is to consider the essential role of open communication and collaboration. 

As Mylene emphasized, "I think it's something that should come naturally, promoting a safe place with no discrimination, maybe a lot of transparency and the salaries, a lot of communication between the employees."

As an example, Portcities has an inclusive recruitment process focusing solely on competency and cultural alignment with the organization. The job openings we post will never reference gender preference, sexual orientation, race, or other personal attributes.

Monisha gave her own two cents as someone with decision-making power in her work. "It's important for me to ensure that I am looking at the person’s mindset and passion rather than every other facade to ensure we are creating an inclusive environment for everyone."

Personal Journeys and Pivotal Moments

Throughout their personal journeys, the panelists encountered pivotal moments that challenged biases and stereotypes. However, these challenges often fueled their determination to lead by example and take pride in their achievements. 

“Some customers make the assumptions that I don't understand their business, because I am a woman.” Mylene recounted one of the instances where her knowledge and experience were constantly questioned.

“As a saleswoman, I’ve learned the importance of believing in my potential to forge new paths and close deals”, Monieq emphasized.

To illustrate her own journey, Monieq quoted “The Secret” by Rhonda Byrne and summarized that as individuals, women have the power to shape their own destinies. From embracing the mindset of strength and positivity, and taking pride in her own work and accomplishments, she knew for a fact that women can overcome any barrier. 

Recognizing and appreciating champions of diversity, regardless of gender, played a crucial role in any women’s  journeys. Yasmine acknowledged.
"If it wasn't for also the champions that I met along the way that sometimes I think we forget about - It's also been amazing because I've been stretched to dream bigger."

From Yasmine’s story, we learned why organizations must implement mentorship programs and psychological support resources to support diversity and inclusion efforts.

Webinar International Women's Day 2024

Empowering Women in Tech: A Vision for the Future

As we move forward, let us reflect the words of Monisha: "It's important for us to communicate that this is where we are [in terms of gender equality in the workplace]. These are the problems that we are having. How we plan to solve these issues." 

While more companies are addressing the gender gap in technology, women still only account for about 26% of the total workforce in the IT field, which is only a slight increase from the figure of 19% in 2019.

Through the insightful perspectives of our esteemed speakers, we've learned valuable lessons about overcoming biases, fostering inclusive work environments, and unlocking the full potential of women in tech.

At Portcities, we are committed to embracing diversity and inclusion within our organization and the broader tech community. We believe empowering women and promoting equal opportunities can drive innovation, foster creativity, and ultimately shape a more equitable and prosperous future for all.

Together, we can break down barriers, build bridges, and create an environment that celebrates and empowers women, paving the way for a more inclusive and dynamic future for future generations.

At Portcities, we welcome talented women with open arms. If you're ready to excel, we invite you to join our team!

Careers Unplugged - Juan Francisco Zamora
Francisco Zamora, Project Manager at Port Cities, explains what it takes to oversee projects successfully.