Prestige (Singapore) - - TALK -

plat­form for anger, ha­tred and vil­i­fi­ca­tion.

As an out­spo­ken woman in tech­nol­ogy, I have re­ceived my fair share of ill-in­ten­tioned com­ments on­line and while I have made a per­sonal choice not to feed the nega­tiv­ity, I am also glad that I have re­ceived sup­port from great peo­ple who are unafraid to call out bad be­hav­iour when they see it — they keep me mo­ti­vated to con­tinue speaking my mind.

This abil­ity to con­nect to oth­ers with sim­i­lar ex­pe­ri­ences is in­cred­i­bly im­por­tant to me as a pro­fes­sional in the tech in­dus­try and as an ex­ec­u­tive — both places where women are the mi­nor­ity. Ac­cord­ing to a re­cent sur­vey by the Anita Borg In­sti­tute, a non-profit or­gan­i­sa­tion ded­i­cated to cham­pi­oning the rights of women, fe­male tech­nol­o­gists are still sig­nif­i­cantly un­der­rep­re­sented across in­dus­tries, hold­ing just 21.7 per­cent of tech­ni­cal roles. While there have been re­cent pos­i­tive shifts in the tech in­dus­try, I know that I have much more to do to help im­prove the sit­u­a­tion.

Work­ing in tech­nol­ogy for the past decade, I’ve been for­tu­nate that my ex­pe­ri­ences have been pri­mar­ily pos­i­tive. I am able to work in a safe and in­clu­sive space to solve real-world prob­lems with bril­liant peo­ple. Along­side other fear­less fe­male lead­ers and trail­blaz­ers at Thought­works, we con­tinue to pave the way for more women to build ca­reers in a tra­di­tion­ally male-dom­i­nated in­dus­try.

The prom­ise of con­nec­tiv­ity in which I have be­lieved since I was 17 has been re­alised in so many ways. Re­cently, I was asked to give a talk at a Women in Lead­er­ship Sum­mit. While pre­par­ing for the talk, I re­mem­bered a quote I heard about five years ago. I wanted to in­clude it, but didn’t know who to at­tribute it to. After much search­ing, I reached out to the woman who said it via Linkedin and was pleas­antly un­sur­prised at the re­sponse. She, a pi­o­neer­ing woman in the busi­ness world, was happy to share her own ex­pe­ri­ences and we now cor­re­spond reg­u­larly. I say “pleas­antly un­sur­prised” on pur­pose; it’s not a typo. It’s a good de­scrip­tion of my own ex­pe­ri­ence.

When­ever I’ve reached out to other women with hon­est cu­rios­ity, I’ve found a re­cep­tive and wel­com­ing re­sponse. This is one amaz­ing way in which tech­nol­ogy has con­nected peo­ple and as a woman in tech­nol­ogy, I feel pos­i­tive about the fu­ture of the in­dus­try and the strides we have made in ad­vanc­ing the role, in­flu­ence and con­tri­bu­tion of women. Ange Fer­gu­son is group man­ag­ing di­rec­tor — Asia Pa­cific at Thought­works, a global tech con­sul­tancy with the mis­sion to bet­ter hu­man­ity through soft­ware and help drive the cre­ation of a so­cially and eco­nom­i­cally just world

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