Supporting Women in (Gov)Tech Beyond International Women’s Day
As the lead technology agency in the public service, we have always strived to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace to support innovation, which is better unlocked by the appreciation of varying perspectives and respect for different ideas. Part of our organic efforts has been to support women in tech, both within GovTech and outside, including girls.
Last year, we were among more than 50 companies that took part in the SG Women in Tech Corporate Pledge to signal our commitment to create a conducive environment with a support system to attract, retain and develop more women in tech. In particular, we pledged to:
- Drive mentorship and development of female talents to help bolster our female tech talent pool in SG;
- Strengthen awareness and knowledge on gender diversity and inclusion across the organisation, through education and training;
- Establish a Women@GovTech employee resource group, to lead and chart future initiatives to support the development and retention of female employees.
“The SG Women in Tech Corporate Pledge was made during International Women’s Day in 2021 by more than 50 tech companies. Companies pledged to address different needs and goals to ensure a conducive and supportive environment for women in tech”
A year on, we have fulfilled our committed actions, which set us up to continue on this agenda more intentionally. With the formation of the Women in (Gov)Tech Employee Resource Group (WiG ERG), led by a strong core team of 9 in the executive committee and with the backing of 3 executive sponsors, we are able to go further in fostering a more inclusive community at GovTech which encourages everyone, especially women, to share their experiences and forge strong bonds with one another.
Women in (Gov)Tech 2021/2022 executive committee members
For International Women’s Day 2022, we joined the world in commemorating the occasion which bore the theme of #BreakTheBias. However, we recognise that it would take more than pledges to overcome biases, so we have planned several initiatives for the months ahead to help GovTechies become more familiar with the topic of diversity & inclusion and encourage personal actions to support underrepresented communities, including women in tech. Here are some of them:
Addressing unconscious bias and its implications
The ability to #BreakTheBias requires awareness of how we might prefer a particular person or thing in an unfair way, which is normal, and recognition that we can change for the better! Unconscious biases are assumptions made about individuals or groups unknowingly in different contexts, and the repercussions are differential treatments to these individuals or groups that have been prejudiced against.
Did you answer the call to make a pledge to #BreakTheBias? If not, we can still be proactive in understanding the biases we might have and be committed to reducing biased decisions or unfair judgement, beyond the month of March!
Some of the #BreakTheBias pledges made by GovTechies in March 2022
In the coming months, our WiG ERG is planning brown bag sessions and workshops for GovTechies to learn about unconscious bias, and other concepts that would affect GovTech’s ability to attract, recruit, develop and retain diverse talent.
Be a part of a Women in Tech community
There is strength in numbers, so we urge all women in tech - and allies - to join a community - be it one at your workplace or in the industry. Here are some industry communities or initiatives you could join or get involved in:
In the meantime, membership to our own WiG ERG continues to grow, with more activities being organised to provide support for career growth and build a trusted internal community. One such activity is a monthly series ‘Career Conversations’ - held virtually - featuring candid sharings by women leaders in the public sector and industry was launched in November 2021. Taking place during lunchtime on GovTech’s No-Meeting Friday, which takes place every last Friday of the month, each session has been well attended by female - and male - GovTechies, with encouraging feedback.
Let us rally for a better environment and supportive culture for women to thrive in tech. Like what Wilem Tan, one of the executive members of WiG ERG, shares, “Male allyship is key in pushing for the change we want to see - a tech industry that is gender-blind.”
Members of the WiGT ERG (left to right) Sowmya Ramakrishnan, Wilem Tan, Alicia Lee who were featured in our International Women’s Day content series on social mediahttps://www.tech.gov.sg/media/technews/supporting-women-in-govtech-beyond-international-womens-day