EY’s Helene Dingreville explains why showcasing women in tech who have a positive work-life balance could help make the industry more inclusive.
It was International Women’s Day earlier this week and, as always, we were inundated with pitches to profile women doing wonderful things in science, technology, engineering and maths. But, as our editor Elaine Burke explained on the day, we write about the work women are doing year-round here at Silicon Republic.
Helene Dingreville, head of decision sciences and operational research at EY, agrees that women in STEM need greater, more consistent visibility. She recently spoke to us about the importance of showcasing women who are working in tech as it can help others follow in their footsteps.
And what’s even more important, according to Dingreville, is to show that many women in tech have a good work-life balance. For her, for example, having both a career and a family was important.
“It’s important to show examples of successful women in technology and show that we can have the right work-life balance,” she said. “I’m a mum of four, I have a busy family life and I also have a successful career in technology that I really enjoy.”
Dingreville is confident that the technology sector is more open to women today than it was 20 years ago. But she emphasises that we still have work to do.
As well as shining more of a light on the women already working in the industry, she believes that making more STEM subjects available to girls should be a priority if we want to build a strong pipeline of talent.
“There’s still a lot of schools that are single sex and, obviously, the subjects offered in those schools are those most in demand. So there’s not enough flexibility for a woman to take on more scientific and more technology subjects, because they’re not offered.”
Why does this need to be a priority? Dingreville summed it up simply. “Women are important to the tech industry because we represent half of the population, and technology serves the full population.
“So taking into account all different aspects of people’s views, people’s way of being, is critical. You can’t have only one gender, because it wouldn’t represent everybody. So it’s important to make sure we have that balance.”