WiT Hyderabad chapter aims to help advance women’s participation in STEM throughout technology education and career paths by celebrating successes, overcoming adversity, building professional networks and providing job opportunities. Several initiatives such as specific communities for IoT, cloud computing, healthtech etc., hackathons, mentoring through WiT allies and development programs for women in different stages of their careers are underway.
From helping women start their careers in technology and transition from manager to leader, to helping them manage their maternity period without hampering their professional life, and second career commencement and support, the WiT Hyderabad chapter is contributing towards fulfilling the dual aim of meeting the industry-wide demand for skilled technologists and improving women’s progression and representation in a gender-diverse STEM leadership. The chapter is currently being led by Optum.
We have over 5 participants in the Hyderabad Chapter led by Optum. These organizations focus on different projects under chapters based on the following pillars:
WiT in partnership with organizations provides programs to reach out to schools and colleges.
Companies engage with faculty, students and parents with focus to encourage and enhance more girls to join STEM and technology domain. This is being done through specific education programs focused on generating awareness in STEM subjects and through real-time experiential learning.
WiT Allies: WiT provides a platform for organizations to support upcoming talent across industry through mentorship program to enable careers in STEM.
WiT Development Programs: It supports programs for women who are in early-mid career stage and leadership positions. It aims to give them an opportunity to understand workplace challenges such as work-life balance, stereotypes career advancement barriers, workplace harassment etc.
WiT in collaboration with organizations support in hiring and staffing of talented women in technology.
In order to shift the needle for gender-based hiring in STEM.
We conduct ‘career fairs’ with a focus on recruitment activities carried out by organizations.
INITIATIVES & IMPACT
The WiT Hyderabad chapter is working on 4 tracks, with focused initiatives across education, scholarships, mentoring and second careers
Abhyasika (Free Study Room) a student-centered activity for girls residing in slums to help address the difficulties they face resulting in an increase in school dropouts at an early age. Mobile Science labs to stimulate interest in Maths and Science by providing an opportunity to conduct experiments. Math and Science competition to challenge girls to think critically.
Mentoring through WebEx sessions in partners organizations, sessions in colleges, career fair and scholarship grants, second career mentoring and reverse mentoring to guide and support women at different stages of their careers in the stem domain through the learnings and experiences of accomplished women leaders in technology
To provide a platform for returnee women by creating awareness on career opportunities in tech through outreach and providing support on resume building, work etiquette and development programs as well as facilitating sessions on sensitization, skilling and leadership development to build executive presence & influence. Second careers also enables returning to work women by paid “returnships”.
As a part of the Girls rising in technology (GRIT) program, this workstream is designed to promote creativity and inspire girls to pursue STEM careers through real-time experiential learning. This will be made possible through scholarships for deserving students, reducing the financial barriers to pursue higher education for careers in STEM fields.
‘WiT Spark’ presented by Optum, a first ever virtual conference themed ‘Accelerating the new normal’ was held on 16 July 2020. With participation from over 50 top industry leaders and women entrepreneurs, as well as HR and Diversity practitioners, the day long conclave focused on actualising innovative solutions that are beyond the basic idea of the ‘new normal’ in the technology and digital world.
WiT Spark saw close to 5,000 attendees and the event led breakout activities like ‘Leadership Connect’, where participants could hear and interact with, (in a live chat) with industry experts on topics around future careers, workplace, inclusion, etc. and attend ‘Masterclasses’ on topics such as ‘deciding on an Entrepreneurial journey’, ‘securing oneself from privacy and data breach in the digital world’, among others.
A plan for a career fair is in the pipeline which will be conducted in collaboration with organizations in all WiT Chapters with a common objective of up-skilling, training and bringing employers and talented women in tech on the same platform.
Senior Director, OGS Finance and Accounting, Optum Global Solutions, United Health Group
Head, Data Solutions
Optum Global Solutions, United Health Group & Executive Sponsor, WiT Hyderabad Chapter
Software Engineering, Optum Global Solutions, United Health Group
Human Capital Partner
Optum Global Solutions,
United Health Group
Program Manager UHC Technology,
Optum Global Solutions,
United Health Group