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Celebrating International Women’s Day with insights from women at HERE  

Celebrating International Women's Day 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, where innovation serves as the engine propelling progress forward, the demand for diversity and inclusion has never been more pronounced.

As the global community anticipates the arrival of International Women’s Day, a momentous occasion dedicated to celebrating the achievements and contributions of women worldwide, it's essential to reflect on the significance of gender diversity in the tech industry. 

Recently, the tech sector has witnessed remarkable advancements, with women increasingly taking on leadership roles and shaping the trajectory of technological innovation. Despite these strides, there remains a pressing need to further enhance gender diversity and foster inclusive environments within tech companies.

According to a report by The World Bank, women remain underrepresented in technology-related fields, comprising less than a third of the global workforce.  

International Women’s Day serves as a poignant reminder of the ongoing journey toward gender equality and the pivotal role women play in driving technological innovation forward. Across continents, HERE champions the voices and contributions of women, recognizing their role in shaping the future of technology.

"At HERE, we firmly believe that diversity is not just a checkbox; it's a cornerstone of innovation," said Sarita Sethi, Data Ops Program Manager.

"Women bring unique perspectives and skills to the table, enriching our collaborative efforts and driving us forward." 

Christina Arvanitaki, Product Owner, reflected on her journey: "The tech industry's allure lies in its boundless potential for growth and learning. At HERE, I've found a supportive environment that values my contributions and encourages my professional development." 

Pinar Balci, Learning Development Manager, underscored the importance of community engagement: "By actively participating in programs that promote women in tech, HERE not only amplifies diverse voices but also fosters a culture of empowerment and support." 

Women's History Month International Women's Day 2023

"At HERE, we firmly believe that diversity is not just a checkbox; it's a cornerstone of innovation"

 Sarita Sethi, Data Ops Program Manager

Journeys in tech 

The path to a career in technology often winds through a landscape of curiosity, determination and unexpected discoveries. For the women at HERE, their journeys into the tech industry showcase passion, perseverance and purpose.  

"I always had an inclination towards the tech industry," said Shefali Gala, Data Ops Program Manager. "As a computer engineer, pursuing a career in tech seemed like a natural choice for me. The key to making it big in every industry - including tech - is never giving up and staying consistent with your efforts." 

However, for others like Raziya Machliwala, GIS Data Engineering Manager, the journey into tech was a serendipitous discovery. "Initially, my career path was set on joining the finance industry," she said. "But a scholarship opportunity to learn programming changed everything. Learning to write software programs opened up a whole new world for me, setting my career on a trajectory I never imagined." 

At HERE, I've found a supportive environment that values my contributions and encourages my professional development.

Christina Arvanitaki

Product Owner, HERE

For some, like Kiranmayee Mhetre, Product Manager, the journey into tech was a convergence of childhood curiosity and evolving interests. "Initially, I wanted to be an architect," she said. "But witnessing the emergence of new technologies like mobile phones and the internet sparked my interest in the transformative power of the digital age. Pursuing a career in engineering seemed like the perfect way to explore this fascination." 

Yet, amid the diverse paths that led them to HERE, these women share a common thread of enthusiasm and inquisitiveness. "I was initially headed toward a career in the finance industry when I unexpectedly received a scholarship to learn programming," said Sonali Raokhande, Director of Engineering.

"Prior to that, I had never even encountered a computer. This scholarship proved to be life-changing, redirecting my career path towards the tech industry. It was through this opportunity that I discovered a passion for software development that I never knew existed.” 



"By actively participating in programs that promote women in tech, HERE not only amplifies diverse voices but also fosters a culture of empowerment and support." 

Pinar Balci, Learning Development Manager

Empowering women in tech 

In an era where gender diversity remains a focal point across industries, the tech sector stands at a critical juncture. Recognizing the imperative for change, HERE employees Paola Morvillo, Christelle L’hostis and Sarita Sethi shared insights into fostering gender diversity within tech.

Paola Morvillo, Head of Product Testing and Quality Analytics, underscored the importance of tech education for girls, involving boys in diversity initiatives and transparent recruitment practices. She also mentioned the significance of coaching women and celebrating their success stories to break leadership barriers. 

"Drawing from experience, over the past two years, we have doubled the representation of women in my team. This achievement can be attributed to our commitment to transparent recruitment practices, diverse selection panels and the use of unbiased job descriptions," said Paola. "In addition, it is essential to celebrate the success stories of women who have overcome barriers." 

Christelle L’hostis, Senior Director Analytics Foundation, acknowledged the persistent underrepresentation of women in certain tech roles. "Initiatives such as mentoring programs, diversity and inclusion training, and hiring practices can contribute to a more welcoming and supportive tech industry for women and other underrepresented groups." 

Sarita Sethi mentioned the importance of networking. "It would be beneficial to garner sponsorship for women participating in prominent tech industry events, thereby emphasizing their significance. 

"Events such as the Women in Tech Summit, Women Who Code CONNECT, Girls in Tech Catalyst Conference, Women of Silicon Valley and Women Techmakers Summit present invaluable opportunities for networking, skill enhancement and motivational experiences for women currently engaged in or aspiring to enter the tech sector. 

"Supporting attendance at these gatherings not only promotes gender diversity but also contributes to fostering a more inclusive and dynamic tech community." 

As we celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we at HERE are committed to creating meaningful change in the tech industry. By cultivating workplaces that are diverse and inclusive, we empower not only women but also drive innovation, paving the way for a brighter future for everyone.  

Happy International Women’s Day from all of us at HERE! 

Suzanne Van De Raadt

Suzanne van de Raadt

Senior Communications Manager

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