How Remote Work Can Solve Tech Industry’s Gender Diversity Problem

On the occasion of International Women’s Day last week, we discussed the importance of having more women in tech1. The female workforce requires a more flexible approach to work than its male counterpart. Prioritizing family and children often leads to a big break in women’s tech careers, following which they either have to return to work after a sabbatical or continue to extend their break to focus on their priorities. In the former scenario, women often have to start from scratch or compromise on salary, benefits, and place in the company hierarchy.

A study by Pew Research2 shows that 51% of women said that being a working mother was simultaneously detrimental to their career. Similarly, a University of Wisconsin Milwaukee study3 shows that one-third of the surveyed women had left their jobs again post returning from a pregnancy break “because companies weren’t flexible enough to accommodate work-life concerns.

The New Workplace

Instead of pressurizing women to choose between career and families, companies need to adapt more to the demands of the modern employee. Working environments need to be more flexible when it comes to working hours and location. Flexible work hours allow employees to strike a healthy work-life balance, thus automatically curbing attrition rates.

Remote working isn’t a benefit that can be allotted to some employees. It is how new office environments must be set-up to maximise employee productivity. Employees (especially female) must be allowed to work in a setting they feel comfortable in. It is one way of letting them know that they are important and necessary in the entire scope of things.


Busting The Myth

Remote working comes with a lot of unfortunate falsehoods attached to it. Remote employees are often looked upon as part-timers, slackers and even equivalent to freelancers. Even amongst the workforce, remote working is looked like something that deprives one of being a part of the in-office culture and benefits, and team meetings. This is one of the chief reasons why women have not yet fully adjusted to the idea of remote work.

Contrary to all the myths attached to it, remote work is thriving because it is showing positive results. Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom conducted a two-year-long detailed study that found that work-from-home employees showed higher productivity than their on-premise counterparts4. Additionally, employee attrition decreased by half among remote workers as they did not waste time in commuting, took shorter breaks, and had fewer sick days.

Women, especially feel more motivated to work more when they are working at their own pace. Women who work from home were also more likely to feel confident that the company understands their needs and concerns. This significantly reduces their stress levels.


Remote Employees, Healthy Employees

Employee health is one of the most critical but overlooked advantage of remote work situations. Employees that clock in minimal or no time in commuting for work experience comparatively lower stress levels.

Working remotely is also effective in the sense that employees who use public transport are more likely to pick-up regular flu and infections from public spaces. Women who work as well as look after a family, especially, need to look after their health more carefully. A good case in point is the current Corona Virus outbreak.

As the Corona Virus outbreak is declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO), more and more employees are choosing to work from home than being exposed to the deadly virus. Even Google has asked much of its global workforce (primarily in North America, Europe and the Middle East) to work remotely until April 10th5. It is a very effective step as avoiding contact with large groups can help curb the spread of the virus. Rather than risking employee health and having them take days off due to illness, companies prefer to let them work from home.

While the concept isn’t entirely new in North America and Europe, many companies in countries such as China, India, South Korea, UAE, and Iran are doing it for the very first time. It may be the beginning of new work culture for countries unfamiliar with the remote work culture and its advantages.

A cursory glance at the above points tells us that women working from home are bound to be more productive and effective. Every company’s leadership has a responsibility to ensure that its employees are provided with the best benefits which work directly in the organisation’s interest.

The discussion around women in tech has always centred around getting more girls to take up STEM disciplines as an academic option. The lesser-discussed aspect of the lack of women in tech is the fact that women face major hurdles if they want to continue their careers. Modern companies need to embrace remote work as a serious option to give their female workforce a common ground. It is from this common ground that women will be able to cross the hurdles, break the ceiling, and shatter the prejudices.

Our initiative, is a community-driven platform, that empowers women to take up remote working opportunities. The platform focuses on flexibility as a primary aspect for female talent, so they can choose the work they want to do on their terms. Our platform consists of profiles of over 2000 women who are looking for opportunities that offer flexible working conditions. If you would like to be a part of our ever-growing community of talented women, click here to register. If you are looking to hire the best talent specializing in niche technologies and domains, click here to find the perfect resource.

The Importance Of Having More Women In Tech

Former Chairman of the People’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong once proclaimed, “Women hold up half the sky”. Nowhere is this statement more applicable than in the technology domain. Women comprise 42% of the total number of Internet users in India. Relatively, only 34% of the IT workforce in India is comprised of women1. While that stat is encouraging if compared to the percentage of female workers in other more developed countries, the gender gap and lack of diversity is still a matter of acute concern for our country.

We have to accept the harsh truth that the representation of women in the tech industry has traditionally been very poor. A part of this blame has to lie with the faulty and prejudiced hiring practices of what is considered the ‘boys’ club’. Female workers are often considered a liability and a dent to the bottom-line of an organisation. This mentality needs to change, and it will only happen when the myths around the downsides of hiring women are shattered.

The Role Of Representation

While nearly half of India’s Internet users are women, not enough women work in tech to represent the users fully. Technology is used in almost all aspects of our lives today, and the demographic of users also decide the consumer pattern of the product. Websites and apps that help women with fitness, fashion, pregnancy, ovulation, parenting, etc. should be led by women if they are to cater to their target demographic accurately. For example, Chantelle Bell and Anya Roy invented a test device for women to self-run a test for cervical cancer. Sue Black is a computer scientist who founded #techmums, a charity for mothers that has online and offline classes covering technology basics. Tech for women, by women in tech, could lead to the opening of avenues to a whole new set of applications of technology hitherto unthought of.


The Case For Diversity

Gender diversity can be beneficial in the long run. According to a Morgan Stanley research2, an organisation with a better balance of men and women in the workplace can deliver returns with less volatility. As per the research, companies with higher gender diversity have delivered slightly better returns. A group of people, irrespective of gender, race with their own areas of expertise, would be better than a homogeneous group at solving complex, nonroutine problems. This is because individuals coming from diverse backgrounds bring diverse viewpoints towards a discussion.


The Leadership Argument

Unlike men, who approach leadership roles with a revenue-centric point of view, women adopt a more holistic and empathetic approach when they take up leadership positions. Due to their own necessity to balance their personal and professional lives, women leaders value the work-life balance of their colleagues and subordinates too. Additionally, women are more open to knowledge-sharing and are hence more likely to gel with their team, compared to men in leadership positions.


Addressing The Gap

The tech industry is seeing a certain gap in supply and demand. There are projects that companies see as feasible, but can’t find feasible enough resources to pull it off. Women often put flourishing tech careers on hold, to give priority to family or raising children. Although some women choose to return to work after maternity leave, a whopping 43% quit their job when faced with a choice between career and family3. This is another factor that affects diversity in the industry. While men continue to have an uninterrupted career irrespective of the changes in their personal lives, women are forced to make certain compromises. The way more of these women can be encouraged to jump back into the industry is by offering them flexible work opportunities. For women looking to tip-toe their way back into the industry, remote working is a great solution as it lets them work on their terms, and offers tremendous flexibility.


The Thought Of Future

One of the primary reasons why not many young girls would think of a flourishing career in tech today is the lack of women role models in the industry. More women in tech will lead to more women in leadership positions, which will ultimately lead to more women for young girls to look up to. It will encourage them to take up a career in the tech industry. As a result, hopefully, the need and importance of women in tech wouldn’t be something we’ll need to discuss another decade.

Bridging the gender gap in the tech industry is a challenging task that lies ahead of, but it most certainly isn’t something that is not possible. Other industries such as law and medicine, once seen as male-dominated professions, have gradually seen more women enrol for courses than men.


Technology is all around us. It has penetrated every aspect of our lives. As a result, the industry is bound to create more, and newer roles with every passing day. By encouraging more women to make or resume their careers in tech, we could address a possible shortage of workforce for these jobs.


At, we actively host female talent who want to work on their own terms. Shework is a community-driven talent outsourcing platform that addresses the traditional issues with hiring and recruitment, through the concept of shared employability. On this International Women’s Day, it gives us immense joy to introduce to everyone our newest platform –