We interviewed Abhishek Kumar, Managing Consultant at Sogeti on his experience and thoughts on diversity in tech.
My current role is Programme Test Manager, and I am responsible for Test Strategy Development, Test Planning, Test Management, Quality Assurance, Risk Management, implement Continuous Improvement. My role involves managing stake holders and their expectations, ensure the compliance and standards are in place. My role demands a combination of technical knowledge, leadership skills, and effective communication. They play a crucial role in ensuring that the software being developed is of high quality and meets the intended requirements, which is essential for the success of any software project.
I did not start my career in IT, When I first started job in 2003, I worked as a Research and Development Engineer for LG Electronics in South Korea. It was an interesting place, where I would understand how circuits work, and how we can use innovative technologies in Electronics. I did like the work, However my heart was set in IT, as I was always fascinated by how technological advances in IT are shaping the world and changing the way we live. I wanted to be part of this change and hence chose IT as career. I joined Infosys which at that time was India’s leading Software service provider. Its been a great journey since then.
We did have IT as subject in our University Course, However I majored in Electronics & Electrical engineering, I knew programming from my school and was proficient in C, Basic, Fortan, Pascal & Java.
The Tech industry has historically struggled with areas such as Underrepresentation, Gender Gaps, Lack of inclusion, Stereotyping and Bias, Educational disparities, Unconscious Bias & Pay disparities. Luckily, in our organization, there has been a lot of push and effort put in to improve diversity and inclusion and to encourage people to participate in diversity and inclusion training and setting diversity goals and targets. Our organization have also committed to publishing diversity reports and taking concrete steps to improve representation.
There are several reasons, I recently did a Pod Cast interview with a colleague of mine and she talked about How challenging it was for her to come from a south Asian background and convince her parents to accept that she wants to make a career in Tech. These social stigmas exist everywhere. Underrepresentation of various demographic groups, including women, racial and ethnic minorities, and individuals with disabilities, can create an imbalance in the workforce. This lack of representation means that the tech industry may not benefit from a full range of perspectives and experiences, which can stifle innovation and problem-solving. The lack of diversity often leads to inequalities in hiring, promotion, and pay, with underrepresented groups facing barriers to advancement in their careers. This inequality can be detrimental to individuals and create a sense of exclusion.
Many newcomers to the tech industry, regardless of their background, may experience impostor syndrome, which can hinder their confidence and advancement. I had a similar experience, where I did not have prior technology experience and had doubts, whether I will be able to succeed in this career.
Diversity recognizes and values the differences among individuals and acknowledges that people come from various backgrounds and have unique characteristics and attributes. Inclusion involves fostering a culture where diverse perspectives and contributions are not only accepted but also sought out and integrated into decision-making processes and activities.
In my opinion efforts to promote diversity and inclusion can include implementing policies and practices that support these values, this will help in creating environments which are conducive for individuals to excel in their career.
I personally never faced it; however, I have been vocal when ever I see such behaviour or malpractice in my social setting. Its important that individuals understand their rights. Always reach out for support from HR and your colleagues who can guide you in dealing with the situation.