Held under the theme “HeSheIT”, TechFemme marked the second year of the programme in the country
Microsoft (Thailand) Limited, recently hosted the TechFemme Thailand 2016 to encourage and inspire new gen participation in information technology (IT).
The programme is aimed to emphasize Microsoft’s policy on diversity and inclusion, and empower young Thais to do great things in the tech industry, making an IT career accessible to everyone.
According to McKinsey & Co. and LeanIn.Org, from 30,000 employees at 118 North American companies across 9 industries, women make up 36.8% of entry-level workers in tech; in other industries, women account for nearly half of entry-level workers. Furthermore, the data gathered from 9,000 male and female employees from 26 tech companies, paints a bleak picture as the women, currently working in the IT industry feel pessimistic about their future career prospects with almost 30% thinking that their gender might prevent them from being promoted or getting a raise.
“Even though many women perceive IT careers as more suitable for men, we at Microsoft believe that tech world is for everyone. It doesn’t matter whether you are a man or a woman. IT industry is evolving at incredible speed and all you need to do to succeed is to be passionate about technology and constantly yearn for more knowledge. Self-Learning is a must.” said Ekaraj Panjavinin, Country Lead, Consumer Group Microsoft (Thailand). “IT is at the core of all things today, from lifestyle to data research, we have a lot of talented people, both women and men working in the industry.”
To support his words, TechFemme 2016 featured a remarkable line-up of successful women in IT including Meneerut Anulomsombut, CEO, Garena Online (Thailand), Pornthip Kongchun, Trainee, Jitta.com, Asst. Prof, Dr. Karndee Leopairote, Managing Director, C-ASEAN, and Chutima Sribumrungsart, Human Resources Director, Microsoft (Thailand) Limited.
“I believe that to work in IT, you don’t necessarily have to come from IT background, but you definitely must have passion and desire to learn. After all, the more you learn, the more you get,” said Meneerut Anulomsombut. “Furthermore, if you work in tech, you gain experience across various sectors, so you can easily move to other industries if you wish to.”
Pornthip Kongchun added, “IT is the driving force of innovation and creativity. IT has no border nor gender. IT is now, and everyone should make good use of it to create great things together.”
Adding to the discussion, Asst. Prof, Dr. Karndee Leopairote said,” IT has become a part of our lives, our lifestyle. In fact, IT is lifestyle. The tech industry needs fresh perspectives from people from diverse backgrounds more than ever before.”
As proof of increased interest in IT, TechFemme saw over 300 young and eager participants flock to the event to listen to advice from industry leaders, mingle, exchange experiences and learn. Among them was Donya Rattanasangsakulthai, a 3rd year Information & Communications Engineering student at Chulalongkorn University. “I was really impressed to find out there are so many talented and inspiring women working in IT,” she said. “After listening to so many success stories and great advice from the panelists, I feel even more confident that I’ve made the right choice that I want to pursue my career in IT.”
In addition to the exchange of perspectives on IT careers and business inspiration, TechFemme also featured a series of workshops, led by Microsoft (Thailand) Limited – including a Personal Career Path workshop featuring tips on IT industry trends and Microsoft technology; a MACH session with interview tips, as well as an HR workshop, focusing on resume writing and soft skills that companies are looking for in perspective employees.
The workshops inspired many of the attendees, who came to the event to get insights and tips from IT professionals. Suprajak Petchdee, a 2nd year Information & Communications Engineering student at Chulalongkorn University said, “I came here because I wanted to see things from different perspectives, and I wasn’t disappointed. Knowledge is power, and it is all around us. We don’t always have to be in the classroom to learn something new. All we need to do is look around and embrace the experiences of all these wonderful and creative people who walk among us.”
Following the success of the previous years, TechFemme will return in 2017 with more creativity, strength and power of youth.