Aruna Sundararajan, a 1982 batch Kerala cadre Indian Administrative Service officer and now the Secretary of Ministry of electronics and IT, is excited to see the growth of women entrepreneurs in this department. “What is interesting is that even in the west, only about 18% to 20% women get into engineering or tech fields. But in India, more than 40% of science graduates are women. So there are huge opportunities for women.”
She added, “Another interesting finding is that in the US, entry level hires in IT companies are roughly only around 20%; however, in India many tech-based companies actually hire 50% women employees.”
“It’s a pity that we don’t see as many women at the top as we should”
Aruna has been a significant part of many marqee projects of the current central government. She has played a key role in Digital India and Aadhaar project. She has also been integral to the Make in India initiativewith its push on electronics manufacturing.
She talked about the various qualities of women that can be used so well in the workplace, “Women are so creative, they excel at team-building, they build solid institutions” and even after this, if we have such few women working at the top level in companies then, she says, “it’s a pity that we don’t see as many women at the top as we should.”
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As this year has been the catalyst for women in the startup revolution and the digital revolution with the progress towards a cashless society, she feels that this year has actually seen women entering into fields that even men have not ventured into. “They are taking technology into areas where men have not taken. So this can only be good news for the Indian economy and women,” said Aruna.
For 2017, Aruna looks forward to having mentorship programmes for women and special networks where women can share experiences. She is also looking forward to seeing Digital India opening up more spaces for women entrepreneurs.