Advancing gender diversity in tech: Manu Saigal, Adecco India

Manu Saigal provides comprehensive insights into the importance of women in tech, the challenges they face, strategies for fostering inclusion, actionable steps for business leaders, and advice for women navigating their tech journeys

Supriya Rai
New Update
Manu Saigal

Manu Saigal

Advancing gender diversity in tech is imperative for fostering innovation and driving sustainable growth in the industry. Embracing gender diversity ensures a broader spectrum of perspectives and ideas, leading to more innovative and inclusive solutions. By actively recruiting and supporting women in tech roles, organizations can create a more equitable environment that reflects the diverse needs and experiences of their users. Implementing inclusive hiring practices, providing mentorship opportunities, and fostering supportive work cultures are key steps in advancing gender diversity. Ultimately, by promoting gender equality in tech, we can unlock the full potential of the industry, driving innovation, and creating opportunities for all. Manu Saigal, Director - General Staffing at Adecco India, provides comprehensive insights into the importance of women in tech, the challenges they face, strategies for fostering inclusion, actionable steps for business leaders, and advice for women navigating their tech journeys.


DQ: Why are women crucial in tech?

Manu Saigal: Women are essential drivers of innovation and business growth in the tech landscape. Their diverse perspectives, collaborative nature, and problem-solving skills are critical for success in today's dynamic environment. Gender diversity drives innovation. Including women in tech teams ensures a broader range of ideas, leading to more innovative and inclusive products. Studies also show that diverse teams perform better, leading to improved business outcomes. 

Women employees bring valuable skills like collaboration and empathy to the table, essential for building strong teams and fostering positive work environments. Women leaders serve as role models, inspiring future generations of girls to pursue STEM careers. Embracing gender diversity in tech is not just desirable but necessary for the industry's continued growth and success, unlocking its full potential and creating a brighter, more equitable future.


DQ: What challenges do women face?

Manu Saigal: Women in tech often navigate a complex landscape of challenges. Unconscious bias can lead to them being overlooked for opportunities or not taken seriously in their abilities. Limited access to mentorship, crucial for career development, can hinder their advancement. The underrepresentation of women in leadership positions creates a sense of isolation and a lack of role models. 

They often face an unequal pay gap compared to their male counterparts. Balancing work and family responsibilities is especially difficult without adequate support structures, contributing to the underrepresentation of women in the industry and hindering their career prospects. Addressing these challenges requires a multifaceted approach, including unconscious bias training, promoting inclusive mentorship programs, and supporting flexible work arrangements.


DQ: How can organizations foster inclusion?

Manu Saigal: Cultivating a truly inclusive workplace necessitates a multi-pronged approach. Organizations can set clear diversity goals, demonstrating their commitment to building a diverse workforce. Recognizing and celebrating the achievements of women fosters a sense of belonging and inspires others - creating employee resource groups (ERGs) provides support, networking opportunities, and a sense of community for employees from underrepresented groups.

A few mindful and proactive initiatives can further champion gender inclusion. Mitigating unconscious bias through diverse hiring panels ensures fairer selection processes. Educating employees through unconscious bias training creates a more equitable environment. Mentorship programs connect women with experienced professionals, fostering their career development. Offering flexible work arrangements, such as remote work or flexible hours, helps women balance work and personal commitments. Most importantly, ensuring fair and transparent opportunities in career advancement and leadership roles, regardless of gender, is crucial.


Ultimately, fostering a culture of respect and inclusivity is key. This involves actively creating spaces where all voices are heard and valued. Understanding and addressing specific systemic barriers intrinsic to their specific organization and promoting gender equality requires a collaborative effort from both organizations and individuals within the tech industry.

DQ: For business leaders seeking to enhance women's involvement in their companies, what actionable steps or best practices would you recommend?

Manu Saigal: Actionable steps for business leaders:


Business leaders seeking to elevate women's involvement within their companies can take several actionable steps. 

Regularly conducting pay equity audits ensures fair compensation for all employees, while offering targeted training and development programs specifically empower women for career growth. 

Partnering with organizations promoting STEM education for girls fosters a future pipeline of talented women in these fields. 


Leaders who actively champion diversity and inclusion set the tone for a welcoming culture, while inclusive job descriptions and hiring practices attract a diverse pool of qualified candidates. 

Mentorship and sponsorship programs connect women with experienced professionals, and flexible and remote work options allow employees to manage work-life balance more effectively. 

Finally, leaders must allocate time for tracking progress and holding themselves accountable demonstrate commitment to ongoing improvement, and encourage participation amongst women in the organization. 


By implementing these steps, leaders can create a workplace that fosters greater female participation, inclusivity, and ultimately, success for all.

DQ: Here’s some advice to help you thrive on your tech journey

Manu Saigal: 1. Believe in yourself and your abilities. Don't let self-doubt hinder you. Embrace the unique perspectives and skills you bring to the table.

2. Seek out mentors and sponsors. Find individuals who can offer guidance, and support, and connect you with valuable opportunities.

3. Actively network. Build relationships with other women in tech, both within and outside your company. Attending industry events, joining online communities, and participating in conferences are great ways to connect.

4. Never stop learning. The tech landscape constantly evolves, so continuous learning is crucial. Take advantage of training programs, online courses, and professional development opportunities.

5. Advocate for yourself and others.  Speak up and advocate for your ideas. Additionally, be an ally to other women in the field, supporting and encouraging their growth.

6. Embrace challenges as learning opportunities. View obstacles as chances to develop your resilience, problem-solving skills, and adaptability.

7. Find a healthy work-life balance. While dedication is important, remember to prioritize your well-being. Establish boundaries between work and personal life to avoid burnout.

8. Celebrate your successes, big and small. Acknowledge your achievements and take pride in your hard work. Remember, you are not alone. A supportive community of women in tech is cheering you on!