Cracking the Code: Ascendion's Strategies to Increase Women in Tech Leadership (34% to 50% and Beyond)

Sangeeta Shetty discusses the company's efforts to empower women in tech and achieve a more balanced workforce.

Aanchal Ghatak
New Update
Women in tech leadership programs

Sangeeta Shetty, Senior Director of HR at Ascendion, outlines the company's ambitious plan to close the gender gap in tech leadership, highlighting initiatives like targeted outreach and upskilling programs.


Why is it crucial for organizations, especially in the tech industry, to prioritize unlocking the potential of women tech talent, and how can this benefit both the companies and the industry as a whole?

Engineering needs more women – there is a big call for diversity. While the number of women in engineering is slowly increasing, the industry desperately needs to do more. Diverse perspectives are crucial for progress.

We need the diversity of thought; we need the diversity of behaviour - Women bring unique approaches to problem-solving, collaboration, and design. Their talents are essential for tackling complex challenges effectively.


A well-balanced engineering field, with equal representation from women and men, will unlock a world of innovative solutions that benefit everyone.

Can you elaborate on Ascendion's initiatives aimed at empowering women in the tech industry, such as AscendHER, Women Retrieve Retreat, and WLAB? How have these programs impacted the representation of women in leadership roles within the company?

AscendHER is a simple yet powerful women networking group. Given less role models and the tendency of women to drop at various phases of life cycle for different reasons, there is constant need for acknowledgement, assurance that they are not alone, reminding them of different avenues available to support, stories of inspiring women same situations dealt by different people s with courage and grit.


Women retrieve retreat was opportunity for women leaders to internalize, a unique platform to connect with experts, away from their office locations and equipping with tool kit to help them thrive better and succeed.

These programs have created a safe, and voluntary interactive space for women leaders to understand their challenges, seek support and mentor other women to maximize their potential.

A Nasscom study highlights that 35% of the tech workforce in India are women. How does Ascendion view this statistic, and what steps is the company taking to further increase gender diversity within its workforce?


34% of our workforce are women. We are working hard to push the number to an equal 50% and possibly higher in the next few years. Ascendion’s “Motherverse,” program was launched as a unique recruitment initiative specifically designed to attract and reintegrate mothers who had taken a break from their careers. This was executed in an effort to bridge the gap between talented women and the professional world.

We foster upskilling to motivate women to take up leadership roles. Unconscious biases are constantly being worked on removed to ensure a fair and equal opportunity. Most importantly, we are redefining flexibility as per what it means to each individual – by moving away from a one-size fits all approach. Women who return to work after a break, need guidance, a platform to restart, and networking opportunities to upskill. We understand the same and have established training initiatives focusing on leadership skills, emotional intelligence, and strategic thinking.

How does Ascendion ensure equal opportunities and a supportive work environment for women tech professionals, particularly in male-dominated fields or roles?


Unconscious biases in hiring and promotion decisions can perpetuate gender disparities. We are constantly working towards bridging the gap between rigid policies – by offering a flexible work environment.

We understood the challenges women faced compared to their male counterparts, such as concerns about skill gaps, adapting to new technologies, and balancing work and family life. The initiative included:

Targeted outreach: Partnering with businesses reach a wider pool of female candidates interested in returning to work


Skill assessment and training: Providing opportunities for skill enhancement and training to help women bridge any gaps and prepare them for the demands of their chosen roles

Flexible work arrangements: From hybrid to need-based remote work options (for personal emergencies), to accommodating the needs of working mothers – we have promoted a healthy work-life balance

Mentorship and support networks: Establishing mentorship and support networks to provide guidance, encouragement, and a sense of community for mothers re-entering the workforce


In what ways does Ascendion collaborate with educational institutions or other organizations to encourage young women to pursue careers in technology?

Ascenders sponsor education for girls between the ages of 10-18 through our partnership with “Vidyabharathi,” foundation. Over 100 girls have been positively impacted at the grassroots level in the last year. We also work with academicians to enable mentorship of women leaders in tech.

For our employees, Ascendion Learning Lab provides a platform for our employees to harness new skills, embrace emerging technologies, and stay at the forefront of their respective fields. It's not just about individual growth; it's about collective excellence. As we invest in our people's development, we're investing in the future of our organization. The Learning Lab is where knowledge meets opportunity, and together, we ascend to greater heights. Currently, we have a total of 2,375 Active Courses on the Ascendion Learning Lab (ALL).

With India's growing emphasis on digital transformation and technology adoption across various sectors, how is Ascendion actively working to ensure that women are equally represented and empowered to contribute to this technological revolution?

We are working on creating an inclusive culture that values diverse perspectives, fostering an environment where women feel empowered to thrive in leadership roles. Several women are breaking ground every day – from accepting new challenges to taking on more in their line of work, all women are role models. In the corporate space, as more women appreciate and embrace flexible working, there are now more in companies to inspire young women. It is interesting to note the shift in men being keen to mentor women as well.