“So there’s no point bringing onboard people from diverse backgrounds if you haven’t actually provided a forum where it’s ok to communicate or give views …or if you come into an organisation that’s top-down and that is not open to change. ” – Melissa Ries, TIBCO General Manager, APACHowever, although bias in the workplace between gender and the types of diversity is less pronounced and less visible, this too has made it quite challenging. General Manager (Asia Pacific, Japan) Melissa Ries at TIBCO Software Inc. recognises that while diversity and inclusion is a big topic for most organisations, it is still difficult. “Diversity in Technology and STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) is 50:50 in terms of women and men who go and study in universities. However, there are fewer women who stay in their career and actually move through the ranks, and that says to me there are some challenges around women and diversity in promoting them within Technology.” In addition, Ries says that while every hire is all about capability, one of the things she would really like to see is organisations who walk the diversity talk and provide the environment to support the newly-hired who could be different from those who are already in the companies. “So there’s no point bringing onboard people from diverse backgrounds if you haven’t actually provided a forum where it’s ok to communicate or give views …or if you come into an organisation that’s top-down and that is not open to change. Then hiring a female or someone who is different from the rest of the team is a recipe for failure and is not going to make a difference.” In recent years, there has been a steady increase in awareness to address gender equality from a male perspective. Examples include movements like Bloom in the U.K. who have made it their 2019 goal to engage more men in the gender debate. We also saw this in a recent event organised by LeanIn Singapore featuring a #HeforShe evening in which workplace biases and stereotypes were openly and honestly discussed. While She Loves Data was started to address the dearth of women in tech, it takes the ultimate holistic approach of creating that ideal workforce where diversity in its widest sense becomes more than de rigueur. As Marlé-Zizková reminds us, “we today as women, as individuals, cannot say that technology is not for us; it’s for someone else. It’s for the man sitting next to us. Maybe he has a better approach to technology…or he is more open…or as they say, it’s I.T.’s problem!” Now this is when, she emphasises, we really have a problem. She Loves Data has been impacting the lives of women across the Asia Pacific region and beyond, has so far trained more than 3700 women in data analytics since it started in Singapore in 2016.