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What is Inclusivity?

As per, Diversity for Social Impact, “Inclusivity means making sure everyone feels welcome, valued, and respected, no matter who they are or where they come from.” It is treating everyone fairly, regardless of their background, race, gender, or beliefs.

In the present, there are a lot of discussions around being inclusive. We live in a world surrounded by cutting-edge technology, digitalization, automation, etc. and have we ever thought about this – Are these advancements, innovations, and technological developments inclusive? Does it bring together people to foster better understanding and living for all social beings?

Well, we cannot say that we are 100% there yet, but are taking baby steps to achieve this. Let’s discuss Fostering Inclusivity in Technology (FIT) to get fit!


What is inclusivity in technology?

Creating technological opportunities and solutions that includes all, providing people equal treatment and setting up a welcoming environment for all is a broader way to see FIT. This approach could be applied to education, workplace, innovation, governance, among others.

Where have we reached?

Technology must be common to different people – with diverse age, race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, or socioeconomic status.

A few examples of where we have achieved this can be:

  • ‘Digital India’ campaign seek to provide digital infrastructure as a utility to every citizen, leading to empowerment.
  • The increase of mobile phones and cheap internet in rural areas have bridged the gap between urban and rural India.
  • Online service portals across the world have reduced bureaucratic barriers.
  • Agricultural modernization can be a classic example of FIT – Precision agriculture, using technologies like IoT (Internet of Things), help farmers in India increase crop yield and adapt to changing climatic conditions.
  • During pandemic, online platforms have played a pivotal role in ensuring continued education, highlighting the potential of technology in democratizing quality education for one and all.
  • Online payment platforms like GPay, PhonePe, in India are elevating the social status of citizens demonstrating utmost inclusivity in technology.

Where are we with Global Women Workforce?

According to a survey by Women in Tech Stats 2024, here are some interesting facts:

  • Women hold 28% of all jobs in computer and mathematical occupations, and 15.9% of jobs in engineering and architecture occupations.
  • The United States science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) labor force represents only 23% of the total U.S. labor force.
  • In the European Union, women make up only 19.1% of the information and communication technology sector.
  • Women hold 32.8% of entry-level positions in computer science-related jobs.
  • Just 10.9% of those holding CEO or senior leadership roles are women.
  • The industry standard for the percentage of women employed in tech career positions is 26%.

Recent research findings indicate that fewer than half, 47% of women in the working-age bracket are actively engaged in the global workforce. In certain countries, this percentage plunges even further. This means that for every two men employed, there is only one woman. Moreover, women tend to earn lower salaries compared to their male counterparts and are disproportionately subjected to gender-based discrimination.

It is evident from the above, that there is a clear need to further empower women through improved access to education and create meaningful opportunities in tech zones.

Even though we talk about gender equality and diversity, in the tech world, we can still see that women are not represented and paid enough.

According to Women in Tech Network, it will take about 133 years to close the economic gender gap.

Diversity and inclusivity are key to IT performance. Diverse teams perform better, hire better talent, have more engaged members, and retain workers better than those that do not focus on diversity and inclusion, according to a report from McKinsey. Despite this, women remain widely underrepresented in IT roles.

What can Technology do towards FIT?

Technology can pave way for greater inclusion of people by digitizing user platforms, reducing or mitigating long hours of travel for women, extending educational and professional programs at all levels to people in all walks of life, mainly at workplace, considering women for higher tech position and onsite opportunities while still allowing them to have a work-life balance. Inclusive and diverse workforce will narrow the gender gap and increase the overall participation in the global labor force, nurturing a stronger and more sustainable economy for all of us.

Can AI help? Why Not?

Recently, it has been observed that AI models have shown bias towards certain underrepresented groups of people, primarily due to biased training data or algorithms used to train them. They have exhibited bias in areas such as facial recognition, determining parole decisions bias against certain minority groups, hiring, and recruitment.

What can be done?

  • AI can be properly utilized to create inclusive design solutions that accommodate a wide range of users, including disabled people and people with different intellectual abilities.
  • AI-driven chatbots, virtual assistants, and educational platforms have the capability to offer guidance, resources, and educational sessions covering areas like unconscious bias, cultural awareness, and inclusive methodologies.
  • Natural language processing and computer vision technologies can develop more simplified and user-friendly products and services giving more access to all users. E.g., products to have multi-lingual features and more visual aspects.

Why Is FIT Important?

1. Innovation in products and services

According to a report by The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), when employees are hired from diverse backgrounds, a company will benefit more from their ideas and skills. A diverse workplace where inclusion is at its core, means there is more access to different points of views, skillsets, creative visions, approaches, and experience which is more likely to result in a tech company producing more innovative products and services for users and clients.

2. Social responsibility

Tech companies are socially responsible to not only be diverse but foster true inclusion as well. Any technology, product or service should be a creation of not just one country but the whole world.

3. Increasing the talent pool

Skill shortage is a visible problem in the tech world. Creating equal opportunities for all aspirants would bring in diverse talent pool into an organization, make it an inclusive and a great place to work.

Hear Women Leaders Speak

Yulia Aslamova, Head of Asia, DRIM Global – “Technological transformation now provides new avenues for the economic empowerment of women and can help contribute to greater gender equality in the professional world.”

Bindiya Vohra, Co-founder & Director- Digital Solutions at ThoughtSol Infotech Pvt. Ltd. – “From access to education and healthcare to opportunities to pursue economic and financial independence, technological advancements have the power to break down the barriers that impede women’s progress and enable them to fully participate in the economy.”

Smriddhi Goyal, Co-Founder & CEO, Sekyo “The rise of digitalization is one of the driving forces that is playing a vital role in bridging the gender gap. Digital transformation has provided new avenues for the economic empowerment of women and helped contribute to greater gender equality.”



    Rajeswari, Solutions and Strategy team at GS Lab

Rajeswari is part of the Solutions and Strategy team at GS Lab | GAVS. She has been involved in technical and creative content development for the past 15 years. She is passionate about learning new technologies, gardening, music and writing. She spends her free time watching movies or going for a highway drive.