Pure Storage Report Reveals Insights on Women's Representation in DeepTech Sector

Pure Storage Report Reveals Insights on Women's Representation in DeepTech Sector

Pure Storage® released a report that examines women’s representation in Global Capability Centers (GCCs), particularly in the DeepTech sector, and their correlation with the top engineering universities in India. The report titled, ‘Towards a Gender Equitable World: Unveiling Diversity in DeepTech,’ highlights the need for greater focus on university enrolment in STEM courses and workplace retention to address the low representation of women in the DeepTech sector.

Report Highlights

The report is an analysis of women engineering graduates between 2004 and 2023 from 42 top engineering universities leveraged by GCCs for recruitment, with particular emphasis on 23 top institutions deemed to be preferred by DeepTech companies. The report, which also includes both quantitative and qualitative findings based on insights from women in the DeepTech sector, highlights that the ongoing gender disparity is largely due to two main factors: a shortage of women’s enrolment in these institutions; and a significant rate of mid to senior level dropouts within the industry.

Some of the other key takeaways from the report include:

  • GCCs are leading the charge for a diverse workforce with 28% women in their workforce, yet they face unique challenges in achieving gender parity in DeepTech organizations, where the gender diversity stands at 23%​.

  • The median representation of women graduates from top engineering universities stands at 25% between 2020 and 2023, which directly affects the inflow of women candidates in GCCs, especially in the DeepTech sector. Despite this disparity in women’s representation, women graduates consistently outperformed in securing placements compared to the overall average in top-tier universities.

  • With a mere 6.7% of women in the Executive level[1] in GCCs and 5.1% in DeepTech organizations, there is a considerable decrease in the available talent pool of women as they move up their careers. Family and caregiving responsibilities, limited access to career advancement and leadership opportunities, poor work-life balance are some of the key factors influencing women’s attrition.

  • Bengaluru leads in diversity representation among tier-1 cities in India, with 31.4% in GCCs and 14% in DeepTech.

Industry Significance

Recognizing the unique hurdles women face in their technology careers, organizations are implementing strategic initiatives such as targeted leadership development, returnship programs, pay equity measures, caregiving support, and flexible work arrangements to address women’s attrition and enhance gender diversity across levels. While reducing women's attrition from the workforce is crucial, equal attention is being placed on strategies to encourage more women to pursue STEM courses. 

Executive Insights

“While India proudly leads in the number of women STEM graduates globally, their underrepresentation in the deep tech workforce stems from systemic barriers hindering their education and career advancement. To unlock the full potential of our talent pool, we need to take a comprehensive approach, including strategic actions to increase the enrollment of women in leading technological institutions and retaining them in the workforce.” – Ajeya Motaganahalli, VP Engineering & Managing Director, India R&D, Pure Storage

“Advancement in any industry is stagnant without equity. While DeepTech has pushed the boundaries of possibility, the sobering truth is that the sector has only 5.1% women at the Executive level. Interventions to solve the talent pipeline issue and create work environments enabling women to thrive have become an urgent necessity. Initiatives like leadership development programs, returnship opportunities, and flexible work arrangements introduced by Global Capability Centers (GCCs) are a positive start, but true progress demands unwavering commitment and consistency from the entire ecosystem.” – Karthik Padmanabhan, Managing Partner, Zinnov

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