I am not a diversity hire; I am here because of who I am

Aprajita Verma | Technical lead and Operational Architect

Unconscious gender bias* is still dominant in certain sectors like software development. Its impact is more severe than imagined; being constantly stereotyped based on societal bias opens a whole paradigm of mental, emotional, and financial retribution. And the imposter syndrome that a person is subjected to because of such bias can be extremely harmful. The term ‘boys club’ is used casually when it comes to the software development community, without realising how this stifles a woman to assert her individuality. She is forced to ‘fit in’, which progressively undermines the essence that makes her unique.

Working in an environment where people are not affected by this bias is a boon. These are the people who are responsible to make decisions about you and see you as talent. It might sound trivial but when a company refers to an employee as ‘talent’ instead of putting them in silos based on gender or other brackets is wonderfully refreshing. Until an individual is subjected to such prejudice it might seem a bare minimum, and it is astonishing how predominant the bias is. Any company which recognizes and forcefully stands up against such bias deserves a round of applause.

This certainly doesn’t mean that specific needs of an individual are to be overlooked. Gender equality doesn’t mean not recognizing specific differences and not acting upon those. It simply means to be able to think, empathize and regulate plans in a way to accommodate everyone.

I am proud to say that MYCOM OSI has such leaders who have understood and acted upon this industry bias to make sure that it doesn’t exist in the organization. They see individuals based on their worth and allow them to grow while making sure they are supported. These leaders have been leading by example to create a safe, fruitful, and supportive environment.

I am proud to say, I, a software developer, am not a diversity hire in MYCOM OSI. I am not discriminated when tasks are assigned or when responsibility or pay packages are allocated.
I am not hired to maintain a gender ratio. I am here because of who I am.

* Unconscious gender bias is defined as unintentional and automatic mental associations based on gender, stemming from traditions, norms, values, culture and/or experience. Automatic associations feed into decision-making, enabling a quick assessment of an individual according to gender and gender stereotypes.