In an enlightening fireside chat at Rising 2023, India’s premier Women in Tech Summit organized by AIM, Urvi Makhija and Srividya Ram, leaders at NTT DATA, delved into the critical role of innovation in the ever-changing market landscape. They also shared invaluable insights into how women in technology can make the most of the opportunities presented by their organizations.
The Imperative of Innovation
In today’s fast-paced world, innovation is not just a buzzword; it’s a necessity. Companies that fail to innovate risk becoming obsolete. According to Makhija and Ram, organizations must cultivate an environment that not only encourages but also rewards innovative thinking. New ideas are the lifeblood of progress, and recognizing and rewarding employees who contribute these ideas is crucial for long-term success.
Empowering Women Technologists
The speakers emphasized that women are at the heart of this dynamic workforce and are key drivers of innovation. They encouraged women to be open to change and to have a passion for technology. A client-focused approach, they noted, often provides the kind of perspective that leads to groundbreaking ideas.
The Role of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Diversity, equity, and inclusion aren’t just ethical imperatives; they’re business imperatives. A diverse workforce brings a variety of perspectives that can be a powerful catalyst for innovation. Equity ensures that all voices are heard and valued, while inclusion ensures that everyone feels they belong, which in turn fosters a culture of innovation.
The Bigger Picture: A Larger Purpose
Beyond immediate business goals, the speakers urged organizations and individuals to focus on a larger, overarching purpose. For instance, NTT DATA aims to use technology to create a sustainable future. This sense of a larger mission adds a layer of meaning to everyday tasks and aligns well with corporate social responsibility initiatives.
Adaptability as a Cultural Asset
The adaptability of the Indian IT industry, particularly evident during the pandemic, was highlighted as a cultural asset. This adaptability isn’t just about survival; it’s a competitive advantage. A culture that promotes quick adaptation to change, a sense of urgency, and a focus on outcomes is more likely to be innovative.
Giving Back: The Joy of Contribution
Both leaders emphasized the importance of giving back to society. They noted that each individual should find a purpose they can attach themselves to, as it brings joy and adds meaning to their work. This aligns with the larger themes of diversity, equity, and inclusion, creating a virtuous cycle that benefits both the individual and the organization.
The fireside chat was a treasure trove of insights and practical advice, particularly for women in technology. As we navigate through these challenging and exciting times, the key takeaway is clear: innovation is everyone’s job, and it’s the only way forward. Whether you’re a woman in tech or a leader looking to foster innovation within your team, the strategies discussed provide a robust framework for success.