"When it comes to women in STEM and in University, the number of graduates in this region are more than men. Most industry averages show around 55 percent. So, we know that on a technical skill level, that's something that's working well. So the challenges lie in when we look at transitioning from University to the workplace – what can we, then, do to retain, nurture, grow and develop the actual talent? The challenges I've seen are in terms of – women, when they take a break from the workplace, due to whatever personal reasons, there's difficulty in getting them back. Also, ensuring that as they grow into the organization, they get the flexibility that's needed to be able to perform at a pace that's needed to grow into their own," said Saudamini Dubey, Managing Director, Accenture Digital, while speaking exclusively to AMEinfo about women empowerment in the region, on the sidelines of the Diversity Council MENA launch in Dubai.
The Managing Director of Accenture Digital also spoke about the importance of continuous learning and being a "learner-for-life".
"Given the environment that we are in where change is happening at such a rampant pace – technology, and digital disruption – it can come in at any point in time. So not being a lifelong learner or not being relevant is no longer an option when you're looking at growing your career. And these things need to happen in parallel," she said.
Sharing her views on moving into a digital age responsibly, Saudamini Dubey added, "Change is upon us. So, yes there is a lot of experimentation that's going on toward looking at issues that are at a large scale today. But things like Artificial Intelligence, there are many industries where it's become the norm now to be able to use it. Is there anything more that can be done? Absolutely, as you scale up where the problem is. Blockchain – there enough used cases now to show how it can provide for a more transparent environment where there's more trust through decentralized mechanisms. IoT – I know in this part of the world we are doing a lot of proof-of-concepts, but there are a lot of home appliances which come embedded with these technologies. So, I think technology – especially in this region – has the opportunity to help leapfrog some of the legacy systems and baggages that are present in the more mature markets, but not so over here – and then take things to the next level, keeping in mind the right checks and balances that need to be in place; and the right policies and programs are there to make sure that even when it comes to things like AI, it's responsible AI and we've got the right skills in place to be able to maximize that."