Gender equality and diversity is critical in tech industry, as it enables companies to create better and safer products that take everyone into consideration, not just one section of society. The London based professional service network, Deloitte predicts female participation to be at only 25% in 2022 in large technology companies around the world. In comparison, women participation scenario in tech industry is much worse in Bangladesh. According to The Business Standard, in 2020, only 12% women were working in the information technology sector, most of them were working either at primary level or mid-level. However, the paramount significance of gender equality and diversity is no longer a secret.

Women Participation in Overall Workforce in Bangladesh

According to World Bank, in 2020, women participation at workforce is 34.55% of total work forcein Bangladesh. According to the International Labor Organization (ILO), the rate of women participation in labor force from 2000 to 2020 has been substantially growing. Bangladesh is one of the countries of South Asia, where the rates of women empowerment has increased significantly while diminishing the gender wage gap. The rate has doubled up within a very short time span. According to the report released by World Economic Forum (WEF), Bangladesh has secured the top position among South Asian countries in ensuring gender equality for the seventh consecutive year since 2014. According to Dhaka Tribune, if Bangladesh can increase the women employment by 10%, it will be able to increase the GDP by 3.1%. In the budget of FY2021-22, the implementation of policies and programs for women has accelerated the growth of women participation in the work force.

Women’s contributions are indispensable for socio economic development. Many women have climbed up the career ladder to top leadership positions of reputed organizations while others have found their dreams in their ventures. Globalization has paved the way for women to come forward and participate in the work force with their skills and capabilities. Women have gained the confidence and capability to prove themselves on a broader scale. They are now in power and taking on the responsibility to represent the country in a larger context.

A Snapshot of Overall Tech Industry in Bangladesh

In the era of digitalization, technology is a key driver for economic growth as it accelerates the efficiency level. Bangladesh, like other countries, has adopted technology and is becoming increasingly reliant on it. According to LightCastle Partners, Bangladesh has foreseen the growth of 40% annually since 2010 in the information and information enabled services sector. Recently in Bangladesh, large-scale automation projects have been widely implemented in the sectors of telecom, banking, finance, pharmaceutical and garments/textiles industries. Technology in banking sector has enabled to introduce innovative products to customers. With the virtue of technology, digital transformation of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) has encountered positive growth amid the pandemic. And, thus, for the development and efficiency, domestic demand for software and ITES industries is expected to increase more.

According to Tech Observer, 1 million youth has been employed in IT sector and by the end of FY2021-22 in Bangladesh where more than 50% of the total population is young. Also, Government’s plan of ‘Sustainable Development Goals, Vision 2041’, and ‘Delta Plan 2100’ has smoothened the path of employment for the people skilled in technology and science in the country.

Women in Technology Industry from Global

Figure: Female Workforce Representation in Large Technology Companies


In the global arena, the tech sector sadly lags behind the rest of the job market when it comes to hiring women. According to Deloitte Global, large global technology firms, on average, will reach nearly 33% overall female representation in their workforces in 2022, which is slightly more than 2% points from 2019. While, portion of women in technical roles is expected to reach 25% which is 1% more than the previous year.

Dominance of Male Employees in Top Global Companies

Some Notable Global Female Leaders in Tech

Although, today the technology industry may be dominated by men in terms of numbers, but there are lots of brilliant women in leadership positions who are changing the landscape.

Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube- Susan Wojcicki is Google’s sixteenth employee and initial marketing manager who contributed to the development of Google Images and AdSense as she rose up the ranks. She eventually suggested the acquisition of YouTube and became its CEO in 2014.

Reshma Saujani, Founder and CEO of Girls Who Code- Reshma Saujani graduated from Harvard University and Yale Law School. After that in 2010, she became the first Indian-American woman to run for Congress. Later, she started the non-profit organization called Girls Who Code which is aimed at increasing the number of women in the computer science field.

Kate Crawford, Co-founder of the AI Now Institute Kate Crawford is an Australian author who helped pioneer the AI Now Institute, a research institute at NYU, and serves as a senior researcher at Microsoft.

Danah Boyd, Founder and President of Data & Society- Danah Boyd is a recognized scholar who founded her own research institute to address the ethical and legal implications of emerging technologies. Currently, she serves as a partner researcher for Microsoft.

Women in Technology Industry of Bangladesh

Although women participation in tech industry is low when compared to global scenario, Bangladesh is following global trends in exploring the variety of alternatives provided by Information and Communications Technology (ICT) and undergoing a comprehensive digital transformation in this age of technological advancements. The country has made considerable progress in enhancing the participation of women in all aspects of life. So, in the technology world, women’s empowerment is becoming increasingly important. Women are becoming involved in this industry which is a favorable trend that was formerly uncommon.

Women are still under-represented in our country, despite the fact that their involvement is expanding and they are making an effect in the tech industry. Societal stereotype is the main reason behind this scenario. However, a large number of organizations have stepped forward to help women in breaking stereotypes. According to the daily newspaper, The Business Standard, in 2020, only 12% women were working in the information technology sector and most of them were working either at primary level or mid-level. A Bangladesh Open Source Network (BdOSN) report suggested that around only 25% female students studying at university levels had enrolled for Computer Science (CS) or Information Communication Technology (ICT) related subjects in over 90 universities and institutions of the country since 2005-2006. Whereas, only 13% female professionals ended up joining the ICT industry after completing their graduation in the related subject.


Social and Environmental Barriers- Despite the country’s significant progress when it comes to women’s economic empowerment, social barriers such gender bias, stereotype etc. still remain. The male-dominated environment in science and engineering departments in colleges and universities persist to remain as an obstacle to women’s progress in the IT sector. Friends and family of tech graduates still do not see IT as a field for women and start discouraging the graduates to join this sector from the beginning.

Proper Technical Skills- Proper education for women is also a major obstacle to women’s empowerment in tech industry. A very small percentage of girls join engineering schools and even fewer of them get to work in the field. According to a PWC research, only 27% of female respondents were considering a career in technology as compared to the 62% male. This ratio shows women are not motivated to enter in technology sector. STEM subjects which comprise of science, technology, engineering and mathematics are perceived as ‘male’ subjects. As a result, females are less likely to be pushed forward to these sectors. According to our ICT minister, ICT should be focused from primary education to encourage women and to be successful in this sector.

Lack of Proper Infrastructure- Lack of proper infrastructure for women is hindering the growth of women empowerment. Many female employees working in tech sector still complain about proper work environment for women such as having separate washrooms for women.

Apart from these, some inherent factors such as rural backwardness, child marriage of girls, gender imbalance and forced family bondage possess threat to women empowerment not only in tech industry but also to the overall employment market in Bangladesh.

Way Forward

It is imperative to implement policies, initiatives and scopes that will help support females in tech and their progress in their career. Business leaders can attain this through various solutions that will provide women with equal opportunities and nurture their professional development. Few suggestions have been pointed below on how to make that possible.

Corporates can assess gender diversity in their companies and ask employees how they would rate working environment and infrastructure of the workplace.

  • Companies can enhance their knowledge concerning the barriers that women encounter in the tech industry. With that, they can better comprehend what they can do to make it easier for their female employees and job seekers.
  • Corporates must foster equal job promotion between men and women, in leadership positions in particular.
  • Companies should offer to guide and help women pave the road in the tech industry. Thus, it is vital to provide valuable professional development opportunities.
  • It is also suggested to leverage social media to share posts about inspiring and successful female leaders and women in tech.
  • Lastly, companies should collaborate with educational institutions to share awareness and ensure women know what kind of opportunities await them in the technology field.

Initiatives Taken to Promote Women Empowerment in Tech

Today it is not a secret that, in this era of technological advancements, encouraging women to participate in science and technology activities will help the country grow and optimize its valuable human assets while increasing the country’s economic prospects. Hence, initiatives has been taken from both public and private sectors to promote women empowerment in tech industry of Bangladesh. Some of the initiatives are discussed below.

LICT Project- Local government has taken steps to motivate girls in the ICT industry to ensure at least 30% participation through a training program financed by World Bank, Leveraging ICT for Growth, Employment and Governance (LICT). The project that focuses to creating over 10,000 women as skilled human resources for the IT sector ended on June 30 last year and provided training to 10,450 women.

She Power- The government of Bangladesh has also introduced the “She Power” project to empower women in the ICT industry. In 2019, under this project, the ICT Division trained 10,500 women from 21 districts.

Bangladesh Women in Technology (BWIT)- Bangladesh Women in Technology (BWIT) has been initiated as a dedicated platform aiming at promoting women in the technology industry through training and a diverse range of networking opportunities with members including ICT entrepreneurs and professionals in the ICT, computer science, EEE, robotics and mechatronics sectors.

Moreover, there are numerous government efforts, which are assisted even more by the ‘Digital Bangladesh’ agenda, which empower women throughout the country. Apart from these, institutes such as the Bangladesh Korea Institute of Information and Communication Technology (BKIICT) and the Bangladesh Computer Council (BCC) have taken steps to help women in the country.

Tips for Female Tech Graduates Who Aspire to Enter the Industry Tech industry is not always an easy career choice for female graduates. However, some suggestions have been pulled together for aspiring female graduates who wish to break into this industry and shine bright.

Knowing the Sector- Technology is a broad industry with scopes for different career paths. From coding to system infrastructure designing, the career paths available to someone interested in technology are diversified. Therefore, it is worth researching what a career in technology will involve in order to understand the different options available to a particular graduate. The graduates should also get to know about the employer and the culture and values which it holds. In an industry which is dominated by men, where only a quarter of women fill computer science jobs, it can be particularly important to understand the scopes for female development when researching a future employer. Hence, the graduates should look to see whether the employers cite female role models and spend some time looking online to find out about initiatives specifically for females.

Being Passionate and Having Confidence- A graduate who is seriously considering to pursue a career in technology should be passionate about the industry. This should reflect in her communication (both written and verbal) at all times during an application process and particularly when going for an interview. Reading about recent industry trends and news stories and formulating a point of view on the implications and broader impact of the topics will certainly help. One should be ready to talk confidently about what interests and excites her in the sector. It is therefore particularly important to make sure you are self-confident about your skills and ability to do well and succeed in the industry.

Gain Experience- Gaining work experience is a great way to show a potential employer that you are selfdriven and interested in the industry. First-hand experience is a great way to get an exceptional insight into the type of work and roles that you enjoy. It can be beneficial to draw upon examples from your work experience during interviews. A female graduate should not shy away from relevant experience, even if it is not directly related to what she wants to do. As well as getting experience, building your network in the tech industry is a great way to get ahead.


Development in all spheres of this vast population is highly needed to ensure the long term economic stability and prosperity. Bangladesh has also adopted the global hashtag “#breakthebias” for removing the discrimination in the workplaces and women’s day has been widely celebrated across the country. But, only celebration cannot break the biasness in the workplace. To overcome stereotypes and to smash the gender inequality, awareness needs to be established among the employers. It is more essential for the economic growth and overall improvement of a country like Bangladesh where around 50% of population is women.