Kirthiga joined Facebook as its first employee in India. Earlier in February, Kirthiga said that she was stepping down from her post and returning to the social networking site’s headquarters in California “to explore new opportunities.”
Understanding about Indian women in technology space
Since I have been in India, if you look at the statistics, there has been an increase in the number of women in technology at the entry level. However, as you start looking at the top level, the metrics haven’t changed that much. We would love to get into an equal world where we have a 50-50 representation.
If you look at entrepreneurs, only 10 percent of them are women. That is again a statistic that needs to be improved. We have a long way to go and definitely events like today play a big role and act as a vital catalyst to make that shift happen.
Taking the stairs to success
She should dream big – research has shown that there is a leadership ambition gap between men and women. McKinsey study surveyed about 4000 people and it showed that while 36 percent of men aspire to C level roles, only 18 percent of women aspire to C level roles. Women should first learn to dream big because it all starts with having a big dream.
Learn to lean into opportunities.There was another study which showed that when men looked at a particular job description, if they met 50 percent of the requisites, they would think they are perfect for the role. Whereas for a woman, well take a guess! They wanted to have a 100 percent match before they were convinced that they were right for the role. So, someone needs to raise her hands for opportunities.
We have this saying at Facebook that future belongs to a handful who are still willing to get their hands dirty. There is no substitute for hard work. One needs to go out there, have a big goal, lean into opportunities and do what it takes to make it big.
Facebook observes a very strong representation of men and women on the platform. We see that equality not only in the metros, but also across tier two and tier three cities in India. In general our advice to everyone has always been to make maximum use of the security features. I would say that at Facebook, we have seen both men and women use the platform to its maximum potential.
This article first appeared in the Indian edition of Entrepreneur magazine (May2016 Issue).