Balancing for Better, every day, at 99X Technology
- March 8, 2019
This year’s theme for International Women’s Day ‘Balance for Better’ calls for the building of a gender balanced world. As humanity progresses in ever increasing strides, communities around the world are realizing that gender balance is more than just a women’s issue – it is essential for economies to flourish.
One of the key drivers, in fact the most important driver of global progress, is technology. The unceasing evolution of technology is shaping the world as we know it. Yet, the numbers of women pursuing careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields remain depressingly low.
At 99X Technology, as a provider of software product engineering services, a majority of our people are those who pursue careers in STEM fields – specifically technology. We understand that as a corporate entity with a responsibility to society, we share the duty of inspiring both the current and next generation of female leaders. The future is ours to shape, and here’s how we do it.
Entrepreneurship is essential to the global economy – it drives innovation and is a way of competing with businesses, big and small. Understanding this, in addition to their core work, we also encourage our employees to accelerate their ideas to market through our own startup incubator. Our people are empowered through this initiative and we are proud to note that two of our most successful in-house incubated startups are both driven by women – Charindra Wijemanne, Co-Founder and CTO of Maturify and Uthpalie Thilakarathna, Team Lead and Manager – eCommerce of Tracified.
UNESCO Institute For Statistics (UIS) states that women account for less than a third (28.8%) of those employed in scientific research and development (R&D) across the world. Researchers engage in the creation of new knowledge and women have an integral part to play in this conception. At 99X Technology, equal opportunities and encouragement are provided to everyone who wishes to engage in research. In addition to the research done within the company, as of now, we have one female researcher pursuing her PhD employed in our fulltime cadre.
25% female leads in the company
The women of 99X Technology comprise of 25% of the total workforce, from which 25% are currently in Team Lead roles in the organization, strengthening our project teams with their skills. Out of the five internal Excellence Awards given out for ‘Exceeding Customer Expectations’, four were awarded to women in 2018. Further, we have yet more women leading various other extra-curricular teams within the company, such as the sports teams, staff welfare, university relationships etc. We actively work towards creating more opportunities for our people to be ‘leaders without titles’ and it’s encouraging to see women step up and use these prospects as a stepping stone in their careers.
Mentorship to Students
It’s not enough to create an equal playing field within our own workplace. At 99X Technology, we realise the need to inspire the future generation as well. To this end, 99X Technology’s women conduct in-depth one-to-one mentoring sessions with undergraduates throughout the year. This includes technical skills strengthening, soft skills development, overseeing final year projects, sessions by our senior ladies on work-life balance and importantly, educating them on the various careers available within the IT industry, so that young women end up in jobs that they truly enjoy, match their skill set and therefore makes it less likely for them to drop out.
About 99X Technology
Headquartered in Sri Lanka with offices in Norway and Australia, 99X Technology was adjudged one of Asia’s Best Workplaces for 2018 and is a regional leader in Agile software product engineering and technology innovation. Its expertise has been proven through a 150+ portfolio of successful software products developed globally since the year 2000, by partnering with leading Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) across Europe, Australasia and USA. 99X Technology has been ranked as a Great Place To Work for in Sri Lanka for six consecutive years, and is among the first IT companies in the country to enter the Great Place To Work Hall of Fame.
Pictured are the five leads awarded with the Excellence Awards for Exceeding Customer Expectations for 2018 at 99X Technology. Award winners – Senior Technical Lead Buddhika Wijesinghe (second left), Senior Technical Lead Ayani Gamage (first left), Associate Technical Lead Chamendri Silva (centre), Quality Assurance Lead Samra Aman (first right) and Senior Technical Lead Yohan Wijeratne (second right), with awards presented by Manager – Business Consulting Prasath Mahalingam (far left) and Delivery Manager Buddhinatha Wijewantha (far right)