Indo-German Business Talk: Women in STEM – Education & Practice

On 22 February 2023, the IGC’s Indo-German Business Talk online Webinar series focused on trends of female participation in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects in India and Germany.

About the Indo-German Business Talk

The Indo-German Business Talk is an online Webinar that addresses timely business topics between the two countries. The Webinar will take place monthly and participation for panel and audience members is free.

Women in STEM – Education & Practice

The participation and retainment of women in STEM, both academically and professionally, has been an ongoing discussion for many years. Questions such as “Why is there a high academic enrollment rate for Indian females into STEM subjects but this figure drops when it comes to STEM careers?” or “Is Germany actually moving backwards when it comes to female participation in the workforce?” cloud minds when looking at the increased representation of females in all levels of employment, i.e. from an entry-level position to being on a managing board.

Although global engagement groups, such as G20 discussions and regulatory measures have encouraged female participation, there is a still a gap to lessen and, ideally, close. Arguably, this needs to be looked at in all levels of society – from the home to government levels – and motivated further both in Germany and India.

Encouraging more and more women to take up STEM careers beyond the STEM graduation is the opportunity that we have today.

Sri Sanikommu, Head of Information Technology at P&G Middle East and Africa and lead of the STEM Chapter of P&G’s Equality and Inclusion agenda

What is needed here is more flexible business models to retain talent: agile work, digitalisation, part-time working…

Dr Katja Lasch, Head of DAAD’s Regional Office, New Delhi

Joining IGC Deputy Chairman, Matthias Catón, on the panel Dr Katja Lasch, Head of DAAD’s Regional Office, New Delhi; Anandi Iyer, Director of Fraunhofer’s India Office; and Sri Sanikommu, Head of Information Technology at P&G Middle East and Africa, combined their personal and professional experiences to discuss the trends and initiatives one can see today.

Highlighted topics of discussion included: What factors hinder female participation in STEM subjects; how far have we come in both countries; the importance of soft skills; the gender gap vs. the pay gap; and personal journeys from the inspiring Panelists.

It is not a polarised world: men vs. women. I think we need to be stakeholders and while the empowerment for women has to be led by women, we need stakeholders like men and other people to join us and be part of a world which is more equitable.

Anandi Iyer, Director of Fraunhofer Office India

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The entire webinar discussion can be viewed below: