Every March, we celebrate International Women’s Day with a month of events and activities led by our employee network to explore themes like gender diversity and inclusion.

Our goal is to spark conversations that expand our definition of women’s empowerment, nurture female leadership within our company and community, and create a supportive environment for women in IT.

Inclusivity in technology

While NTT DATA has a strong focus on continual career growth for every employee, we recognize that women in technology can benefit hugely from representation and visibility. When we highlight the success stories of women in IT careers, we help to break down stereotypes, foster self-belief and inspire other women to pursue careers in the field.

Amanda Daly, Senior Director for Career and Development (Middle East and Africa) at NTT DATA, experienced the impact of self-doubt firsthand. Initially, she believed her technical acumen and skills weren’t sufficient and put her at a disadvantage. However, she soon realized that this perception was “self-inflicted”.

“A lack of self-assurance led to people treating me as less of an authority,” Daly says. But as she recognized her value and presented herself with confidence, her ability to engage and excel in her job soared. Her journey to self-belief now fuels her advocacy for the achievements of women in our organization.

By highlighting these accomplishments, we send a powerful message about what’s possible when you have not only the talent, education and skill to excel in your chosen field but also the opportunities and support to create a successful career.

Supporting women in tech: our EmpowHer event series

On 20 March this year, we hosted our inaugural EmpowHer event, which brought together accomplished women from various sectors of the IT industry. The purpose was clear: to celebrate and empower women, address industry challenges, promote diversity and inclusion, and foster networking opportunities.

At a workshop and panel discussion led by distinguished women leaders, attendees had the chance to connect, share their experiences and build professional relationships.

Through this event series, we want to change the industry for the better and create an environment where women in technology can thrive.

Empowering through education

Our commitment to empowering the next generation of women in leadership starts with initiatives like our Saturday School program, through which we support Grade 11 and 12 students from underresourced schools in Johannesburg and Gqeberha, in South Africa. Our goal is to help these students achieve the grades they need to pursue higher education.

About 85% of our students today are female, reflecting our dedication to supporting young women in education – and it doesn’t stop there. Qualifying Saturday School students can apply for a full bursary from NTT DATA if they are accepted into an information and communications technology qualification at a registered South African higher education institution. Additionally, we encourage their participation in our Young Talent Graduate Program, where 40% of our graduates are African women – selected solely on merit.

We’re also committed to ensuring that our graduates are highly employable. We take immense pride in the fact that 98% of our young talent graduates have secured employment.

Addressing period poverty

Education extends beyond the classroom, and we’re acutely aware of another social issue that affects young women: period poverty. Period poverty is the lack of access to menstrual products, education and facilities and resources for proper menstrual hygiene. It affects an estimated 500 million women and girls globally and is responsible for an estimated one in five girls missing school each month.

This is why we’ve teamed up with Palesa Pads, a South African organization that produces reusable menstrual pads and related products which are donated to schools where, for many, these products are simply unaffordable.

Through this collaboration, we aim to alleviate the burden of period poverty and create an environment where girls can pursue their education with dignity and without barriers. By ensuring access to menstrual hygiene products, we address a fundamental need and empower young girls to continue their education with confidence.

Promoting career success at NTT DATA

NTT DATA is committed to empowering all our employees and supporting them in their career growth, taking into account their individual and family circumstances and life events. We offer diverse mentorship and training programs and have implemented corporate policies that support our employees’ work–life balance. We believe that Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) can drive innovations, and position D&I as one of the most important management strategy.

We’ve also been recognized as a Global Top Employer by the Top Employers Institute this year and will continue to create a workplace where all our people are valued, respected and afforded equal opportunities.

This article includes contributions by Amanda Daly.

#KeepAGirlChildInSchool by donating any amount toward Palesa Pads. A one-time contribution of ZAR380 will provide a girl child with an essential kit that will last them for more than five years. Let’s empower young girls and give them the resources they need to stay in school!