As we mark International Women’s Day, I find myself reflecting on the profound importance of this occasion—one dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women and acknowledging the hurdles they continue to face worldwide.

This year’s theme of #InspiringInclusion strikes a chord with me because it’s an invitation for each of us to play a role in building tech companies where inclusion is the norm, not the exception.

A diverse and inclusive workplace isn’t just about opening doors—it’s about ensuring that once inside, everyone has a seat at the table.

Nowhere is this more true than in the technology sector, where a study by Accenture and Girls Who Code showed that 50% of women leave the industry by the age of 35.

According to McKinsey, some of the microaggressions women (both in entry-level and senior positions) contend with include:

  • Being interrupted or spoken over.
  • Having your judgment questioned in your area of expertise.
  • Having others comment on your emotional state.

In my own experience at MOHARA, we are acutely aware of these challenges and are committed to creating an environment where we don’t just talk about diversity and inclusion in the tech industry, but actively embody these values.

Our global presence, with diverse teams from London to Bangkok and Cape Town to Toronto, enables us to harness a broad range of perspectives, insights, and ideas.

This diversity isn’t only geographical. It’s rooted in the varied experiences, backgrounds, and expertise of our diverse team members, contributing to innovative solutions and a truly inclusive workplace culture.

Whether we’re discussing strategies in Johannesburg, sharing a meal in Bangkok, or collaborating online across continents, we’re continually learning from each other, growing together, and fostering an environment where everyone is seen, heard, and valued.

Our approach to promoting diversity extends beyond creating a diverse workforce—it’s also about embedding these values into every layer of our company culture and operations.

I want to take this opportunity to reflect on our progress, to celebrate our successes, and to recommit to the journey ahead.

Together, we can build a future where women—along with all other underrepresented groups—have equal opportunities to thrive in the tech industry and beyond.

The Current Landscape of Diversity in Tech

In tech companies, where innovation and growth are key, there’s a noticeable gap: not enough women are part of this picture, especially in leadership roles.

As a woman who holds a leadership position within the tech industry, I’ve seen this up close—and the stats back it up.

Only 28% of the tech workforce is female, and women in leadership roles are even rarer, especially for women of color. Closing this gap not only increases diversity but also contributes to better business outcomes.

A global analysis showed that diverse teams with women are more likely to be successful and are 15% more likely to outperform teams that aren’t gender-diverse.

Why? Because different perspectives lead to a broader range of solutions, creative new ideas, and better products that appeal to a wider range of people.

Supporting diversity in tech companies isn’t just saying the right things. It’s about doing them.

This means implementing a fair hiring process, facilitating mentorship programs, and fostering an inclusive work environment where women feel valued and can stay and grow within our industry.

Inclusion vs Equality: My Perspective on How to Promote Diversity in Tech Companies

Reflecting on what it means to promote diversity in tech companies, I’ve grown to favor the term “inclusion” rather than “equity” or “equality.”

My thinking is rooted in the reality that we can’t always treat everyone equally. This is because we all start our careers from different points. Where we are is influenced by where we’ve come from–our different backgrounds, socioeconomic, ethnic diversity, and more.

This year’s theme of #InspireInclusion resonates with me because it advocates for environments where every person feels welcome, and their diverse experiences and viewpoints are celebrated.

I’d like to share an anecdote from my experience at a previous company during an International Women’s Day panel, which I believe sheds light on a major challenge in diversity in tech initiatives: tokenism.

The company opted to include three women and one man on a discussion panel where the topic was exploring experiences of women in the tech industry, but this decision felt somewhat misplaced to me.

It seemed like we were inadvertently embodying the very behavior we critique in others—adding someone simply to tick the box. I found myself questioning whether it was necessary to have a man as a panelist in that specific dialogue, just to say we had ‘diversity’.

Despite my reservations, the company went ahead with this choice.

The man we included—who is typically very confident and equitable—shared his anxieties with me beforehand.

He was worried about saying something wrong or his presence being unwarranted, which, in my eyes, mirrored the wider uncertainty and discomfort many feel when approaching topics of inclusion and diversity in tech.

It exemplifies a broader scenario where even well-meaning diversity initiatives fall short if they don’t genuinely nurture the inclusion they aim to promote.

The fact that discussions on gender can still provoke such unease suggests that there is a more extensive reluctance to engage in these conversations.

That experience underscores the importance of moving beyond tokenistic efforts and instead developing diverse talent, prioritizing diversity in hiring processes, and creating an inclusive culture that allows underrepresented groups to thrive in tech companies.

Our Global Approach to Diversity and Inclusion

At MOHARA, we’ve always been about more than just surface-level diversity in tech.

We’re deeply invested in integrating our core values and principles into every aspect of our operations and strategies.

In a world where tech companies are often seen as “boys’ clubs,” with only 33% of roles filled by women, we actively pursue investments in female-led companies.

30% of the founders in our portfolio are women—a figure we’re immensely proud of, especially considering that female founders receive just 2% of VC funding across industries, including the technology industry.

In addition to empowering women-led companies to succeed, our commitment to diversity in tech also extends to our internal operations and company culture:

Global team distribution

MOHARA’s global presence, with diverse teams in London, Cape Town, Bangkok, Manila, Guadalajara, and Toronto, showcases our commitment to championing different backgrounds and perspectives.

This worldwide distribution ensures a variety of cultural insights and ideas, which in turn enriches our approach to problem-solving and innovation.
Diverse teams

At MOHARA, we boast a mix of team members from underrepresented groups, including different ages, races, ethnicities, and socioeconomic backgrounds, to ensure a diverse workforce with varied experiences and viewpoints.

Our regular interactions and collaborations across different regions strengthen the understanding and appreciation of the diverse perspectives within our team.

Inclusive hiring practices

MOHARA’s recruitment strategies focus on inclusivity, ensuring a wide range of candidates are considered and that hiring practices are free from unconscious bias.

We’re proud to actively seek out tech talent from diverse backgrounds and skills to add to the perspectives of our team.

Personalised career development

Each team member is paired with a counselor, a dedicated professional who “project manages” their career development within the company. This personalized support helps our team members define their career trajectories with a focus on their short-, medium-, and long-term goals.

Whether it’s advancing in their current role, exploring different functions, delving into new technologies and industries, or experiencing life in our various global offices, we ensure that each pathway is as unique as the individual.

By implementing these strategies, we not only champion inclusion within our walls but also set a standard for the broader tech industry to follow, ensuring that diversity and inclusion are integral components of future success.

Let’s Create a Tech Industry Where Everyone Belongs

The theme #InspireInclusion encourages us to create spaces where everyone feels a sense of belonging.

It’s about acknowledging that while we may not all start from the same place due to our diverse backgrounds, we can all contribute meaningfully to improving business outcomes.

Reflecting on the company culture at MOHARA, I see an illustration of what it means to inspire inclusion.

We’re not just talking about integrating various perspectives for the sake of diversity—we value and actively seek out those perspectives to enrich our understanding and output.

This International Women’s Day, I pledge to embrace the #InspireInclusion theme and live it actively.

Whether through mentoring, advocating for inclusive practices, or simply listening and learning from the diverse talent around me, I’m committed to being a part of this movement. I hope you are, too.