Companies committed to diversity (gender or otherwise) tend to be more creative and innovative and have higher retention and engagement rates. Diverse leadership can provide excellent role models for younger people looking for a career in STEM, those who are transitioning into the industry from an “unconventional” career path, or those who are returning to work.

This International Women’s Day, we’re featuring more than a week’s worth of posts that highlight female builders and leaders. We’re showcasing women in the industry who are building, creating, and, above all, inspiring, empowering, and encouraging everyone—especially women and girls—in tech.

Though the number of women in tech roles is slowly increasing, they are still underrepresented. As shown in the graph that follows, women worldwide hold, on average, 21% of IT and technical roles.

Female representation in technology organizations in 2021, selected countries

Female representation in technology organizations in 2021, selected countries

This number drops to 12% when you look at cloud computing roles like Developers/Engineers, Data Engineers, System Administrators, DevOps Engineers, and Architects.

Share of male and female workers across professional clusters

Share of male and female workers across professional clusters

The technology industry has a challenge—but also an opportunity—when it comes to equal gender representation. By highlighting the work that women are doing right now to slowly but steadily change what it looks like (literally and figuratively) to work in tech and with continued commitment and effort, we can create a path to success for everyone.

She Builds Tech Skills re:Invent Roundup

AWS She Builds Tech Skills is a skill development program aimed for builders and cloud enthusiasts to create an inclusive environment to learn and develop cloud skills. Their mission is to build a community with world class leaders and influence diversity representation amongst technical roles in technology.

To kick off this week, we’re featuring a video from She Builds Tech Skills, hosted by Mai Nishitani and May Kyaw, Solutions Architects at AWS. In the video, they chat with six female Solutions Architects from around the world about their favorite services and features from re:Invent 2021, and they give advice on how to get started using these services in your architectures.

As a bonus, Mai and May followed up with these women to chat about how they’re celebrating International Women’s Day this week and every week.

Poornima Chand, Senior Solutions ArchitectPoornima Chand

Poornima Chand is a Senior Solutions Architect in the Strategic Accounts Solutions team at AWS. She works with customers to help solve their unique challenges using AWS technology solutions. She enjoys architecting and building scalable solutions. Her focus areas include Serverless, High Performance Computing and Machine Learning.

How does she encourage and mentor women in tech and beyond? Poornima is an active mentor in the AWS She Builds CloudUp program. She loves to celebrate women’s achievements and plans to spend International Women’s Day interacting with and learning from [email protected] and women from customer teams.

Ai-Linh Le, Solutions ArchitectAi-Linh Li

Ai-Linh Le is a Solutions Architect based in Sydney, Australia. She started her career as a software engineer and still likes to be hands-on in developing and building solutions and demos. She enjoys working with customers and helping them to build solutions and solve challenges. Her areas of focus include data analytics, machine learning, and DevOps.

How does she encourage and mentor women in tech and beyond? Ai-Linh is passionate about continuous learning and exploring new technologies, and is a mentor in the AWS She Builds CloudUp program.

Nelli Lovchikova, Enterprise Solutions ArchitectNelli Lovchikova

Nelli has nearly twenty years of experience helping companies build amazing things as a software engineer and architect. She strongly believes in engineering excellence and continuous learning and improvement.

How does she encourage and mentor women in tech and beyond? Nelli constantly researches and experiments with bleeding-edge technologies and ideas and is always happy to take other people on that journey with me, share my findings, and inspiration.

Natalie White, Enterprise Solutions ArchitectNatalie White

Natalie White is an Enterprise Solutions Architect in southern California. Her 15-year software development career across four industry verticals prior to joining AWS and her advocacy for AWS Developer Tools and Infrastructure as Code services help her earn trust with her customers’ builders and executive stakeholders and accelerate their time to done.

How does she encourage and mentor women in tech and beyond? Natalie is an active member in the Society of Women Engineers and a leader of her daughter’s Girl Scout troop, so she will celebrate International Women’s Day with [email protected] and across engineering domains, industry verticals, and age groups.

Deval Parikh, Senior Enterprise Solutions ArchitectDeval S Parikh

Deval Parikh is a Sr Enterprise Solutions Architect at AWS based out of Los Angeles. She is passionate about helping enterprises re-imagine their businesses in the cloud by leading them with strategic architectural guidance and building prototypes as an AWS expert.

How does she encourage and mentor women in tech and beyond? Deval is passionate about helping women STEM roles. She leads various affinity groups in AWS North America, including Women At Solutions Architecture and YouthTech. On weekends, she teaches high school and middle school students programming in Python and Spark. Outside of work, she loves to paint with oil on canvas and hiking with her friends. You can view some of her artwork at www.devalparikh.com.

Viktoria Semaan, Senior Partner Solutions ArchitectSemaan

As a Senior Partner Solutions Architect, Viktoria is helping AWS Strategic ISV Partners to build joint innovative solutions on AWS. She has 13+ years of experience in solutions architecture, leading multi-site automation and transformation projects. She is a public speaker and content creator and often shares learning opportunities on social media.

How does she encourage and mentor women in tech and beyond? Viktoria is passionate about coaching, talent development, and mentoring others. She is a mentor at the AWS She Builds CloudUp program, which focuses on empowering women and helps them to learn AWS services and products and become AWS Certified.

Would you like to know more?

If you want to hear more about AWS She Builds Tech Skills, please reach out to May or Mai on LinkedIn for more information, subscribe to their YouTube channel for the latest videos.

We’ve got more content for International Women’s Day!

Tomorrow we have a technical post, Deploying service-mesh-based architectures using AWS App Mesh and Amazon ECS from Kesha Williams, an AWS Hero and award-winning software engineer.

Later this week, we’ll share:

  • A collection of several blog posts written and co-authored by women
  • Curated content from the Let’s Architect! team and a live Twitter chat
  • A post on Women at AWS – Diverse Backgrounds, Common Goal of Becoming Solutions Architects
  • Another post on Building your brand as a SA

Enjoy!

Other ways to participate