Intelligent CXO Issue 23 | Page 28



International Women ’ s Day is on March 8 to celebrate women ’ s achievement and to push for a gender equal world . And it follows hot on the heels of International Day of Women and Girls in Science , which was celebrated last month . Despite a shortage of skills in most of the technological fields driving the Fourth Industrial Revolution , women still account for only 28 % of engineering graduates and 40 % of graduates in computer science and informatics . Are companies doing enough to close the gender gap in tech and unlock equal opportunities for women to succeed in the industry ? Intelligent CXO spoke to four


female leaders about their experience in the tech industry .
Rupal Hollenbeck , Chief Commercial Officer at Check Point Software Technologies :
What is your experience like as a female tech leader ?
I have been fortunate to have spent the last 28 years in the technology industry . During this time , I ’ ve seen the industry begin to open up for women and underrepresented groups . It has taken a hands-on effort over the years – and I ’ ve helped by starting women ’ s Employee Resource Groups in Asia and chairing an executive women ’ s network in China . I ’ m heartened by the progress we ’ ve made , but there is more work to be done .
When I first started working in tech , I had male and female managers who expressed their confidence , and this inspired me . They showed me – through their example – what was possible . I was able to work for a senior woman in a leadership role , and she was instrumental in me seeing myself in a senior role as well . I truly believe that it ’ s very hard to be what you cannot see .
Along the way , both mentorship and sponsorship by great men and women have been instrumental . Now , as a leader at Check Point Software , a leader in global cybersecurity , I actively work on paying it forward every chance I get . I enjoy leading my
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