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How one company is creating opportunities for women in STEM

  • Published at 06:15 pm March 9th, 2021
Selise Digital Platforms
Employees of Selise Digital Platforms in Bangladesh Courtesy

In Bangladesh, Selise works with various firms ranging from online food delivery platform Foodpanda to large multinationals such as Berger Paints

A software firm in Bangladesh has been creating opportunities for women in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) field which is heavily dominated by men.

Selise Digital Platforms, a Swiss-owned software engineering and business consulting firm, employs more than 60 women in various roles around the world, according to a media statement.

Apart from Bangladesh, the organization, founded in 2011, is currently operating in Switzerland, UAE, and Bhutan as well.

In Bangladesh, they work with various firms ranging from online food delivery platform Foodpanda to large multinationals such as Berger Paints.

Selise tries to ensure equal opportunities for women to pursue and thrive in their respective work fields.

After being asked about the role the HR department at Selise plays in ensuring a safe and equitable working environment for employees, Susmita Newaz, one of the HR Generalists of the organization, replied: “Workplace Gender Equality is a huge priority for Selise. We try our best to make sure that the women in our workplace always feel comfortable in talking to us.”

Dilshad Ferdousi, a long-time employee at the organization, agreed and added: “I have been working in Selise for more than 7 years and am very proud to be a part of this growing company. I must say as a working mother, I’ve got so much support from the office in every possible way.”

When asked about how working at Selise is different from other tech firms, Deepshika Chettri, a product manager at Selise Bhutan, replied: “Selise has introduced me to the tech world and it gives me immense happiness to be a part of this amazing and dynamic industry. The work environment drives me to put in more effort and provides me with an open space to envision products to build.”

Adding to this, her colleague Sonam, an UX engineer, stated that the organization has built a platform where skilled, enthusiastic, and smart people come together to complete significant tasks together, thus creating opportunities to strengthen one's skills and learn to work in teams.

One of the most common barriers women face in STEM workplaces is gender-based discrimination in pay and working conditions. 

Dechen, a software engineer from Bhutan, said: “At Selise, there is no male developer or female developer, there are just developers. Being a woman or a man has never been the reason for any failure or success: it is just you.” 

Another problem faced by women in STEM fields is the lack of career advancement opportunities compared to their male counterparts. 

When asked if the organization provides ample career growth opportunities for female employees, Anika Tasnim, a business manager at Selise Bangladesh, answered: “When it comes to learning opportunities and career growth, Selise has always ensured there is no discrimination. Hard work and diligence are sure to pay off and no work goes unappreciated here.”

Believing in diverse teams creating more value in STEM fields, Flurina Hammer, working as the vice-president of Financial Services of the organization, said: “Selise was from the beginning conscious about hiring and developing female talent in an industry that usually attracts more men than women. We are proud to have one the highest female employee shares in the industry.” 

To answer how diversity is maintained in this multinational company, Karla Zinreich, head of technology of Selise Europe, mentioned that they support people of all cultures, genders, and religions and allows the best ideas to grow, and being a part of this team allows her to encourage other women to join the industry and to be the change they want to see.

In a field where women are underrepresented despite the narrow gender gap in accessing quality education, Selise has been setting an exemplary standard.

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