Karthika is the Technical Director of the Digital Twins department within Kongsberg Digital’s Customer Success team. She has 20 years of experience as a Software Development Professional, with the first decade spent working in India before she relocated to Norway and became part of the Kongsberg Group. In 2017, she joined Kongsberg Digital.
“It is an honour to be recognised as a leading woman in tech with so many talented women in the industry. Coding, logical and analytical thinking, problem-solving and the teamwork required to do all this are definitely not gender specific. During my twenty years as a tech professional, I’ve seen a considerable change in the focus companies have to recruit a more diverse workforce. I truly believe this focus will help bring more women talents into the tech field,”says Karthika Periyasamy, Technology Director in Kongsberg Digital.
Currently, Kongsberg Digital has a global workforce of over 1000 colleagues. Among them, 23 per cent are women, and this percentage is gradually increasing.
“In Kongsberg Digital, our vision is to transform global industries by changing and shaping how people work. To achieve this, we believe that different perspectives are crucial for developing the game-changing technology we need for a better tomorrow. We are rooting for women in tech, and this award is truly a great initiative. We are proud of Karthika and are so glad she received this recognition. She is an important role model, and we hope she inspires even more women to join Kongsberg Digital.”, Kristin Ruud, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Communication and People at Kongsberg Digital said.
According to Øystein E. Søreide, the Director General of Abelia and the head of the jury for the award, having diversity among the individuals who create and develop technology is crucial.
“Who creates the algorithms and writes the code that makes new solutions work matters. Whether it concerns consumer technology, industrial software or control systems for offshore wind turbines and carbon storage systems. In Norway, we have every opportunity to choose the educations that make us most relevant for the future. But even the Norwegian technology industry is too unidirectional”, Søreide said.
Since 2016, the proportion of women in the tech sector has increased by a marginal 2.2 percentage points, according to recent figures from Statistics Norway (SSB). At this rate, we won’t reach full equality in technology for almost 100 years. This puts Norwegian advantages at risk.
Norway’s 50 Best Tech Women is an initiative to highlight talents and good role models who can contribute to more people choosing technology careers from outside the typical recruitment pool.
“Technology is neither discriminatory nor unidirectional, but the data we base ourselves on and how we put together new solutions can be. If men make the solutions, they are also adapted to men. This can lead to significant challenges for key parts of the user base”, says Søreide.
“We as a society have made this mistake in the past. Historically, the exclusion of women from medical research has meant that we today have major knowledge gaps related to several diseases. If we as a society do not address this, we will see unfortunate ripple effects for a long time to come”, says Gunn Severinsen in the ODA-Nettverk.
Furthermore, she says that the problem lies in the entire technology chain where men develop, finance and lead the companies where the technology is created. Today, only 15 per cent of managers in Norwegian ICT companies are women, according to Statistics Norway (SSB).