Bentley Systems Hosts the Women in Infrastructure & Technology Conference in India to Celebrate Success of Women Leaders

On March 3, 2023, Bentley Systems hosted the Women in Infrastructure & Technology Conference in India at the Jio World Convention Centre in Mumbai. The event celebrated the success of women leading the infrastructure and technology industries. Women leaders shared their experiences while showcasing their contributions to the industry.

Several well-known leaders from the infrastructure and technology industry attended the conference, and other industry representatives moderated sessions and discussions. The event covered the inclusiveness and diversity of women in infrastructure, as well as what it means to be a woman leader in the infrastructure sector. The panellists shared their views on how they see the industry today and how women can actively take part in design and operations. They also discussed the overall future and growth opportunities for women in the infrastructure space.

Bentley set up an exclusive virtual reality experience center that showcased the International Nuclear Fusion Research (ITER) engineering megaproject and the Tuas Water Reclamation Project (TWRP). The center gave attendees a chance to experience, in real time, Bentley’s immersive photorealistic rendering technology. The focus was on enhancing the user experience through developing innovative solutions. Industry leaders also had a chance to network with their peers. Bentley’s Kaushik Chakraborty, Vice President, APAC, interacted with the audience to answer questions.

Chakraborty said, “This is a first-of-its-kind event by Bentley Systems. Women are being drawn toward professions in a wide range of sectors, including infrastructure and technology, and we are proud to host this event. These sectors have been predominantly male-dominated for a long time and are slowly seeing increased contribution by and acceptance of women. Inclusivity is one of the core values at Bentley Systems, and we acknowledge the success of women leaders in the infrastructure, tech, and construction space who have played a role by being leaders in this industry and setting an example for up-and-coming professionals.”

Other sessions at the conference included:

    1. Chakraborty moderating a talk where Bentley’s Brock Ballard, chief revenue officer, and Katriona Lord-Levins, chief success officer, discussed digital transformation through inclusivity and diversity. The session focused on how women bring a high degree of emotional intelligence, diversity of thought, and values to the workplace, and how diverse views are important to produce great outcomes. Inclusivity in a company must start with the culture, right framework, and environment, which are vital for manifesting diversity. Women should also feel that they can openly state what they want, as well as have the support that they need to identify the right opportunities. Additionally, they need to have access to the education and experience that can help them be bright leaders of tomorrow. Leadership is not a position, but rather behaviour with capabilities so the right skill sets are necessary.
    2. There was also a fireside chat discussion where Divya Bhatt, chief business officer, India, SEA, and ME at L&T Technology Services, and Bharti Sinha, co-founder of Strategists’ World, discussed how women can lead the industry with purpose and passion. The session focused on the huge shift in the industry toward diversity and inclusion. While women had historically not been encouraged to enter the infrastructure and tech fields, the number of women that are pursuing careers in this field has grown exponentially. Referring to a situation in her own life, Sinha shared how sales was a man’s domain, and there was a difference in how a man shared feedback versus a woman. Men communicated the needs of customers, but women provided deeper thought for the feedback to be incorporated. Bhatt added how the infrastructure sector is going through a huge attrition rate and that women, with their skills, at a managerial level, can create stability in the team by having a natural empathetic nature. Sinha advised women to dare to dream, be authentic, look for opportunities, and make the most of them. Likewise, Bhatt advised women to leverage their own ecosystem where they can access help where required. She had read in a report that equality is 150 years away and that we need to continue the diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, as well as to increase retention of women by revising policies. 
    3. In a panel discussion, leaders from companies Excelize Software, Tata Projects, L&T Technology Services, Microsoft, and Cyient inspired women to enter the engineering industry by sharing their experiences and talking about the industry’s benefits. The session highlighted the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives in an organization and how one’s work speaks for itself in the long run. Today, the industry is changing, and diversity, equity, and inclusion are critical. According to statistics, women start quitting work after an average of five years. There must be leadership in companies that motivates women to stay in the workplace, as well as for new people to join the industry. Diversity, equity, and inclusion are not just about hiring, but rather about adding value to the organization. The imbalance happens when women undersell themselves. If women are given a vision of what they can achieve, there will be greater growth. On the panel, Khyati Shah, senior technology lead at Microsoft, explained how she was offered a vice president position at an organization, but was then asked to back out because she was demanding. The promotion was then given to a male candidate with less experience. Overcoming this intimidation at the workplace is challenging. Women are not differently abled but constrained. To this, Rahul Shah, president and chief operating officer of buildings and infrastructure at Tata Projects, shared how one of their construction projects was being constructed by an all-woman engineering team in Santacruz, Mumbai, over a period of 19 months. Committed toward driving women empowerment and creating an equitable workplace across industries, it was a significant step in promoting varied opportunities for women in an otherwise male-dominated industry.

      Today, technology adoption is increasing and with robotics, digital twins, and remote controlling coming into play, it will help organizations to become efficient. Creating more opportunities will increase the number of women working in construction—both in India and around the world. We also do not hear as many women success stories as we should, and it is very important to hear them to inspire more women. 

    4. The event concluded with a panel discussion on the changing role of women leaders in India today before Seema Tengse, Bentley’s enterprise account manager, thanked attendees for participating in the event. The session discussed the unique perspectives and skills that women bring to leadership roles, how they have impacted India’s efforts toward sustainable national development, and the actions for accelerating progress of women at work. Women in technology are growing at a rate of 30% to 35%. However, there is a lack of women entering the construction industry, leading to a lack of growth. The nation and industries need to focus on how women can be retained at the workplace. We must create supportive environments and flexibility for women to raise a family and help motivate them to sustain themselves in the industry. We can see a definitive change and paradigm shift of women being heard and supported. Women are breaking the glass by outperforming themselves. Slowly, we are also seeing trends in both genders work alongside evolving companies.

    About Bentley Systems

    Bentley Systems (Nasdaq: BSY) is the infrastructure engineering software company. We provide innovative software to advance the world’s infrastructure – sustaining both the global economy and environment. Our industry-leading software solutions are used by professionals, and organizations of every size, for the design, construction, and operations of roads and bridges, rail and transit, water and wastewater, public works and utilities, buildings and campuses, mining, and industrial facilities. Our offerings, powered by the iTwin Platform for infrastructure digital twins, include MicroStation and Bentley Open applications for modeling and simulation, Seequent’s software for geoprofessionals, and Bentley Infrastructure Cloud encompassing ProjectWise for project delivery, SYNCHRO for construction management, and AssetWise for asset operations. Bentley Systems’ 5,000 colleagues generate annual revenues of more than $1 billion in 194 countries.

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