Gargi C. – Programme Executive at Airspan

As a Programme Executive at Airspan, Gargi works in STEM, a field where women are underrepresented. Here, she talks about her journey and how Airspan has supported her along the way. 

I’m quite unusual in my industry. At university, I studied computer science engineering and went on to earn an MBA in information technology. Now I’m a Programme Executive at Airspan. That puts me in a small minority. According to the UN, nearly 40% of women graduate with degrees in STEM subjects, but just 14% of them actually go on to work in a related sector. 

As a result, STEM fields are often seen as areas where men have all the answers. As a result, people often underestimate women’s abilities. This leads to a ‘confidence gap’ between women and their male counterparts. In turn, that restricts women’s development and career opportunities and discourages them from pursuing a career in STEM in the first place. It’s a vicious cycle. 

It’s clear that the industry has a lot of work to do. It needs to mature, workplaces need to become more gender inclusive, and women need to be given more opportunities. I’m pleased that Airspan is doing great things in this area. 

First, Airspan offers a range of concrete benefits that go a long way towards helping women in practical ways. These include extended maternity benefits, flexible working options, and medical health cover for families. But beyond that, it’s the culture that stands out. The environment for women at Airspan is welcoming and supportive, allowing us to use and develop our talents without fear of judgement. While women working in STEM might be seen as unusual outside the company, within Airspan it is simply normal. 

It’s an important distinction that women at Airspan aren’t just accepted, they’re actively supported by the company. I have many managers and supervisors who go out of their way to make sure there are no barriers to me being a proactive member of the team, removing any reservations or self-consciousness about my position. This helps to combat the confidence gap that sometimes arises. 

So with companies like Airspan listening to what women need in order to thrive, things are beginning to change. This creates a win-win situation. Women can get ahead in the workplace, and Airspan is able to access a wealth of female engineering, mathematical, and scientific talent. 

The biggest piece of advice I’d give to young women hoping to pursue a career in STEM today is: keep hustling. Don’t get bogged down by societal pressures. Women in STEM have the power to be game changers.