Komal says that women need to be extremely confident and have faith in what they are doing, the product they are building and selling.

Women in Tech Xlpats Komal Talwar advocates inclusive company policies for women
Atom Women in Tech Thursday, March 28, 2019 - 23:03

Komal Sharma Talwar and her startup Xlpat has developed the world’s first completely automated commercialised novelty checker. For every aspiring entrepreneur out there wanting to do something disruptive, the platform helps them check if their idea is unique and if they should file IP (Intellectual Property) over the idea.

With tens of thousands aspiring entrepreneurs out there, Komal is globe-trotting for most part of the year, visiting prospective clients, expanding her business. She is currently in Silicon Valley looking to further expand their presence there.

How does she do it? Confidence, Komal says.

As part of her extensive travelling and networking, Komal says that you usually meet very few women. There are a lot of networking opportunities and events targeted towards women that are coming up, but the stats are still poor compared to men.

“Generally, men are able to network so much more. They have their groups - so we tend to find ourselves a little aloof there. But it is not about breaking this barrier and working our way up despite that,” she says.

Komal says that women need to be extremely confident and have faith in what they are doing, the product they are building and selling. “I think it’s a very mental thing. I don’t think twice before travelling the world. Women shouldn’t think that they can’t do that because they’re women. Think like men. And if you have confidence in what you are building, the confidence to go out and meet people and network comes on its own,” she adds.

But the fact that there are a lot more networking opportunities for women in the form of events and women-centric networks is encouraging, Komal says.

And while there is growing awareness, with the field of technology growing rapidly on a daily basis, it requires women and men to learn and adapt quickly, be updated about global trends, about what’s happening in  your industry and add that to your line of products.

Komal with the other two co-founders of Xlpat

And while that requires one to be on their toes 24x7, Komal says it’s a lot harder for women since they are expected to balance a lot more. “The difference here really is that with men, they don’t have to balance so many things. I think why we see fewer women in technology is because the balance of work and life is very difficult to maintain. You must have an extremely strong backing from your family and from your spouse. We might talk about a lot of women in technology, but when you look at the statistics, there are hardly any of them in leadership roles,” she adds.

And according to Komal, this can be fixed by making inclusive and supportive policies for women, especially to encourage them to come back to work after maternal leave.

“In my company, 30% are women and we have some amazing ‘work from home’ options for them where despite having children, they can rejoin work quickly and conveniently. We keep flexible options for them such as working part time/full time or working from home till they are ready to come back. These things are very important now. Companies have to be very considerate about bringing women back to work after a break. If we have more policies for women, it makes it easier for them to come back to work and grow in their career,” Komal adds.

And through her experience of over a decade, Komal says that technology is the place for women to be in the future. “I think that women have to be in technology if they have to herald the next wave of development and be in the top league in the next 10-20 years. Salaries in areas such as AI are highest in the world. And while it is going to be a tough journey, it isn’t impossible. I’d say keep your eye on the prize and be mentally strong,” she says. 

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