How diversity and inclusion can foster inclusive innovation at dtac #BreakTheBias

Diversity is a key to driving successful business. Research shows diverse teams tend to outperform their peers and are more innovative.

To celebrate diversity and International Women’s Day 2022, dtacblog spoke with our data scientists from dtac’s Technology Group to learn more about their experience as women working in the tech and mobile industry.

Women in Tech

Pailin Ittiwattanakul, Piyanuch Chaipornkaew, and Dr. Thida Pongsanguansin are members of the Data Analytics team of dtac’s Technology Group. Ms. Pailin’s key responsibility is analyzing data, while Ms. Piyanuch and Dr. Thida focus on developing machine learning models to detect any errors or abnormalities in the network to ensure timely responses and predict the Net Promoter Score (NPS) which measures customer satisfaction in network experience. These machine learning models allow the team to identify better and more accurate preventive measures.

Aside from this, their team also harnesses the power of data gathered from cell sites nationwide to increase power consumption efficiency in the network operations, which will put dtac closer to its ambition to halve its greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.  

“Diverse teams enjoy a synergy of distinctive strengths among their members. For example, women are often perceived to be more detail-oriented and thoughtful,” Ms. Pailin said. “Such qualities are crucial for data analysts in developing hypotheses and acquiring insights from those findings to develop a better solution.”

Nevertheless, the technology, media and telecom (TMT) industry is still male-dominated. According to a study from Deloitte Insights, the proportion of women in technical roles in large tech companies is at about 25 percent, while the situation could be even more challenging for smaller tech companies with fewer resources in building and maintaining a gender-diverse workforce. This is partly due to the lack of transparency in reporting diversity data as well as company-wide hiring and promotion goals to increase diversity.

An Inclusive Culture

Diversity and inclusion have always been at the core of dtac’s culture. The company encourages every employee to feel empowered and bring their whole selves to work.

According to Ms. Pailin, Ms. Piyanuch, and Dr. Thida, the engineering field has become increasingly open to people of all genders. But previously, very few women chose to study engineering. The situation has been improving in the past decade, with a steady increase of women in the tech workforce.

“During one of my site surveys, I met this woman who works as a field engineer. I really admired her agility and strength as the job requires her to ride a motorbike and measure the areas under the scorching sun,” Ms. Pailin said. “She has completely shifted my perception about gender norms and demonstrates that gender is never an obstacle at dtac.”

Also, a more inclusive work condition is key to fostering diversity. dtac was the very first in Thailand to announce the six-month maternity leave. This groundbreaking policy platform provides an equal opportunity for women employees.

dtac employees are also expected to live up to the four dtac behaviors – Always Explore, Create Together, Keep Promises and Be Respectful. In this work culture, each team member is performance-driven, treats others with respect, and values different opinions.

“A team consisting of people from diverse backgrounds can bring in fresh ideas to better solve customer pain points and build more inclusive products and services. This is especially critical for a mobile operator like dtac who every day works to connect millions of customers from different backgrounds and needs,” Ms. Piyanuch said.