Innovation, Diversity & STEM with D Sangeeta
“90 plus percent of the women leaving are not leaving for the family reasons; they are being pushed out of the workforce.”
– D. Sangeeta
I had the delight of speaking with D. Sangeeta, founder of Gotara, author of two books, holder of 26 patents, and winner of several prestigious awards, including the Nielsen CEO award and the National Women of Color Technology Award.
Sangeeta provides career advice to women in STEM, drawing on her extensive experience in industries like Aviation, Energy, and Tech.
- Gotara and its mission to close the gender gap in STEM fields
- Gotara's approach to addressing these challenges through creating psychological safety
- How skill improvement plays a sizable role in retention
Gotara and its mission to close the gender gap in STEM fields
There are two main pain points in STEM: The gender gap and manager upskilling. Gotara focuses on addressing both issues in equal measures, supporting women in STEM through creative and proven methods.
“Today, many of the colleges and universities are graduating, many, many women in engineering and sciences, they are graduating more than 50%,” Sangeeta says, “However, we lose them within five to seven years. At Gotara, we are trying to stop this leakage because everybody has invested so much time, resources, and money into this, and then they lose this talent.”
The reason these women leave their chosen fields is not due to family reasons alone, as is assumed. Behavioral research—collected by Sangeeta and her team—found that women are being pushed out of the workforce by being undervalued and excluded.
“It was happening under my nose, even though I was so passionate throughout because these kinds of discussions don't come up to the senior leaders,” she continues. “It happens at the level where the rubber hits the road.”
Good intentions can only go so far when the senior leaders don’t see what’s happening at the ground level.
Gotara's approach to addressing these challenges through creating psychological safety
It can be intimidating to bring up these pain points in the workplace, especially as women are typically discouraged from bringing up sensitive subjects such as gender gaps. The last thing you want is to come across as bad-mouthing the boss or the company culture.
That’s where Gotara comes in. Women who are struggling to thrive in their workplace can come to Gotara, relay their problems as candidly as they wish, and receive advice and action items tailored exclusively to their situation.
“They have a safe space, it's not going back to the company. We get to the root cause, and we help solve that problem through the right skills,” Sangeeta says.
Creating that safe space—built on psychological safety—doesn’t happen overnight. Gotara holds a diverse and dedicated team to help each user feel seen and heard.
“When we do a one-on-one session, before they start their upskilling process, they connect with the one-on-one coach who has lived in their shoes and can say, ‘That happened to me too,’” she continues. “When they see that somebody has lived in their shoes, who's helping them, they are more than happy to have that discussion.”
Gotara specializes in helping women overcome common hurdles that would otherwise slow them down or push them out of the system.
How skill improvement plays a sizable role in retention
94% of Gotara participants leave with improved skill sets in as little as eight weeks, validated by managers—that’s an outstanding number for such a short time.
“That is unique because our platform is by STEM, for STEM. We've lived in your shoes. We have use cases that you resonate with, and we provide the safe space to use the data to get to the root cause rather than addressing the symptom,” Sangeeta says.
Gotara sees retention as high as 94% with customers and career acceleration as high as 76% within the same year, where they get promoted or get a bigger job with higher visibility.
The numbers don’t lie. Women thrive in STEM with the proper network and support.
Gotara focuses on a few key areas of improvement in their participants:
- Time management
- And more
How have you leaned into community and mentorship in your career? How has that impacted your progress?