On this International Women’s Day 2022, I would like to share how some of our Temenosians are supporting this year’s pose and theme #BreaktheBias. As well as highlight my special interview with Prema Varadhan – Temenos’ Chief Product and Technology Officer, where she gave me her thoughts on how women can further advance their careers in business (video below), how important it is to be an empathetic leader and her views on going green in banking and tech.
What is so impressive to me about Prema is that she’s in a role which historically you have found men in, and it is a well-known fact that women are under-represented in IT executive positions. There’s still a long way for us to go with gender equality in tech. In case you don’t believe me, here are some stats to take in: According to research conducted by Alpha Architect, the average representation of female CTO’s is 8%. In addition, only 15% of FTSE 100 firms CTOs are women.
Now some positive targets and stats to look forward to. Temenos is committed to gender equality and diversity. By 2025, we are projected to reach 36% gender diversity globally and 30% gender diversity on the board of directors. We are a top performer in the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index.
Getting back to Prema and some of her views:
Prema recognizes that employees want leaders who are empathetic and who are sensitive to personal situations, (especially during today’s on-going challenges and shift in workplace environments). These are qualities that are cultivated in women from a young age, based on social norms.
A 2021 analysis by S&P Global with researchers from the University of Paris found that female CEOs illustrated greater empathy, adaptability and diversity more frequently than their male peers, per a survey of nearly 8,500 companies across 61 countries. Women leaders tend to use an empathetic style to influence others and to build trust, which produces productive and effective teams.
Women leaders tend to use an empathetic style to influence others and to built trust, which produces productive and effective. 
According to Belinda Parmar, an expert on empathy in business, “empathy has commercial benefits”, but we are currently suffering a corporate “empathy deficit”, which women can help address and use to create real transformation and effectiveness. It’s not about pitting men against women, but recognizing that different qualities – such as empathy – help to offer an alternative approach and ultimately deliver a better outcome. The technology sector provides a great testbed for this theory. 
However, Prema also points out, the focus should always be on meritocracy. If someone is a good leader, they should be able to obtain any senior position regardless of their sex, which has no correlation to performance.
When it comes to Prema’s work goals, she emphasizes, how passionate she is about putting customers first. She does this by focusing on technology initiatives to improve the client experience with faster, effortless software implementations. Which brings us to another one of her important beliefs – how making banking greener is vital. Green IT and cloud can help financial institutions transform into smart, inclusive and sustainable organizations.Temenos Banking Cloud is the perfect example. Collaborating with Temenos’ Chief ESG Officer, Kalliopi Chioti, Prema leads our product strategy to provide our clients with the tools to reduce their carbon footprint, their environmental performance, reach their sustainability targets and enable them through their net zero journey.
“I want to bring the best out of people as I firmly believe every individual has a lot of potential. And I am extremely focused in driving positive outcomes as a team so it makes it easy to align people to a common goal and resolve differences. I encourage people to agree to disagree but never compromise on the business goal.”
Prema has been working at Temenos for 22 years and currently resides in London, UK.
Watch Our Video
I invite you to watch the video below to hear Prema’s three quick tips for women looking to excel in business.
Please also enjoy our fabulous #Breakthebias, TOGETHER photo college by clicking on the button.