Toyota Motor North America ranked No. 4 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2022.
Toyota Connected, the developer of Toyota’s cloud-based digital Connected Mobility Intelligence Platform, created the Women in Technology group to help women in technological careers navigate their roles.
“Women make up nearly 60% of all college graduates, and of those who go to college, women earn college degrees at a higher percentage than men – 65% vs. 59%,” Toyota wrote. “Yet, women account for just 18% of computer science degrees, and about the same percent account for executive roles.”
Women in Technology was founded in June 2022 by Shravanthi Denthumdas, Vice President of Engineering at Toyota Connected, and Lisa Frey, Agile Services Manager at Toyota Connected.
Denthumdas wants to aid women in technology by sharing her experiences as a woman in the male-dominated field, helping others learn and grow. Together with Frey, the two started Women in Technology to support other like-minded women.
“The group is about volunteers taking things that they love and running with them,” said Toyota’s Frey. “We’re paving the way, and then others will come in and do things they love, which promotes the group.”
Women in Technology facilitates educational meetings, networking opportunities, leadership training and conferences. The Grace Hopper Celebration, a conference held at the end of 2022, provided Women in Technology members the opportunity to network with other women pursuing careers in computer science.
Grace Hopper was the first woman to receive a doctorate in mathematics. She worked on the Mark I computer during World War II and helped develop UNIVAC I, the first commercial electronic computer. Hopper was also a rear admiral in the U.S. Navy.
With this mindset, Toyota’s Women in Technology group aims to support women as they reach new heights in their technological careers.
“It helps to see that there are women before you who have navigated the same challenges and have a similar lifestyle that you have, whether it’s with or without kids,” Denthumdas said. “They’ve navigated the same landscape, and they are successful.”