We live in a high-tech world and every year we see more and more women entering the IT industry in India and making a mark. We celebrate their achievements in some or the other way but one special way of doing it is celebrating International Women’s Day.
In no particular order, here are some special women achievers speaking their heart out on their journey in IT. Hard work, dreaming big and pushing oneself to look beyond their own abilities are some of the traits that are essential to succeed.
Here is a first person account from these special women on what has made them succeed despite multiple challenges:
Srimathi Shivashankar, AVP Diversity & Sustainability, HCL Technologies
Dominance is in your mind. If you define it as the percentage of men and women in your company, then it is wrong. If you define it as a characteristic of an aggressive person, then you can easily handle it. We don’t wear uniforms to work to differentiate gender; we wear our attitude and roles that we work for and are recognized for the impact we bring in our own environment.
Additionally, managing and being a part of a multi-dimensional and demanding environment, I think every woman should believe that they are first among equals, and are no less competent to fellow men. Women can sustain competition and expectations from various stakeholders if they have definite set of goals and a firm vision of what they want to achieve . Amidst all the planning, never forget to invest time for your own development and networking, as we miss opportunities and our reason to do so is ‘we don’t have time’.
Going forward, for all the young women aiming to make their mark in this field, an important thing to remember is we have a purpose in life, and it does not end with just a career advancement. A very powerful source of motivation for an aspiring woman leader is the fact that beyond a certain point in their professional lives, women start shaping the careers of many who work with them. This is because of a basic fact that women are compassionate in nature. Also, you are the role model for future generations, as in India we have almost lost out on 100 years of women’s non-participation in a formal work force.
Seema Ambastha, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Netmagic
I firmly believe that thorough professionalism is the most important factor in building a career. To be successful, gender-biased opinions have to be left out of the workplace environment. More importantly, taking up a job that one loves and working passionately helps women compete with role models within the organization. A woman’s perspective at the corporate table is often different and unique. Therefore, recognizing their unique strengths right at the beginning of their career will help young women professionals to think through solutions and add value by evaluating issues with a 360 degree viewpoint. Being a true leader and approaching matters with an open mind definitely raises the bar for male peers.
I believe that the inclusive behavior of women at the workplace, in policy and practice, is a huge strength for any organization. By honing it perfectly, companies can facilitate rapid professional growth of their women employees. Personally, I have made it a point to maintain a competitive mindset and have always pushed myself to look beyond my abilities. According to me, education remains one of the most critical factors for professional success and I urge all the women in IT to gain as much education and knowledge as possible in order to have an edge over peers.”
Nidhi Agarwal, Founder & CEO, kaaryah.com
I have never thought of any workplace being ‘dominated by men.’ It’s a matter of approach and mindset. Workspace whether populated by men or women doesn’t determine the relentlessness with which one approaches work. I, however, will always be thankful for the opportunities that have been made available to me that has allowed me use my determination.
IT or not, never let any circumstance define ‘What you are going to get out of it?’ or ‘Who you are going to be?’. What you obtain even in the most challenging situation is only a matter or what you set out to achieve, how hard you want to pursue it and therefore, what you are willing to trade off. All this becomes easier if you play from your areas of strength whilst looking to develop new ones.
It’s very hard to choose what to trade off specially when you are hardwired to want it all. Over time, one realises what matters most and then so called compromises become easier.
Fear nothing—all biases, prejudices, questions, apprehensions can only be answered by the quality and efficiency of your work. There is also no substitute for hard work.
Sumathy Anantharam, Director, WEBCOM Information Technology
Hard working with smart working will make you reach heights faster. The journey of being in an IT company can be and is very challenging as the customer and supplier acceptance is very low, but the minute you sustain and show them that you can perform equally or better, you start getting the respect and recognition. Women should have perseverance and patience to reach what we want.
IT has got a lot of branches and opportunity, but one advice is to evaluate what is your passion before taking up any of your career and once you decide, please validate and talk to people who are from the same profession and understand whether physically and mentally you can accomplish. Once you have done this homework, you will see success automatically.
I believe there are two main challenges of being in a top position—one is managing the personal life with career—as she is expected to be a daughter, wife, daughter in law, mother, friend, etc, and in her career she is expected to be competent, obedient, and an achiever. So to achieve both, we should have only one thing which can self motivate us to be both—PASSION PASSION PASSION. Once you like or love what you are doing. you can achieve the above easily. Working women should dream big and plan for achieving it.