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According to 451Research, India now has a large influx of women taking up education and building careers in the tech sector because the country has encouraged this over a period of time. Women now make up 34% of the IT workforce in India, with the majority of these workers under the age of 30, and the country is now almost at 50:50 gender parity rate in STEM graduates.
However, according to Skillsoft’s 2022 Women in Tech Report–India Region that surveyed 1,004 women tech professionals, only seven percent held executive-level positions, while 13 percent held managing director-level positions.
We need more role models for women in tech to strive and aspire for leadership positions.
This year, we featured a number of women leaders in technology, who will hopefully inspire other women to work hard and climb the tech ladder.
Here are our inspiring ‘women in tech’ stories of 2022.
As the Vice President, Product Development, Monetization Services and Experiences, Intuit, Anandhi leads an engineering team to build monetisation solutions to power Intuit’s ecosystem growth worldwide. Her team ensures delivery of strategic outcomes across verticals of business growth, compliance, and newer product onboardings to aid commercial innovations across Intuit product lines, to bring in significant annualised revenue year over year.
Hailing from Tiruchirapalli, it was her aunt who convinced Anandhi’s mother to encourage her daughter to go beyond the beaten path of what used to be BSc in physics and chemistry in those days to explore computer science. After a BSc and MSc in Computer Science from Bharathidasan University, Anandhi worked in companies like Jamcracker, Symphony, and Thomson Reuters.
As the Senior Director-Software Engineering at , Sumathi is responsible for the transformation of systems, services, and applications used by thousands of customer service associates at Lowe’s physical contact centres and those working from home.
Her responsibilities include transforming legacy systems with new systems, CRM, conversational AI with NLU (natural language understanding), and workforce management, among others, helping personalise Lowe’s customer service and sales experience.
She told HerStory, “I lead a team of over 120 people and love the interesting business problems we solve. This area is diverse and has its nuances. One day, I am in a design review discussing the next big thing to transform the contact centre, and the next moment, I’m talking to my graduate engineers about what they are doing over the weekend.
Mangalapadma Srinivasan drives strategic innovation with 5G, mobile edge computing (MEC), and customer experience at Verizon Consumer Group, India. She leads a team of 500 tech professionals overseeing the experience management portfolio.
The tech leader is also actively involved in the industry as a speaker. She also guides young women to help them navigate a diverse workplace. She was part of the Tech4Girls STEM workshop in Cambridge, sponsored by Verizon and also engages with women technologists across forums like Techgeek Goddess.
At Verizon, Mangalapadma also spearheads Tech for Women, a leadership programme that empowers Associate Directors and Senior Managers in her team.
“Retaining women, particularly mid-career, is the biggest challenge as that is when women have to juggle expanded responsibilities in personal as well as professional lives,” she said.
As the Senior Vice President, Tech Area Lead–Group Digital and Technology, Swiss Re GBS India, Sukanya is responsible for overseeing the end-to-end roadmap strategy of technology and product. She has over two decades experience in IT and Solution Architecture, Product Strategy, Program and Customer Experience Management in Insurance and Reinsurance Domains.
She started her career over two decades ago as a software engineer, rising to tech lead and program/product manager. She has worked in GeoGestalt, Wyde, and CGI before joining Swiss Re GBS India.
At the company, she and her team are responsible for building the technology roadmap and partners with the group functions and group technology and data strategy teams to deliver technology solutions that support the strategic objectives of the organisation.
She believes there could be multiple reasons for fewer women in tech. These could include stereotyping, where we believe the core tech jobs are meant for men, and women are often rescinded towards more softer roles in HR, coaching or arts.
Padmini Gopalakrishnan leads the AMD team in Hyderabad, working on logic synthesis, placement, and routing and device modelling among other tasks, crucial in the design of the company’s FPGA software and tools.
Her initiation into technology started at a very young age. Padmini recalls getting a home computer at the age of 10, an 8-bit Commodore 64, on which she learnt to type, played games, and wrote programs in Basic.
IIT-Madras seemed a natural choice, following which she went on to pursue her MS in Computer Engineering from the University of Texas in Austin.
After working at Monterey Design Systems, a startup, which built tools for optimising designs from a high-level description all the way to layout, she decided to go back to school–this time for a PhD from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).
She returned to India and joined Xilinx Labs, which was later acquired by AMD.
On women being a minority in tech, Padmini said,
“Mid-career women typically face increasing work responsibilities and family commitments at the same time. Often, this is when a woman’s career growth could slow down. Women also face a credibility gap and are often expected to prove themselves again and again.”
Edited by Megha Reddy
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