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Women’s Day 2020 – The 8 Wonders in Tech

Tech field alike other sectors have been male-dominated, the decisive and diligent decisions were always supposed to come from men in this business. That was an era where inventions and innovations that happened in garages were beards with long faces. Given the importance of the ideas and values of women were like fairytale story-tellers. From competing and proving, women in the tech industry today behold the highest positions and equally marches with men. From many names today flourishing in the tech business, this International Women’s Day 2020, BIS accords ‘Women in Tech’ stellars. There are uncountable successful approaches and strong-willed steps these women over the years have procured. Canvasing few among the many, below are our successful, ‘Women in tech’.

Sapna Mongia

Sapna Mongia, VP- Global Account Management, Flex

Key Achievements

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Philamin Philip

Philamin Philip, Director-Human Resource, Office Administration & IT Management , Rohde & Schwarz India

Key Achievements

Words to Inspire

Failures and Rising

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Key Achievements :

Rohde & Schwarz is a 100% subsidiary of ROHDE & SCHWARZ GMBH & CO KG, Munich Germany in the fields of Test & Measurements, secure communications, radiomonitoring and radiolocation, cybersecurity, broadast and media.

The company addresses customers in the mobile radio, wireless, broadcasting, electronics and automotive industries, in aerospace and defense as well as government, security and critical infrastructures. Rohde & Schwarz is among the world market leaders in its established business fields. It is the world’s leading manufacturer of wireless communications and EMC test and measurement equipment, as well as of broadcasting and T&M equipment for digital terrestrial television and is a high-tech company that thrives on innovation.

“28 years ago, I made a decision to take up a  job. What initially was a people attraction became a passion now!  I must say ‘I grew up with RSINDIA’. The time I spent and the experience I gained continually reinforced my confidence in me/us and the company.  That decision made by a young mind has kept me going and growing until now.”

The role challenged me professionally and personally to find the balance between my career and family life. The freedom I have in making decisions and the fascinating national/international environment are two things I especially love about my job. The quality of leadership skills and the ability to interact well with team mates, colleagues, organisation offers me a great deal of variety. We have an environment where people come to know and understand their unique strengths. It is an environment where employees are placed in roles that stretch their talents and strengths and that’s what makes me passionate about my work.”

The spirit of teamwork keeps us moving forward and helps us to share each other’s workload. The guidance and support I got from the Management gave me much strength to perform and take up more tasks rigorously in all aspects, kudos to my kind-hearted Boss especially to the human matters. Being with an Organisation for nearly 3 decades having gained the experience of the best of professional and personal life, growing steadily to this position.

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Words to Inspire

Love yourself, spread love around, Love brings the best defence for any attacks or atrocities or the arguments. Be strong, kind and compassionate and wear your confidence  as your weapon.

Focus on your set goal sailing through all what comes along aiming the end target. Get that mighty power to manage that dual role at Office & Home.

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Failures and Rising

I still bear the pain and regret of not taking care or nursing my Mom during her last days who passed away at her young age.

It was a real challenge as a working mother to manage both home and office especially in the growing up stage of my children and I missed cherishing the childhood of kids without realizing how they grew up suddenly.

However, with enormous support from my Company Management and my family, team members, I was able to overcome that challenge and also continued my passion to work for social causes and teaching.

Actively involved in Sunday School classes & Life Skills Training & Development for the underprivileged, and related activities – Women’s Council President of the Parish Church, patronizing Member – Orphanage/Destitute Home for women. Also took the role of Chairman – POSH in the Company.

Sharada Satrasala

Sharada Satrasala, Vice President – Operations, IESA

Key Achievements

Words to Inspire

Failures and Rising

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Key Achievements :

Change is inevitable, and we can either react to change or drive it. Many of my assignments in the last 20 years have been focused on driving change at a strategic level. I have moved laterally across diverse functions, leading teams and building leaders. These ranged from building solutions to enable Chip Design, doing Chip Design, Strategic Technical Outsourcing, Technical Marketing, Engineering Operations and Space/Facilities management. And now at IESA, my Operations role combines many areas and skills. Taking time to understand the landscape, knowing your “customers”, armed with the 3 Cs and a focus on the organization’s goals is something that helped immensely each time. Having measurable outcomes and checking progress kept things on track. I would say, it helps to stay away from complacency, and my biggest learning is that one should consciously nurture the ability to deal with a lot of pushback, flak and naysayers.

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Words to Inspire

As I started my career I read a statement at the back of a little booklet that was made by a very senior manager at Texas Instruments. It simply said “bloom where you are planted”. This has been the cornerstone for me – we mostly do not get to choose our circumstances, so what we can do is make the most of them, apply our skills and emotional intelligence and bloom. Get noticed, get planted elsewhere and the cycle continues. Confidence grows. With Capability comes also Confidence and when combined with Courage (3 Cs), the possibilities are literally limitless.

As nothing happens overnight, the ability to persevere using uncompromisable Values as a light-house and to negotiate with stakeholders becomes critical to achieve anything. In closing I would also say, practice being in uncomfortable situations and getting out of them – like learning to ride a motorbike at my age!

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Failures and Rising

Growing in an organization requires having a mentor and a sponsor/supporter, more so at senior levels. This person coaches, guides and watches out for you. As I grew out of my initial decade at the work place, I was naïve enough to believe that a once a supporter, always a supporter. After getting hurt (professionally) really badly when my manager/sponsor turned around, I have honed my sense of watching out for signs of change-of-heart. Then it is time for change … to find a new sponsor or just move on! Easier said than done, but much needed.

Jade Bridges

Jade Bridges, Technical Manager, Electrolube

Key Achievements

Words to Inspire

Failures and Rising

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Key Achievements :

Since joining Electrolube in 2003, I have achieved some significant milestones in my life. My career has evolved through numerous roles from R&D to sales and support, and ultimately a promotion to Global Technical Support Manager. I am a wife and mother of three children, still I have accomplished continuous professional progression without any career breaks. Alongside my profession, I have also done Masters in Chemistry and MBA.

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Words to Inspire

As a working mother, I have mastered multi-tasking and hope to inspire women to believe in their own ability and potential. I think it is important to be adaptable and focus on what you are trying to achieve. In addition, one should always see the bigger picture and know when to observe, listen, absorb and react. Most importantly, let your work speak for itself.

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Failures and Rising

Effective communication plays vital role in business. Sometimes, what is important to us may not be as important to others. I have learned it through experience and now, I can identify and react to the signs if someone is not responding to my approach, and accordingly I find a different way of moving forwards. Evaluation of the task and true self-reflection are important for clear communication.

Priti Kataria

Priti Kataria | APAC HR Business Partner | element14

Key Achievements

Words to Inspire

Failures and Rising

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Key Achievements

  • Return-to-work program: I am very proud of this program which has resulted in 97% of mothers returning to work after their maternity break. Key elements include a proper buddy system for returning mothers, resting room facility and an in-house day care. Most importantly, we create a cohesive and sensitive work environment by so women colleagues don’t feel isolated.
  • RISE: RISE is new initiative launched to empower women. We identified 5 women business leaders in the region and developed a RISE agenda which focuses on creating opportunities and encouraging greater participation for women in all areas of life. The program has been designed to help the women in our business reach their true potential through regular events and activities, and mutually empowering two-way communication. Our aim is to increase inclusion in the organisation and reduce unconscious bias by raising awareness with our employees, especially managers.
  • Corporate Social Responsibility: As part of our CSR activity, we sponsored the education of 44 girls in South India.

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Words to Inspire

Own up your life, Career /Personal and make a constant effort to improve yourself

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Failures and Rising

Failures are part of growing up and I always see failures set up your direction to improve. I fail many times during the day but what keeps me going is that I don’t stop myself from moving forward. One of the failure stories which I would like to share was during my initial career years. I received a job offer to join a premium MNC and I was very excited. At the same time, to my surprise, I learnt that I was pregnant with my first child. I failed to convey my pregnancy news to my boss because of my own fear of getting judged. Somehow, however, I gathered the courage and shared the news with my boss two weeks later. My boss welcomed the news with great spirit and provided me with a lot of support during my pregnancy. The best part was that I also got promoted in the same year! My two key learnings from this particular episode were to always be confident about your life and don’t let your own fears of getting judged hold you back.

Bindu Surendran

Bindu Surendran, Senior Principal, Delivery Management, GDC – Bengaluru

Key Achievements

Words to Inspire

Failures and Rising

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Key Achievements :

Bindu Surendran is an accomplished Aviation Professional with over 27 years of experience, Proficient in Airline Operations & Technology Skills, efficiently assess and seamlessly implement Projects, good in understanding of Aviation Lifecycle to effectively implement strategic initiatives for complex system Solutions & Projects. Actively involved in multi-country, multi-lingual and highly complex Passenger Services System migrations for the world’s major airlines. Contributed to the set-up and operational effectiveness of airports & new stations. Mentored and training operations staff on technology, functional and seamless procedural engagement. Engaged and coached women to grow personally and professionally. Inspiring teams to participate and contribute to internal companywide initiatives such as Big Pitch (Business Problem Solving) and Blitz code (Production-Ready Code Creation based on real time issues encountered by customers) by bringing diverse teams to collaborate, crowdsource ideas and implement solutions. Investing in learning and development for women technologists across multiple business units by co-chairing the Women in Technology Forum.

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Words to Inspire

Be open to criticism and make the effort to get better and stronger. Invest time to know yourself and have confidence in your abilities. Pursue your dreams and yet stay grounded. Lead by example and you will be known for your expertise.

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Failures and Rising

Resisting social expectations was a major challenge I faced. In an earlier work experience, where the environment expected employees to be aggressive and competitive, I got pressured to adapt to a culture even though I was uncomfortable. Great work wasn’t enough. However, I continued to trust myself and focus on my work. By believing in my abilities, remaining true to myself, ensuring I had a voice and meant business helped me get successful.

Danielle Royston

Danielle Royston, CEO, Optiva

Key Achievements

Words to Inspire

Failures and Rising

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Key Achievements :

One of the leading women in telecoms IT, Danielle Royston was ranked sixth on the list of The SaaS Report’s Top 50 Women Leaders in SaaS for 2018. Her vision is to lead telcos to the public cloud with cloud-native BSS as she knows public cloud is a game-changer for the industry.
As CEO of Optiva, Danielle Royston leads the innovation and development of cloud-native revenue management software on the public cloud for leading communication service providers (CSPs) worldwide. Danielle is a turnaround CEO who took the helm at Optiva and built a powerhouse to deliver mission-critical solutions. Danielle has close to 20 years of executive experience in the technology industry with an emphasis on turning around enterprise software companies. She is an entrepreneurial leader with a broad and proven background in transforming cost structures, growing revenues, building teams, and creating customer loyalty. Before joining Optiva, she served as Portfolio CEO for the ESW Capital family of companies, leading more than 15 turnarounds during her tenure. She is widely recognized as an industry thought leader and has been featured in publications, including Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Telecoms.com, Light Reading, RCR Wireless, and VanillaPlus. Royston holds a B.S. in computer science from Stanford University. She interviewed by international telecoms media and quoted in articles by CommsMEA, Capacity Magazine, ITMedia, The Software Report, and The SaaS Report about raising awareness of gender equality.

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Words to Inspire

You cannot depend on diversity officers or efforts to solve the problems. Find a sponsor that believes in you, then set high expectations for yourself, fight for a seat at the table, and when you get there, and start driving the change yourself.
I believe that not only women will benefit from the change, by having more diverse perspectives, benefits exist for men as well. With women and mothers understanding the difficulty in managing family and their children’s lives, men will be empowered to be more involved with their families as well (and have the latitude at work to do it). So it’s not just about giving women more seats at the table, but allowing men to be family members as well (and being able to make a football game after school, too!).

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Failures and Rising

For years I have watched men around me be aggressive in asking for raises, promotions, new opportunities — and not waiting for “their turn.” And I’ve watched women patiently wait around — and get passed over. Myself included. I will always give a friend the advice to go ask for a raise, but when it comes down to it for me — I’ve hesitated.
What’s stopped me are my own self-doubts like — what if they say “no?” What if they say I’m not ready? What if I fail? If the worst thing that can happen is that they say “no” — then you go back to your desk, go back to what you were doing before, and nothing changes. But maybe they say “yes.” Every time I’ve been given a new opportunity, I’ve risen to the challenge and knocked it out of the park. I am holding myself back! I sometimes think about all the women out there who believe they are ready for the next challenge but stop themselves — like me. What if they went to their manager today and asked for a new opportunity and got it? Then we’d be driving the change ourselves.

Cherry Jiang(Line1) and her team, Mornsun

Cherry Jiang, Overseas Marketing Manager, MORNSUN – Guangdong, China

Key Achievements

Words to Inspire

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Key Achievements :

I started out as a sales manager at MORNSUN in 2007 and developed a brand new market in India. It earned me the chance of transition to be a marketing manager in 2015.

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Words to Inspire

Being an optimistic person, to discover what you love, to find ways to offer it to others in the form of service, work hard, being consistent and eventually that’s how you get through. Most of my overseas marketing team members are females, who all work hard with an open mindset striving to expand the company’s brand globally. Thanks to the extensive platform provided by MORNSUN and the great support of my team, this empowers us to better position and realize our value.

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