What better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than hearing from our female staff? We’ve discussed the role women play in tech in 2018 with some of our female colleagues…
Meenal Ashtikar, Head of Customer Insights
Meenal, why did you get into tech?
My dad is a Civil Engineer and growing up we watched him work on projects to build huge dams and bridges. All the blueprint designs and the discussions around that fascinated me and my siblings, so though we lived in a small town and not many girls opted for Tech subjects for further studies, it was a natural choice for us to study engineering.
I have studied Chemical Engineering and worked with a Germany-based Chemical Plant design firm for a couple of years, working on a refinery project. I guess I didn’t have the patience to wait for the 4 years it takes from design to commission of a distillation column in a refinery plant, to see that first drop of petrochemical being produced!
So, I shifted to IT where the code I wrote gave me errors the very next moment I tried to execute it, and I learnt to master the tricks from my own mistakes. More importantly, I got to see the positive impact of the software systems I wrote on the lives of those who used them. And that only propelled me to learn more new things in IT and get better at what I do, to eventually produce and deliver softwares that make a difference and create value.
Would you encourage other women to start a career in tech?
There’s a lot of advances and research being carried out in STEM disciplines. Fantastic things are being imagined, built and produced on mass scales to make our lives easier, productive, interesting and even creative. There are many opportunities for anyone who choose technology as their preferred career paths.
I believe women were never wanting from capability, attitude or the skills perspective even in Tech areas. However there are the so-called glass ceilings and ‘mindset’ blockers from both men and women, for women to make a great professional career in these fields. But we do see now that Academic Institutes in many countries encourage and in fact have special focus on getting young ladies into tech courses, and our workplaces too are getting more inclusive for women. With the diversity being a key policy and agenda, many corporate firms have cohort programmes to develop women leadership at all levels, so we are surely seeing the winds of change from classroom to boardrooms.
So, any young lady out there who has interest in developing tech skills and aspires to contribute in any way big or small to the tech world, this is the right time to go after it!
Amelia Callow, Data Architect
Amelia, why did you get into tech?
I enjoyed computing lessons at college, and what really drew me in was my interest in data analysis and data modelling – it all just seemed to click with me and so I was interested to find out how I could start a career in this area.
I then completed the Logica sponsored degree programme, which involved working at Logica (now CGI) 4 days a week, and studying for my degree at the University of Winchester 1 day a week. It was great to get experience on real IT projects whilst getting my degree, and it opened my eyes to the huge range of roles within IT – and where I started my career in Data Architecture.
Would you encourage other women to start a career in tech?
There are so many different career paths – it’s not all about coding! With the growth of BI and data analytics, there are so many interesting roles which need a range of skills; team working, leadership, presenting, client interaction, business analysis, these are just some of the skills that are so important in many tech roles.
You don’t have to fit into the techie stereotype, you can be part of a great team and work with some really clever people. I have worked with some of the best people through my career so far, that have treated me with respect, supported me and taken the time to mentor me.
In your view, how could we get more women interested in tech?
I think that computing and IT lessons at school should be made more interesting. Technology is used so much in our daily lives and raising awareness around how it all works is really important. There should also be more internships, apprenticeships and sponsored degree programmes available, as this is a great way to create opportunities and start working in the industry.
Anything else you would like to say?
I really enjoy my job, and the variety that I have day-to-day. There are so many opportunities to get involved with – Acrotrend is a great place to grow your career! Acrotrend are running an internship programme so get in touch if you are interested 🙂
Neha Sharda, Project Lead
Neha, what do you do at Acrotrend?
In a business like Acrotrend one can achieve a boost in their career aspirations relatively quickly. If you are ambitious, enjoy a healthy competition or are a risk taker, you’ve surely got something in Acrotrend and vice-versa. The culture is safe, professional and inclusive at the same time. Varied cultures, perspectives and people are valued here. I’ve been part of many streams since I joined – Project Management, Pre-sales, Business Analysis, Quality Assurance, Training, and have lately been a Scrum master across multiple projects. I really feel ‘being taken care of’ and inspired.
Divya Kudchadkar, HR
Divya, what do you do at Acrotrend?
Working at Acrotrend makes me feel liberated! It’s that kind of workplace where I have the independence to apply my skills and ideas with complete freedom and support. I’m a Human Resource professional and I absolutely love my job here. It makes me proud to see we have an amazingly high ratio of women employees across our offices. So to all the women out there looking for a great career in IT… Acrotrend is a great place to work!
…and finally, a word by Sandeep Mendiratta, MD and Co-founder
I believe diversity brings in different perspectives, ways of working and ideas to any environment, let alone workplaces. Having a healthy balance of women in the business is one of the aspects of diversity that has helped Acrotrend offer very pragmatic and creative solutions to our clients over the last 10 years. We have seen some of the excellent performance and commitment from women across all functions of the business, and I am confident this will only grow and get better over time with more women being inclined towards technology and science these days.
In my opinion being in a world where we do not see a need to emphasise the importance of International Women’s Day would be the nirvana state! Do we have International Men’s Day?! Now, you may argue my thoughts may be influenced a little for being the only man in a family of four… I couldn’t be happier to be sharing these words when one of my daughters has been offered Medicine at UCL recently, and the other one is going on a prestigious Bollywood dance performance tour 🙂
**Main image from code.likeagirl.io**