Nivedha advises women wanting to enter the IT industry and reach leadership positions to seek out the advice of the experienced, as well as mentor others when the turn comes
“We, as women, have a collective obligation to acknowledge and perpetuate such positive developments and make the path smoother for the next generation.”
Director of Marketing and Member of Founding Team
The International Women’s Day was celebrated with the customary pomp and fanfare this month a few days back. Despite all the buzz surrounding women’s empowerment and conversations on gender diversity in tech, women are still underrepresented and often discriminated against in the tech industry, if we go by the numbers. But the silver-lining in the cloud has been the recent strides taken by the fair sex in various walks of life, including the IT industry.
In commemoration of the International Women’s Day and in celebration of and gratitude to Women’s Power, we have embarked upon cataloguing the achievements and voices of leading women in the tech industry.
In a special interaction with SME Channels, Nivedha Sridhar, Director of Marketing and Member of Founding Team at Facilio, reveals her views on gender parity; how women can reach leadership positions in the IT industry; what it takes to handle business-critical roles; and how to strike a balance between personal life and critical professional roles. Edited excerpts…
As a society, do you think we have been able to ensure gender equality? What needs to be done to attain this?
We are at a time when a society’s socio-economic stature is determined based on how empowered its women are. It is to this effect that we are increasingly witnessing women-centric reforms from progressive nations. We, as women, have a collective obligation to acknowledge and perpetuate such positive developments and make the path smoother for the next generation. To move a step forward to attain gender equality, Facilio is mindfully seeking to achieve better gender ratios at the workplace and is currently at 37%, above the usual average in most workplaces.
Please shed some light on your work environment. Would you dub it women-friendly?
At Facilio, we’re committed to leaving no stone unturned in creating an environment where every voice regardless of gender has a seat at the table, where we continuously learn and improve through dialogue, and where we aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo. Our objectives are aligned towards our larger goal of reimagining property operations, and we have a strong model and culture that passionately works towards this. We regularly have brainstorming sessions with our co-founders and cross-team members.
In the IT industry, there are still very few women in leadership positions in India. What should women do to reach leadership positions?
We as women need to stand up for other women employees at the workplace. My journey and career path have been greatly enriched by the influence and advice of many wonderful guides and mentors, who took me under their wing at crucial junctures. So, I would advise women wanting to enter the IT industry and reach leadership positions to seek out the advice and input of those more experienced than themselves, as well as to pass on their knowledge when it is their turn to mentor others.
On your journey as a career woman, have you ever faced gender stereotyping?
Working women in the IT industry are still juggling enormous challenges at workplaces, what should they do to break the bias and overcome those challenges to be successful?
How do you balance your personal life and critical professional roles?
When it comes to breaking the bias, the biggest issues stem from assumptions, such as managing family and a leadership role or differences in pay. The challenging part is becoming aware of it. These are not individualistic thoughts but systemic one that needs to be addressed organizationally through training and conversations. At work, we embrace a culture of transparent communication and meritocracy through regular meetups ensuring everyone is heard and understood. For me, a personal goal is to become more aware of conscious and unconscious biases. Uncover the effects of bias and address it consciously through setting expectations and communicating the why behind such actions. Secondly, to create networks and conversations for women in prop-tech and women in property operations that encourage and advocate the need to break biases.
Beyond my role at work, I’m also involved with a lot of initiatives to share our learnings regularly, at start-up growth workshops and student mentorship initiatives.