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Presenting our #RethinkTheBias series where we share stories of courage from our associates. Next up is the story of Padmapriya K in the series.
My career in the IT industry began following the completion of my post-graduation. My initial job took me to a defence organization, where I dedicated two years to developing missile simulation software. It was during this time that I had the privilege of learning from accomplished scientists, including women.
Subsequently, I transitioned to the corporate realm at Tech Mahindra. What stood out was that my interviewers and my boss were all women. Even as a new mother, Tech Mahindra provided unwavering support, offering opportunities for onsite roles, client engagements, and overseas assignments. I have been fortunate to have had exceptional mentors, comprising both men and women.
My guiding principles are clear: confront challenges head-on, pursue personal growth, and excel in collaborative teamwork.
Balancing work and personal life are undeniably my most significant challenge. My husband and daughter are my staunchest supporters, who bore the brunt of my occasional unavailability.
At one of my early roles, during the nomination for a role change, a team lead questioned my recent extended leave. I decided to address the issue directly, questioning whether the concern was related to my maternity leave. I pointed out that such a question would unlikely be directed at a male colleague, even if he had taken a sabbatical. I challenged this notion, emphasizing that eligibility for a new role should be solely based on performance and capabilities, not leave history. What truly mattered was my skills and readiness for the next role.
Today, I proudly hold the position of Group Practice Head at Tech Mahindra, leading a team of architects and designers and working with Tier1 Telcos on their business/ IT and product initiatives supporting multiple product launches and in-life solutions in telco enterprise space.
An article in Harvard Business Review highlights the fact that men often apply for a job when they meet 60% of the qualifications, while women tend to wait until they meet 100%. To foster a more equitable world, organizations must scrutinize their workforce diversity to assess inclusivity. Genuine equity means recognizing unconscious biases, selecting individuals solely on merit, ensuring diverse hiring panels, providing equal opportunities and pay, refraining from making assumptions about capabilities after significant life events such as maternity leave, and accommodating health-related issues without immediately seeking replacements for minor requests, such as work-from-home or extended leave."