According to 451Research, India is now seeing a huge influx of women entering the tech field for education and careers, as the country has been encouraging the practice for some time. Women now make up 34 percent of India’s IT workforce, the majority of whom are under 30, and the country now has almost a 50:50 gender parity ratio for STEM graduates.
However, according to Skillsoft’s 2022 India Regional Women in Tech report, which surveyed 1,004 female tech professionals, only 7% of them held executive-level roles, while 13% held managing director-level roles.
We need more female role models in tech striving for leadership positions.
This year, we’ve invited some women leaders in tech, hoping they’ll inspire other women to work hard and climb the tech ladder.
Here are our inspiring Women in Tech stories for 2022.
Anandhavalli Krishnaswamy, Vice President, Product Development, Intuit India
As Intuit’s Vice President of Product Development, Monetization Services and Experience, Anandhi leads an engineering team building monetization solutions to drive growth across Intuit’s ecosystem globally. Her team ensures the delivery of strategic results across verticals such as business growth, compliance, and new product onboarding to help commercially innovate the Intuit product line, resulting in significant annual revenue.
It was her aunt, from Tiruchirapalli, who persuaded Anandhi’s mother to encourage her daughter to explore computer science beyond the usual pathway of a bachelor’s degree in physics and chemistry at the time. After graduating with BS and MS degrees in Computer Science from Bharathidasan University, Anandhi worked for companies such as Jamcracker, Symphony and Thomson Reuters.
Sumathi Bhaskaran, Senior Director, Software Engineering, Lowe’s India
As Senior Software Engineering Director for Lowe’s India, Sumathi is responsible for the transformation of systems, services and applications used by Lowe’s physical contact centers and thousands of customer service personnel working from home.
Her responsibilities included transforming legacy systems with new systems, CRM, conversational AI with NLU (Natural Language Understanding), workforce management, and more, helping to personalize Lowe’s customer service and sales experience.
she told her story“I lead a team of over 120 people and love the interesting business problems we solve. The field is diverse and has its nuances. Big thing, next moment, I’m talking to my grad engineers about what they’re going to do for the weekend.
Mangalapadma Srinivasan, Director, Customer Experience Management, Verizon Consumer Group, India
Mangalapadma Srinivasan drives strategic innovation through 5G, Mobile Edge Computing (MEC) and customer experience at Verizon Consumer Group in India. She leads a team of 500 technologists and oversees the experience management portfolio.
Technology leaders are also active in the industry as speakers. She also mentors young women, helping them navigate a diverse workplace. She attended the Tech4Girls STEM workshop in Cambridge, sponsored by Verizon, and spoke with female technologists at forums such as Techgeek Goddess.
At Verizon, Mangalapadma also spearheaded Tech for Women, a leadership program that supports associate directors and senior managers on her team.
“Retaining women, especially mid-career women, is the biggest challenge because that’s when women have to juggle expanded responsibilities in their personal and professional lives,” she said.
Sukanya Padmanabhan, Senior Vice President, Tech Area Lead–Group Digital and Technology, Swiss Re GBS India
As Senior Vice President, Digital and Technology, Technology Sector Leadership Group, Swiss Re GBS India, Sukanya oversees the end-to-end roadmap strategy for technology and products. She has over 20 years of experience in IT and solutions architecture, product strategy, programs and customer experience management in the insurance and reinsurance sector.
She started her career as a software engineer over two decades ago and has since progressed to technical lead and project/product manager. Before joining Swiss Re GBS India, she worked at GeoGestalt, Wyde and CGI.
At the company, she and her team are responsible for building the technology roadmap and working with the group functions and the group technology and data strategy teams to deliver technology solutions that support the organisation’s strategic objectives.
She believes there could be several reasons for the decline in the number of women in tech. These can include stereotypes that we think core tech jobs are designed for men, while women are often relegated to softer roles like HR, coaching, or the arts.
Padmini Gopalakrishnan, Senior Director, FPGA Implementation Software and AI Products, AMD India
Padmini Gopalakrishnan leads the AMD team in Hyderabad, performing tasks such as logic synthesis, placement, routing, and device modeling that are critical to the design of the company’s FPGA software and tools.
She was exposed to technology from a very young age. Padmini recalls being given a home computer at age 10, an 8-bit Commodore 64, on which she learned to type, play games and program in Basic.
IIT-Madras seemed like a natural choice, after which she went on to pursue a master’s degree in computer engineering at the University of Texas at Austin.
After a stint at Monterey Design Systems, a startup that built tools for optimizing design from high-level description to layout, she decided to go back to school—this time for a Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU).
She returned to India and joined Xilinx Labs which was later acquired by AMD.
Regarding the minority status of women in tech, Padmini said,
“Women in mid-career are often faced with increasing work and family responsibilities at the same time. Often, this is a time when a woman’s career may slow down. Women also face a credibility gap and are often expected to prove themselves time and time again .”