We never realized until a few days ago that not one but four women leaders are taking care of crucial business functions at Sarvika Technologies. You can put it down to the fact that we never cared about gender, race, and sexuality where it concerns work. But sadly, not the same can be said for all companies (startup or MNC, private or public, for-profit or not-for-profit). The policies exist in paper but mere words cannot lead the change because it’s all about the culture.
We thought, why not interview these cool-headed, super-efficient leaders, and boost the confidence of women employees suffering from lack of it, and inspire companies to make more women part of the leadership community.
Before we move to the interview, here is a brief background of the leaders at Sarvika Tech.
- With nine and counting years of experience, Anjana steers the entire UI/UX team at Sarvika Technologies with perfection. A hardworking woman, a mother of one, and a disciplined manager, she juggles between work and family like a pro.
- An ardent supporter of causes like equality and diversity, Jyotsana is responsible for bridging the gap between clients and the team. With more than eight years of experience spanning over diverse roles, she is the guiding light for all at Sarvika Technologies.
- Hailed as the people’s person by different organizations throughout her decade-long career, Kriti heads the human resource team at Sarvika Technologies. Her rich knowledge and experience in introducing HR processes, grievance management, payroll management make her contribution priceless.
- Impeccable leadership qualities and extreme attention to detail backed with twelve years of work experience have made Rinku an asset for Sarvika Technologies. She embraces challenges like a champion and knows how to keep her team’s efforts focused.
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
- Anjana (AJ): Countless women have fought and to date, are fighting against gender inequality in every sphere of life. It is due to their efforts we have come so far towards achieving gender equality in society. For me, International Women’s Day is about honoring and appreciating their valor.
- Jyotsana (JR): Society often forgets a women’s contribution because of the perception that their primary responsibility is towards managing the household. Women’s Day serves as a reminder of the support a woman offers in different roles: as a mother, wife, employee, employer, colleague, etc.
- Kriti (KS): I see my future in my daughter, and it soothes my conscience that the world today gauges people on their character and capabilities, not on their gender and background. Yes, there is still a long way to go, but we have come far from the orthodox bias. To me, this day is to encourage women to pursue their passion without any fear of judgment.
- Rinku (RS): For me, this day depicts the strength of womanhood. It is a day that reflects how women have adapted and survived in every industry over the years. It also allows highlighting women’s contribution outside household duties. To teach every generation the value women add and to appreciate their efforts.
What is the one piece of advice you would like to give to all the working women juggling between home and work?
- AJ: Do not compare yourself with others. Not everyone’s personal lives are the same, especially for working mothers. Learn to say no to things that don’t align with your priorities. This mantra will help you to maintain the balance between personal and professional life. Start setting boundaries so that you can give heart and soul to both aspects of life. Be mindful of your relationships; no emails or work calls during family time. And keep the communication lines open with your manager, HR, and superiors.
- JR: Never, I repeat, never let anyone (even yourself) make you feel guilty of choosing one over the other. Both are important but not at the cost of your sanity. Women are seen as robots who can handle anything and everything. You are human and are allowed to take your time to breathe and complete tasks at your pace.
- KS: Do not let your career become your whole identity. There is nothing wrong with drawing a line between your personal and professional life. The moment you feel one is crossing into the other’s territory, feel free to take back control and rebalance.
- RS: There will be times when your professional life will not be all great and smooth. Just remember this: tough times never last, but tough people do. No matter how much you want to give up, be strong and do not let the situation take control of you. These moments will later become crucial learning curves in your life.
Who is your female role model?
- AJ: Growing up my mother was the strongest influence in my life. So without a doubt, she is my role model. She was my support when I was facing resistance from extended family over higher education. Because of her, I am what I am today.
- JR: Sheryl Sandberg and many women leaders who led brands across the globe.
- KS: My daughter. It is commendable to see their generation adapt and thrive in the extremely competitive world. She inspires and makes me believe that nothing is impossible to achieve.
- RS: I believe that every working woman is a role model, from a politician to a house help. Their contributions inspire me and make me stronger.
What do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?
- AJ: The sense of patriarchy is the barrier and a reason we do not see more women at the top levels of management. People make assumptions about working women as leaders based on their stereotypical role in society.
- JR: The most pressing barrier in today’s time is the gender wage gap. Women at the same levels as men and sometimes with more responsibilities do not receive fair compensation. Another issue is assuming women’s emotional intelligence in comparison to men as a sign of weakness.
- KS: Per society, women should cook, take care of children, husband, and family first, and then comes the available time in which they can think about their life and work. I feel this mindset steals a woman’s fair shot at leadership positions because it is presumed that she will not be able to achieve a balance between work and home.
- RS: I feel that barriers are in the individual’s mind, not in life. If you can overcome them, then you can overcome anything. Do not let others’ thinking influence your mindset and capabilities.
What’s been the biggest ‘pinch me’ moment of your career?
*Pinch me moment means too good to be true.
- JR: When I got the opportunity to work in my country at an offer better than the parallel European opportunity I had at the time of my post-graduation. It was the recognition of my efforts put into my employer’s growth that they retained me so well.
- KS: The time where my extended family (my team) stood beside me during a tough phase in my life and became my backbone.
- RS: It was less than six months since I had joined the project, and one fine day my manager offered me an opportunity to work at the client location. Being the newest member of the team, it was an overwhelming experience.
As a woman in the leadership role, what’s your diversity goal at Sarvika Tech?
- AJ: Look at any workplace; you can easily see more men taking over all the positions. My diversity goal is building a team with an assorted skill set while maintaining gender equality.
- JR: Having women to work with us for a long duration and at leading positions with more contribution in decision making. Though, for me, diversity is not just in genders.
- KS: As the Senior Human Resource Manager, my goal is to ensure that people get a chance to apply for preferred roles, be eligible for pay raises and promotions, be included in decision-making processes, etc. based on their abilities and nothing else.
- RS: My diversity goal would be to set up a Diversity and Inclusion Council, conducting awareness and training sessions for managers and teams.