In recent years, we have heard of a rise in the number of Indian Women in Technology. However, several stories from women who work in technology roles across the globe show the inherent bias and discrimination they face at work. Kaitlyn Miller, who works as a solutions architect, puts it well in an article where she says: “I’m no longer surprised by the reaction I receive… Once we move beyond the novelty of the conversation, I’m able to share my expertise and gain respect from colleagues, clients and others.”
Some large companies also fail to meet the need for diversity that can bring about a huge change to the culture as well as product delivery. Companies that create a diversity of gender, race and expertise is able to work on better products and solutions. Yet, reports suggest that the number of women in technology has actually decreased in the last 20 years. For all other STEM streams, the trend is reverse. But, it isn’t just about Indian women in technology but rather a phenomenon that has been observed across the globe.
At such a time, India has seen some really inspiring women in higher positions. They have earned a name in their place of work and also inspired other Indian women to take up careers in technology. Let’s look at the top 5 Indian women in technology roles who are changing the workspace landscape in India.
Aarthi Subramanian, Chief Digital Officer, Tata Sons Limited
A TCS veteran, Tata Sons chief digital officer Aarthi Subramanian has experience working in the technology industry for almost 3 decades. She started her career with the legendary Indian company TCS way back in 1989. She is known to have been an ordinary trainee who went on to become an Executive Director in the firm over the years. She has also served as the Global Head of Delivery Excellence, Governance & Compliance for TCS. Apart from that, Ms. Subramanian has worked in varied roles in Sweden, Canada, and the US.
She is currently working as the Group Chief Digital Officer at Tata Sons Limited and has continued with TCS as a non-executive director. As the Chief Digital Officer, she has played a key role in various digital initiatives to exploring new avenues for the business in the digital sphere. Moreover, she is also responsible for identifying functions that can be further enhanced with the help of Technology and its delivery governance.
Recognizing her many achievements, Aarthi Subramanian was honoured with the ‘Technology Leader of the Year’ award at Economic Times Prime Women Leadership Awards (ETPWLA) 2019 earlier this year. She was included by Fortune India in its list of Top 50 most powerful women for the year 2018. Aarthi Subramanian is an inspiration for many Indian women in technology space.
Falguni Nayar, Founder CEO, Nykaa
Founder-CEO of one of the leading beauty retailers in the country, Falguni Nayar is an inspiration for millions of women entrepreneurs in the country. An IIM alumnus, Falguni Nayar worked as an investment banker for around 18 years before she decided to create her own start-up company Nykaa.
Nayar had started Nykaa as an online retail outlet for beauty products in 2012. The e-commerce company has since gone on to become one of the largest beauty retailers in the country and has also expanded to fashion and offline stores.
Utilizing her experience as an investment banker, Nayar has been financially prudent with her capital to bring stability and steady growth to her business. She has further adopted an omni-channel retail strategy for her firm to provide customers with an integrated online and offline shopping experience.
She has been awarded as the ‘Woman Entrepreneur of the Year’ at the BW Disrupt Women Entrepreneur Summit earlier this year. She had also bagged the ‘ET- Facebook Woman Ahead’ in the ET Startup Awards 2017. Fortune India has also recognized Nayar among its list of ‘Top 50 Most Powerful Women’ in 2018.
Padmasree Warrior, Former CEO, NIO
Padmasree Warrior is a name to be reckoned with in the tech industry. She has been in leadership roles in various tech companies including Motorola, Cisco, and electric vehicles major NIO. Warrior recognizes herself as a techie and a tireless advocate on behalf of women in technology.
She had worked with Motorola for over two decades before resigning as the Chief Technology Officer in 2007. She later joined Cisco in 2008 and worked in various leadership positions as the Chief Technology Officer, Senior Vice President Engineering and GM Enterprise Segment, Chief Technology & Strategy Officer, and Strategic Advisor in her 7-year stint with the company. She resigned from her position as the Strategic advisor in 2015 and joined the Shanghai-based electric car company later that year.
Warrior joined NIO as the CEO of US operations and played a key role in escalating the company by growing its Silicon Valley team from almost nothing to around 700 employees in three years before she decided to resign. She is currently a Member of the Board of Directors in Microsoft, Spotify, and Thorn. She has been featured twice in the Forbes list, Power Women 2015 and America’s Top 50 Women in Tech 2018.
Renu Satti, Sen. Vice President, Paytm
Renu Satti launched her career as an HR professional in Mother Diary in 2003 and then joined Manpower services India Private Limited in 2005. Renu Satti has been a part of One97 Communications, the parent firm of Paytm since October 2006.
After having a successful career as an HR professional, she decided to venture into other branches of the business and has since experimented with diverse roles. She initially moved from HR to handle business operations for the seller acquisitions and then went on to manage the movies and events business.
She stepped down from the position of Paytm Payment Bank’s CEO in June last year to focus on company’s retail initiative. She has played a crucial role in establishing the ground operations for various ventures of the firm and in establishing Paytm as the country’s largest digital payments platform with over 180 million users. She added another feather to her cap after Forbes India included her in their 2018 list of W-Power trailblazers.
Revathi Kulkarni Roy, Serial Entrepreur and Founder of Hey DeeDee
Revathi Kulkarni Roy is a role model for several women across the country. She has empowered women through her start-ups by creating women-only platforms to provide quality services. She founded the first women cab service in Asia, ForShe on International Women’s Day in 2007.
From launching her first start-up at 47, she has now established herself as a serial entrepreneur and has founded several start-ups with the sole purpose of empowering women. She expanded her start-up to 30 cabs after receiving investment from the Mumbai-based firm IL&FS and a Japanese financial service group ORIX invested. But, she exited her business after things turned sour in 2009.
She then went on to again setup Viira Cabs and later an all women delivery service, Hey DeeDee. Utilizing her lessons from the past, Roy kept an asset-light business model for Hey DeeDee. With a focus to empower women from low-income families and train them so that they can undertake last-mile delivery for various e-commerce companies like Subway, Pizza Hut, and Amazon. NITI Aayog awarded her the ‘Women Transforming India’ award in 2016 to honor her contributions towards woman empowerment.
Don’t miss this interview of Revathi Kulkarni Roy exclusive on TechThirsty.com!