International Women’s Day – what’s the deal? Celebrated since 1911, it’s all about gender diversity. It has a dual purpose: it’s a day of celebration of women from across the globe as well as a call to recognize women as equals. International Women’s Day aims to push us towards a gender equal world free of bias, stereotypes, and discriminations. This is something that we all can do if we work together – men, women and everyone in between.
To do our bit, we’ve sat down with a handful of our female workforce to get to know them a bit better and to explore their journeys so far.
Today, we get to know more about Suchita, our Data Engineer.
Suchita, tell me a bit about yourself.
I was born and raised in India. I graduated with a degree in engineering back in 2006 and then joined India’s largest offshoring set-up at the time. Since then I have been working in the software industry, mainly as a data engineer. I got married in 2011 and moved to the US. Right now, I live in Seattle with my husband and my 9-year-old son who keeps me on my toes!
What do you like most about your role?
I love that data never lies. If you look at it in the right way, it always tells the truth and being closer to that truth is what I value most. I like working with data, interpreting it, and then gleaning the very useful information it delivers.
What kind of gender balance did you find in your industry?
Back in India, I would say it was quite evenly balanced which is great. I think this contributed to the fact that I rarely saw any gender bias in any of the places where I worked.
Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with managers who treat women equally. They have always valued me for my skills and capabilities rather than my gender.
Why do you think that gender diversity in the workplace is so important?
Diversity brings variety to the table and exposes you to ideas you may not have considered otherwise. Everybody has something unique and valuable to contribute and the greater the diversity, the more open you’ll be to different situations and opinions.
Comlinkdata has been great in this respect. I’ve only been with the company for just over a year yet even in this short time I’ve seen a conscious effort to recruit more female talent which is amazing. We should just keep doing more of this - representation matters at the end of the day.
Why do you think it's important to celebrate International Women's Day?
International Women's Day is all about celebrating women and reflecting on how life for some women has changed over the years. It’s also a chance to consider how it may not have changed enough for others.
I am lucky enough to have lived in countries where women are treated equally but that's not the case everywhere. There are women out there who are still fighting for their basic rights and for their voices to be heard. International Women’s Day is an important reminder for us to acknowledge this and keep on pushing for all women to have the same rights, regardless of where they are from.
In India, I would say that gender bias is not so much an issue now, but it hasn’t always been that way. Some decades ago, there was a lot of gender bias towards women in society. For example, girls were not allowed to be educated and neither could they choose who to marry. We are now in a much better place thanks to some great women who fought fiercely for us centuries ago to have a better, more gender equal world.
Could you tell us more about some of these women who fought for gender equality in India?
There are two women from the late 1800s that stand out for me: Savitribai Phule and Anandi Gopal Joshi.
Savitribai Phule was a poet who fought to allow girls to receive an education. She faced tremendous resistance from society, but still she persisted. She is probably the reason why I was born into a very different society and I didn’t have to fight to go to school – it was already my right.
Anandi Gopal Joshi was one of the first Indian female doctors of Western medicine. She travelled to the United States for her education. When society learned that she planned to study medicine, she faced considerable backlash. She carried on regardless as she believed that female doctors were a necessity and that ultimately this would lead to better care for other Indian women.
Is there anyone in particular that inspires you in your career?
Yes - Indra Nooyi, the former CEO of PepsiCo. She is such an inspiration and has done so much in her career, not just for the good of the company, but also for the greater good of her employees. It wasn’t just about profit margin for her, she wanted to build a culture where her employees felt welcome.
She also cares about the environment, strongly advocating for many changes, including renewable energy and reusable plastic. Honestly, she’s so great.
What advice would you give to women trying to establish their professional careers?
Stay strong, always be humble and, above all, be yourself.
One last question! If you could have dinner with three inspirational women who would they be and why?
Michelle Obama - no explanation needed! Oprah. Again, no explanation needed! The third one is Sudha Murty. Her husband is the co-founder of Infosys, the Indian multinational IT company. Sudha is a phenomenal woman. She helped her husband start the company from scratch. As well as everything she’s achieved, she is also a philanthropist. I would definitely like to hear more from her. That would be my dream come true.
Opensignal, Tutela and Comlinkdata, the industry’s three most disruptive players in telecommunications performance measurement, are now part of the same company. They have come together to create data and analytics solutions that will enable communications providers to constantly optimize both their network and market performance, advancing connectivity for all.
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