In the past few weeks, the world marked International Women’s Day (March 8) and Equal Pay Day (April 5) and celebrated women’s economic, political and social achievements. For the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) industries, some progress has been made to address the underrepresentation of women in these careers globally, from Asia Pacific to the Americas and EMEA. For example, NetApp Bangalore hosted in January its first Young Women in Technology (YWIT) workshop that aimed to encourage students from underprivileged families to pursue a career in the STEM disciplines.
Many of us have encountered many strong female leaders and colleagues in our careers, and some of them are right here at NetApp. I spoke to some of our female leaders at NetApp APAC to share their career journey and thoughts in this three-part series.
Krithika Radhakrishnan, Senior Director for NetApp APAC’s Business Operations, has been with NetApp for 11 years. Krithika works closely with the regional leadership team to execute the organization’s vision, delivering on financial, operational and customer expectations.
Krithika moved to Singapore 20 years ago and has been in the technology industry for most of her career, working with StorageTek and Sun Microsystems before joining NetApp. The technology industry might have chosen her at first, but she has undoubtedly flourished in it.
Looking back at the past 20 years, Krithika does not regret her experiences and continues to find new joys in her role every day. She’s energized by the pace of the industry and relishes the excitement of transformation and innovation. While challenging at times, she says there is never a dull moment.
How do you think the tech industry can be more equal?
Gender diversity and equality in the workplace is certainly in the spotlight, and especially so in the technology industry. Over the years, many programs have been developed to encourage the adoption and nurturing of women across the industry. However, we are now in urgent need of more women, recognizing the strong attributes they can bring to the table: their indispensable set of skills, a balanced perspective, different ways of thinking, drive, passion, as well as creativity. Combining the way both men and women work can only make teams stronger and a more diverse industry means better output.
When people say it’s not possible to go far as a female in the technology industry, I say to look at Sheryl Sandberg at Facebook. Sheryl is not only the first woman to serve on Facebook’s board, but also the first to campaign to change people’s perceptions of women in the tech industry and workplace in general. Her non-profit organization, Lean In, aims to empower women to achieve their ambitions, no matter their career path. She also encourages women to ask what they can do rather than what they cannot do. Her latest campaign, #LeanInTogether takes a step further and gets men to think about the part they play in gender equality.
Do you have any career role models that you look up to?
Yes, to add on to Sheryl Sandberg, other female trailblazers in the tech industry are Meg Whitman, CEO of HP; Lucy Peng, co-founder of Alibaba; Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube; and Indra Nooyi, Chairperson and CEO of Pepsico. Their intelligence and determination are truly inspirational.
If you could go back in time, what is a piece of advice you would tell your 15-year-old self?
If there is something that you want, then there is nothing stopping you. Say yes to every opportunity and learn from your experiences. Do not be afraid to explore and there are no shortcuts to success!
To find out more about how NetApp celebrates women’s contributions in the company and the wider industry of women, follow @NetApp_WIT on Twitter.