Industrial Automation Magazine Celebrating Nari Shakti 2024: Felicitating Women in Technology

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], March 8:  In today’s connected world where technology is the cornerstone of progress, women are emerging as pioneers, breaking stereotypes, and spearheading innovation. Women are challenging gender norms and breaking into what were once predominantly male-dominated fields. From engineering to AI and manufacturing to energy and academia, women are increasingly taking the helm and driving change.

Women leaders are paving the way for a more equitable future by encouraging inclusive work environments and introducing diversity initiatives. Their advocacy extends beyond the boardroom, influencing policies and practices that promote a better workplace for budding women leaders and diversity in technology.

Women in tech are instrumental in driving the digital revolution. Women digital leaders are lowering the risks of digital transformation and maximise its added value for the organisation. Women in technology are serving as leaders and mentors and guiding and inspiring more women to pursue careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics).

Industrial Automation Magazine is celebrating the Women in Technology, featuring 17 women leaders shaping the future of technology. These women achievers from STEM ecosystem, who include professionals, engineers, teachers, and entrepreneurs, speak about their journeys, the challenges they faced and overcame, and share their perspective that can help other women.

Dr Alka Mahajan, Dean, Mukesh Patel School of Technology Management & Engineering, said, “I was drawn to academics majorly due to my genetic makeup and possibly due to my subconscious desire to excel and prove myself in the profession loved by my parents.”

PV Rukmani, Sr General Manager at IPCL & Reliance Industries, said, “When I began my career at IPCL, I was the only female engineer amongst 71 trainees. In 1996, I got the opportunity to lead the Instruments Maintenance Team at the plant.”

Dr Jayalekshmi Madhu Nair, Principal, Vivekanand Education Society’s Institute of Technology, shared, “Teaching my younger sister made me feel proud since I was able to do what my teachers were doing in my school. The appreciation from teachers and classmates boosted my confidence and made me realise that teaching was my calling.”

Ritu Agarwal, Deputy GM, Project Management, Projects and Development India Limited, recalled, “When I began my career, men significantly outnumbered women in the workplace. It was a challenge but I overcame it through my knowledge, hard work and extra effort.”

Priyanka Kaul, Senior Instrumentation Engineer, Technip Energies, opined, “With ambition, mutual respect, hard work, and empowering collaborations, we are all contributing to a brighter future for women in engineering.”

Ana Stefanova, Education & Research Division Director, ISA USA, said, “As educators, we serve as facilitators of learning. Success hinges upon the ability to collaborate effectively with colleagues, fostering an environment of idea exchange and mutual support.”

Sujata Tilak, Founder & MD, Ascent Intellimation, said, “I was fascinated by software as well as automation and control. Combining the two, I decided to pursue a career in industrial automation software. There were challenges but the experience was very interesting.”

Rajalakshmi Hegde, Sr Director – Product Engineering: Manufacturing, LTIMindtree, shared, “My current role is to focus on aspects of Manufacturing and IIoT from IT, and add my expertise and experience from OT to offer the right solution to the client.”

Latha DS, General Manager, Tata Consulting Engineers Limited, said, “I have been involved in important national and international projects and have travelled across the world and country for work-related commitments.”

Banoo Jakkirriaah, Engineering Manager, Caterpillar India, reminisced, “Sometimes, I felt that few colleagues believed in my capabilities. I paused and reflected and overcame the same by learning and enhancing my knowledge.”

According to Dr S Geetha, Outstanding Scientist and former Programme Director, Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre: “Space exploration and launching satellites are very challenging and costly exercises. We have implemented redundancy management and zero-defect policy in all domains.

Sonal Singh, Assistant Manager, Europe – Projects, Valmet India, said, “I started as an application engineer with a company in the valve industry and now I handle the company’s operations in Europe.

Khanjari D Kumbhar, GM, Burns & McDonnell Engineering India, said, “Maintaining a balance between professional and personal life is important.

Mahalakshmi Ramesh Kumar, Additional GM & Deputy Head, Customer Service Division, Yokogawa India, said, “Effective time management and prioritising helps strike a balance between professional and personal lives.

Sonal Bhatawadekar, Director, STPI-Gandhinagar, said, “Performing professional duties with a sense of responsibility, ownership and a sense of belonging towards the organisation is the key to achieving professional success.”

Manisha Jain, Senior Manager (Instrumentation & Control Engineering), Linde Engineering India, said, “My advice to aspiring women leaders is to embrace their unique strengths, cultivate a strong support network, and embrace continuous learning. Confidence and resilience are the other essential elements to thrive in leadership positions.”

Shalini Verma, CGM & HOD- Project Engineering Management, Engineers India Limited, said, “My advice to my women colleagues is to have confidence in your abilities and don’t be afraid to take risks. Building strong relationships and staying informed are also important to succeed.”

The success stories of these women are encouraging, but a systemic change is needed to address the root causes of gender disparity in technology. It would require a collaborative effort from policymakers, industry leaders, educators, and communities, to develop a more inclusive and supportive ecosystem for women in technology. Companies must prioritize diversity, implementing policies fostering gender equity and women’s advancement.

About Industrial Automation Magazine

Industrial Automation Magazine is a monthly industrial magazine published by IED Communications based in India since 1980, catering to the Factory and Process Automation needs of the industry. The magazine is the top most widely read and referred monthly magazines and trade journal in the automation industry and is a delight for the engineering college students and technology enthusiasts who want to learn about instrumentation, factory automation, process automation, digitalisation, robotics and many more topics.

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