On Women’s Equality Day, we celebrate empowering women on our team and their part as #Encorians and leaders. For this day, we have the pleasure of interviewing Ayushi Pathak, part of our People & Culture team, in India.
Ayushi, please introduce yourself and tell us about your background and current role.
I am Ayushi Pathak, from Bangalore, India. I am an MBA graduate with a specialization in Human Resources. I hold six-plus years of experience in the HR domain and working in diverse industries. Currently, I am working as part of the Learning and Development team.
What is your favorite part of your job?
It’s never a dull day working in the People & Culture team. It gives me immense happiness and satisfaction to create great experiences for our team members. I interact with people from diverse backgrounds, and cultures and this is hands down are the favorite part of my job. Currently, I am working as a part of the Learning and Development team, and I am looking forward to hosting many more learning events best suited for the learners at large.
What do you wish you had known when you first started your career?
I still wish to go back and talk to my younger self and say it is okay to have no plans, to have chaos, and to feel vulnerable. Ultimately it will teach you lessons that no one will. So, let the experience of life unfold for you that includes both good and bad.
What does Women’s Equality mean to you?
For me Equality Day is getting equal opportunities in education, equality in the profession and equality in sharing responsibilities at home.
For me, Women’s Equality Day is important in a different way, I have seen my mother managing family, household chores, and her job beautifully. It was never an easy ride for her. While we were young, she used to receive many unsolicited pieces of advice from our relatives to value her kids, her household work, etc. she had been criticized for her ambitions towards her job, and this criticism has never come from our immediate family members, it's always been from the people who have no role to play in her life directly, neighbors, a few close relatives, her fellow friends and she always had this befitting reply “I want to do this, it's my wish to continue my job and make a difference”. She is still a proud professor/teacher/trainer/coach/mentor. Therefore Equality is not only a Woman’s job, it's everyone's responsibility to come forward and rewrite the rules of equality, where women are not judged by the career choices they make or by valuing careers more than their family or taking any decision that holds them back from the advancement they are seeking. Let’s not forget how far we have come and how far we have to go. Let’s embark on this journey together.
In your opinion, what would you say is the biggest challenge for women in leadership roles?
Though it is exciting to see women managing leadership roles these days, I think the biggest challenge still is to fight gender stereotypes. More than men, women give up on their careers or professions to raise a child or manage a family.
What is Encora doing to support equality for women in the work environment?
The most important step Encora has taken is to build a flexible and safe work environment. At Encora we value, acknowledge, and respect our fellow colleagues’ beliefs, practices, and backgrounds, and recognize the importance of diverse approaches.
How can we encourage women to pursue leadership roles in their career?
Be open to opportunities or miss one of those serendipitous "aha" moments that could inspire a creative solution. Voice out your opinions and believe in yourself. Women are strong leaders by virtue of their basic characteristics, they are emphatic, high on emotional intelligence, are great listeners, wearing many hats by balancing between career, households, and even aging parents. To end, more and more women in leadership positions are pushing the boundaries of gender equality by utilizing their strengths and leadership qualities – in skill, knowledge, experience, and emotion.
From your role at Encora, how do you help other women advance in their careers?
At Encora we have a special career pathing that enables women to follow their chosen career paths. We have also fostered an environment that is safe and uplifting for women.
If you could share some advice with women who are entering the workforce and starting their careers, what would it be?
Create your brand persona and be visible. Don’t shy away in taking up challenging roles, positions, and responsibilities. Speak up and be heard! Be confident and seek opportunities to grow.
Finally, if you could spend a day with three inspirational women, dead or alive, who would they be and what would you ask them?
1. Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, transgender rights activist. She is the first transgender woman representing the Asia Pacific in the United Nations in 2008 and openly spoke about the lamentable plight faced by the sexual minorities in India at the hands of their people. She established Astitva Trust in promoting the welfare of sexual minorities, their support, and development. I am in awe of the contribution she made to society. I would ask her how she surpassed the orthodox thinking of society.
2. Laxmi Agarwal. Laxmi Agarwal was only 15 years old when her stalker threw acid on her face to disfigure her for life. She refused to be enslaved by the injustice meted out to her and therefore decided to campaign for the rights of acid attack victims. My question to her will be, what advice will you give to other survivors of such attacks and how did you pick yourself up after facing such brutality?
3. Late Neerja Bhanot. Neerja Bhanot was a flight attendant who died while saving passengers from terrorists on board a hijacked airplane. She was only 22 years old. My question to her would be, how did you find the courage to do what you did in a crisis like that?
Are you ready to create the future you want with us? Encora is hiring! We have open vacancies for people who are just as excited about tech as we are. Let’s talk!
Visit #WomenHackers for more information.