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Profile: Sarika Sinha, Senior Software Engineer at IBM

“The number of women in tech is increasing but the growth path for them is not very lucrative”

Gabriela Motroc
diversity
© Shutterstock /Lamina2014

Women are underrepresented in the tech sector —myth or reality? Last year, we launched a diversity series aimed at bringing the most inspirational and powerful women in the tech scene to your attention. Today, we’d like you to meet Sarika Sinha, Senior Software Engineer at IBM.

A research study by The National Center for Women & Information Technology showed that “gender diversity has specific benefits in technology settings,” which could explain why tech companies have started to invest in initiatives that aim to boost the number of female applicants, recruit them in a more effective way, retain them for longer, and give them the opportunity to advance. But is it enough?

Last year, we launched a diversity series aimed at bringing the most inspirational and powerful women in the tech scene to your attention. Today, we’d like you to meet Sarika Sinha, Senior Software Engineer at IBM.

Sarika Sinha, Senior Software Engineer IBM

Sarika Sinha is a Senior Software Engineer at IBM.

Follow her on Twitter @SarikaSinha1

What got you interested in technology?

When I was selected for Computer Science Engineering, it was my entrance to the world of technology. That was the first time I worked with computer and then there was no going back.

When I was in grade nine, I started liking Mathematics a lot and then decided to become an Engineer. Both of my parents are Doctors, my father wanted me to pursue a medical career but after hearing about my passion, he was happy to let it go.

My parents could not guide me much to prepare for engineering as they are Doctors, but they always supported me in preparation and encouraged me to do my best. My brother used to be more eager to find out the Engineering college test results. One of my uncles studied at IIT Mumbai and worked at ISRO, so listening to all his stories I always dreamed of becoming an Engineer.

I have been very fortunate to always get all the needed support from my family They all have been very encouraging and supportive. I have two lovely kids and I was able to go back to work within six months of their birth, both times.

A day in Sarika’s life

I currently work as Senior Software Engineer at India Software Labs, IBM India Private Limited. After going to the office at 8 AM, I clear emails and try to read on some technology stuff before planning my day’s work. After that, I prioritize my work for the day and try to finish the planned items in between the meetings. On Fridays, I prefer to dedicate some time to inventions; It can be a brainstorming session or reviewing the ideas by other team members.

I am overall satisfied with my career. I gave up the leadership role to came back to the development world which gives me more satisfaction and the flexibility to manage my time. Having six patents submitted to US patent office gives me satisfaction and encouragement to achieve higher goals.

Why aren’t there more women in tech?

First, all the girls are not so privileged to reach the level of higher studies due to social and economic factors. Even if they receive higher studies, they still prefer less demanding jobs like teaching or other time bounded jobs. They need a strong support system at home to be able to balance work and home duties. Unless the society as a whole treats women on par, we can not see an equal number of women in tech as well.

Challenges women in tech face

Women had to fight for the right to vote to the right to education, but slowly and steadily they are fighting through each obstacle. The number of women in tech is increasing but the growth path for women is not very lucrative due to various reasons like lack of networking, demand of putting extra hours etc. Leadership roles are more demanding and they are still crowded with men but slowly, women are achieving top positions.

Women in STEM

The world would be much more beautiful and easier for women if we had more women in STEM. It would have a major impact on all the social, economic and cultural fronts. Especially in a country like India, where girl literacy has still not reached the optimum level, it will give a big boost to the confidence level of all women.

It comes along with the respect and the feeling of empowerment. Currently the burden of managing the house and children is mostly with the women, hopefully, this will bring the acceptance of equality in the real sense.

 

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Author
Gabriela Motroc
Gabriela Motroc is editor of JAXenter.com and JAX Magazine. Before working at Software & Support Media Group, she studied International Communication Management at the Hague University of Applied Sciences.