Blog > Company & Culture > Women on Wednesday with Lakshmi Priya

Women on Wednesday with Lakshmi Priya

Authors Photo Sydney D'Souza | June 5, 2024

While more women continue to join the technology industry, it’s important to recognize that a gender gap remains. Precisely is dedicated to closing that gap and is proud to have women in leadership positions in the company. To further support the growth of women in the business, the Precisely Women in Technology (PWIT) program was established to provide internal networking and mentorship opportunities. Each month, a woman from PWIT is featured to share more about her experience navigating the technology industry. Continue reading to learn more about Lakshmi Priya, Manager, Performance Engineering, who’s based in Bangalore, India, and has worked in technology for 20 years.

Why did you choose to pursue a career in technology?

After I completed my undergrad, I had to make the decision of whether I wanted to pursue a career in medicine or technology, as I had secured a seat in both fields. I found the problem-solving and innovative aspects of technology more compelling. I ended up pursuing a career in technology and I’m glad I did, because there are so many opportunities for learning and growth.

Who has been your greatest professional mentor? What’s one thing have you learned from them?

One of my professional mentors was my first manager at IBM, Vinod Kumar. When I joined as a fresher, I was an introvert, focused on the work that I was assigned and always strived to give my best. He encouraged me to take up different roles in my project very early on, which helped me expand my skill set. He had confidence in my abilities and gave me opportunities to work with technical leaders in the company which boosted my confidence and helped me take on any challenge that came my way. Another mentor I will always remember is Rajan Raman, my Tech Lead at IBM, who taught me the importance of working smart. His guidance helped me improve my productivity by thinking creatively in problem solving.

What’s the biggest risk you took in your career? What was the reward?

Having worked in IBM for over 12 years, the transition to Syncsort (now Precisely) was a decision that I was initially skeptical about. With any change like this, it’s easy to feel apprehensive. The transition was smooth, though, as the work culture was quite easy to adapt to. It was also helpful that the team I worked with remained the same, so there was a constant amidst the change.

Another instance that stands out was when I made the change to Performance Engineering. This was a conscious decision of mine as I had previously been in different development roles up to that point. The internal mobility opportunities at Precisely helped me make this move easily. I took this on as an exciting and enriching challenge, which has helped me continue to learn and expand my skillset.

As a woman, what challenges have you faced in the technology industry? How have you overcome them?

Maintaining work life balance can be tough for women. There may be a phase in the career where family might take precedence and as a woman and mother, you are faced with a decision to make. There are always competing priorities that arise on a day-to-day basis and time-management becomes the key to success. I haven’t necessarily overcome this but have learned the art of navigating this challenge… which some might say comes naturally to women because we are natural born multitaskers.

Additionally, the gender ratio in technical and leadership roles remains skewed. However, I feel encouraged when I see women advancing into leadership positions at Precisely.

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What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? How do you apply it to your personal and professional life?

A message from Indra Nooyi, former CEO of PepsiCo, that I always follow is, “Remain a lifelong student. Don’t lose that curiosity.” I try to learn by watching short videos to deepen my understanding on emerging technologies. Amid the busyness of daily work, it’s easy to lose sight of industry developments. Being in tune with new innovations is essential to expanding our horizons beyond our immediate tasks.

What’s one piece of advice you’d offer to younger women entering the industry?

My advice is to take risks in your career; not everything will pay off, but experience is the greatest teacher. There were times when I had to choose between staying with the same company or moving to another, and in hindsight, I should’ve taken a risk and made a different choice. However, I believe that whatever happens often turns out for the best.

Keep up with latest technologies and be curious on how you can apply that at your work. Build a strong professional network, seek out mentors, and continuously develop your skills.

As a successful woman in technology, what’s one thing you do to pay it forward and advocate for other women in the field?

I encourage my female peers to work beyond their deliverables which will help them further understand their abilities. I enjoy engaging with young engineers and I am open to providing mentorship to women entering the field, to help accelerate their career growth.

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