Army Daughter to Microsoft Woman
Ruchi Aggarwal’s motto: “If your skills are directionally right and growing, if your attitude is in the right place, you will not be impacted negatively by the gender ratio”
Ruchi Aggarwal, Director- Partner Strategy & Marketing Microsoft India
The challenges of being a woman executive in a top role
Time! When the mind is buzzing with ideas and the heart is willing, the only thing holding you back is time. As women, most of us clearly have 2 priorities in life – profession and family (not necessarily in that order!). The challenge is the division of time between the two, such that we do justice to both in equally delightful measures.
An Armed Forces daughter, I have had the wonderful opportunity of attending 8 schools across India, followed by an Economics Hons degree from LadyShriRamCollege in New Delhi and an MBA from IMT Ghaziabad. Recently topped it up with a short corporate program on Strategic Management from INSEAD, France.
Growing up as an Army daughter was the most wonderful experience. An adventurous and loving ‘Col Saab’ (yes, with those fauji style moustaches!) for a father, a doting mum and a friend-more-than-a-sis older sister offered me a wonderful childhood. Today I am married to a Vascular surgeon, and we are blessed with 2 beautiful children age 11 and 9. Working in Male-dominated field of IT Organizations today are working towards creating a diverse and inclusive workplace. I am fortunate that I work in one such wonderful organization. If your skills are directionally right and growing, if your attitude is in the right place, you will not be impacted negatively by the gender ratio. With huge awareness around this, the gap is directionally flattening out over time.
Does a Glass ceiling exist?
The road is steeper, I will admit – and its steeper for reasons – both internal to us and external, environmentally. Women generally tend to juggle with a lot more in their personal lives, hence slowing themselves down a bit at work, at times. And yes, sometimes unconscious biases do exist in each of us as well. That can sometimes be construed as a ‘glass ceiling’. However, there is a way. Go out, prove yourself, most importantly ask for what you want and you should be able to get through that ‘ceiling’. Hobbies I am passionate about sharing experiences with young minds – and I care about working with women aspiring to find their place at work. So as a hobby, I am a Speaker – at Keynotes, Corporate Events, MBA and Engg colleges and at platforms that give me access to that audience. Future plan To create an impact in my area of work. If it does not help others’ lives get better in some way - it does not matter anyway.
Ruchi Aggarwal, DirectorPartner Strategy & Marketing, Microsoft India