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”

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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.

Ed­u­ca­tional Back­ground

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.

Fam­ily Back­ground

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

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