The IT industry boasts of numerous innovations and continuous development. However, there appears to be scope for improvement, in the area of gender equality. Many corporate houses and organizations have been taking various steps to bridge this opportunity gap and Infosys, a pioneer in many fields, is definitely not an organization to be left behind. The Bhubaneswar Development Centre (DC) also upholds these initiatives which trigger positive changes in the minds of the society.
Infosys Bhubaneswar DC recently organized one such event, WinIT– a Woman in Technology conclave– at their STP campus, for women professionals in the IT industry, teaching and allied areas. The conclave which was held on September 21st, 2018, essentially aimed to create a forum to connect the women working in IT and Academia; create awareness around IT trends, work environment, policies of the industry; and discuss and debate on challenges faced by women in this industry. In line with the above, the Conclave primarily evolved around three major levers: Building YOU 2.0; Breaking Barriers; and Brand YOU.
The Conclave started with the Infosys Bhubaneswar Centre Head & AVP, Prabhat Kumar Das, inaugurating the event with an audio visual which beautifully brought forth the play of technology in the current era. There was a short context setting by Ms. Soumya Mohapatra, the Diversity & Inclusivity anchor for the Centre. This was followed by sessions on Emerging & Niche Technologies by Amlan Sahoo, Delivery Manager, a session on Data Privacy by Ramakant Mohapatra, Group Manager & Subject Matter Expert, Privacy & Data Protection and an activity-oriented session on Breaking Barriers and Stereotypes by Swarnavo Dutta from the Learning & Development team. There was a short session on employee benefit policies that women employees need to be aware of, by Santhosh Nair, AVP & Head Employee Relations, which was conducted over video conference.
The highlight of the Conclave was a session on branding oneself by Govindrajan Srinivas, Director, Vertical Limit Education and Ms. Roopa Mishra – IAS, Director- cum- Additional Secretary, Drinking Water and Sanitation. While Mr. Govindrajan gave a brilliant talk on the construct of Brands, Ms. Mishra captivated the audience with a power-packed deliberation, which was full of anecdotes from her personal and professional journey. This was followed by a fun-filled Coffee Quiz with two lady achievers, Rashmi Vishwakarma, AVP & Senior Group Manager, Unit Planning, Strategy & Operations and Krishna Chakravarthy, Associate Professor, KIIT.
The session closed with a personal account of her entrepreneurial journey by Ms. Arupa Ray Joshi – an entrepreneur, who is the CMD of Coffee Bytes & the proprietor of a home décor store. It was interesting to know how she converted her love for Odisha into a startup and her anecdotes gave a very powerful message- it’s in the midst of challenges and limited resources that you get innovative, creative and make it an enriching experience in life.
Nearly 70 participants from IT firms and educational institutions in and around Bhubaneswar attended this event. The anecdotes quoted by the guest speakers from their successful journeys in IT and non IT sectors resonated in the hearts and minds of the aspiring young women leaders who participated.
“I want to take a moment to thank you for organizing an event of this scale and leaving us all with a worthwhile experience. The Infy team did a great job in selecting outstanding topics, especially the ‘Brand You’ sessions. The talks by Mr. Govindrajan Srinivas and Ms. Roopa Mishra were exemplary and has remained with us ever since. I sincerely hope the objective of the conclave, with the vision for grooming the women IT professionals bears fruit in the long run.
The fine work, excellent planning and realistic scheduling resulted in an informative and smooth running conclave. Thanks to you and your team, the follow-up events now have an outstanding benchmark to follow next year,” said Sheetal Rout, CapGemini.
“First of all I want to thank you and all the people who organized this event and made it a big success. This kind of session really boosts our self-confidence level and makes us identify our abilities in terms of our skills and knowledge. The sessions were really helpful for us in all respects. All the speakers were experts and presented all the topics very well. I really liked all the sessions, most of all the one by Roopa Mishra which was an eye opener for us. Wonderful event,” says Pallavi Panda, Mindtree.
Events such as these will go a long way to strengthen the position of women in society and more so in their workplaces. Every industry needs to acknowledge and address the issue of gender equality by fostering a conducive environment for equal opportunities.