The engineering sector needs greater diversity and we need it to better represent society as a whole. According to a survey the by Royal Academy of Engineering, 80% of female engineers are either happy or extremely happy with their career choice, and 98% find their job rewarding. One such happy and extremely happy engineer is FrontM’s very own architect Rashmi Kamath who works for backend technologies.
What does the International Women’s Day slogan “I am Generation Equality. Realising Women’s Rights” mean for you in your work life?
At its most basic level, it means that a task need not be associated to a gender. May the best suited person irrespective of race, gender, age, religion, nationality apply themselves to the task at hand. Equality for everybody does not only mean women enforcing and pushing for their rights. It also means educating men to recognise and support these efforts.
Can you tell us a bit about where you work?
I am working with an exciting startup called FrontM. I work as an architect for the backend technologies.
As a young girl growing up, did you want to work in the technology industry?
As the daughter of a working mom, having a job was like getting an education. It was a given and I always knew I wanted to work. As a young girl, I wanted to be a surgeon and my poor stuffed toys ended up being my patients on the surgical table. As I grew up though, a career in computers seemed a more natural fit for me.
“Every second person in this world is a woman. More representation of women in the technology sector means more perspectives for the current challenges we face and more solutions to the problems that are uniquely faced by women.”
What do you think is the biggest issue today facing women of your age?
Handling questions about work-life balance. While men are asked about their career goals and plans for the future, this particular question seems mostly asked to women in positions of power. Somehow, it feels like a woman needs to project a more wholesome picture which is a lot of unnecessary pressure.
When you’re not being awesome at work, where are we likely to find you?
Traveling or planning my next trip or listening to podcasts. Sometimes, all 3 at the same time!
If there was one thing in the world you could change, what would that be?
Get more kids, girls especially into STEM education and show them how fun it can be.
How important is it for women to lift each other up and what does that mean to you?
It is very important to me. Women are often the most critical of other women and their achievements. Our expectations of fellow women is often much higher than our expectations for our male colleagues. It is important for me that I am fair. Also, motherhood penalty is a real thing. A supportive and encouraging environment for mothers is very important to ensure we do not lose out on that very talented pool.
Can you remember the day you sent your first instant message and to whom you sent it?
Not IM. But I remember the first time I sent an email. I sent it to a cousin in a different country. I still remember my amazement at the swiftness of communication.
It would be rude of us not to ask, if you could choose one awe inspiring woman to send a unique instant message to this International Women’s day, anyone at all, who would you choose?
Rosalind Franklin was an X-ray crystollographer whose ground breaking photographs of the DNA molecule helped in decoding its structure. She is one of the many women who inspire me. I think she would be very pleased with IM and the technology behind it.