International Women’s Day: TI’s Roopashre HM on her Professional Ascension, Challenges, and the Way Forward for Women

Cheers to Womanhood!

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Women are synonymous with genesis. Be it human life or the corporate world, women have overcome numerous stereotypes to establish themselves as the status quo. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, ELE Times talked to Ms. Roopashree HM, Director- Analog, EDA, TI India, about the challenges she faced in her professional career. A source of inspiration for many young women out there, Ms. Roopashree had some wonderful insights to share with us. Excerpts:

ELE Times: Share your job profile at TI India.

Roopashree HM: Presently, I am the Director – Analog EDA Development for TI. My team and I are responsible for the spec, design and development and delivery of Analog EDA tools for TI worldwide.  Previously, I have been in various roles in Memory Design, High Speed IO, DDR PHY and Digital Library teams at TI.

ELE Times:  The industry being dominated by men, can you share few challenges that you faced?

Roopashree HM: I’ve been fortunate to work at TI, where I’ve benefitted from a supportive and enabling ecosystem. Being a woman hasn’t restricted my growth because the company rewards performance and competence. Moreover, TI values gender diversity and encourages managers to build more representative teams.

That said, in the initial years of my career, there were times when I doubted myself. I questioned my judgement even when others around me were convinced I was doing the right thing! This could be because we’ve grown up with gendered stereotypes, where men are considered more logical, rational and mathematically-inclined compared to women. This does influence one’s thinking to some extent. As I progressed in my career, I became more confident of my own capabilities; this, combined with a positive work environment, significantly helped my professional growth.

Today, these simplistic stereotypes are being challenged and hopefully the coming generation of girls and women will view the world differently.

ELE Times:  How did you manage to overcome the challenges and continue working in this industry?

Roopashree HM: As I said earlier, working with a company like TI that promotes gender diversity and is receptive to new ideas, helped me stay focused and build my career. Whenever something bothered me, I shared my concerns openly with my supervisors and mentors, and they offered helpful suggestions. My family was also very supportive and encouraged me to take on bigger responsibilities at work.

ELE Times:  What should Indian educational engineering institutes do to encourage more women to enter engineering?

Roopashree HM: There are several things that universities can do to encourage women in engineering – from setting up ‘women only’ engineering clubs, pushing for mandatory participation of women in competitions, to providing mentorship and guidance.

However, to bring large scale positive change, we need to see changes in the wider ecosystem. Whether we like it or not, there are more restrictions on girls than on boys. For instance, if a girl clears her engineering exam and has to relocate to a different city for further studies, is she allowed to do so? I agree, this is not just limited to engineering, but the point is, there are different kinds of barriers that impact the life choices available to girls and they must navigate these additional impediments just to stay in the race!

The onus of change cannot rest with institutions or companies alone; while this is important, it is not sufficient. When we speak of change in the wider ecosystem, it includes homes, schools, society, media etc.

ELE Times:  What is the growth for women in this field?

Roopashree HM: You can enjoy a very successful career in engineering as long as you prove your capability, are willing to work hard and focus on performance.

ELE Times:  Any advice for women engineering students?

Roopashree HM: Today, technology is all pervasive and offers tremendous career opportunities. Girls should make use of these opportunities and excel in this field. The initial four to five years of one’s career are vital, setting the stage for future growth. It’s important to work hard in these early years and taste success quickly, because it keeps you motivated and pushes you further. Once you are confident of your capabilities, you become more deliberate in planning your career.

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