Tag: Women in tech

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Tech Mom’s Journey to Equilibrium: Shradha Samantray

Shradha Samantray is an accomplished IT professional with a rich background in data management and analytics. Widely recognized for her innovative thinking and a successful track record in leading large-scale data transformation projects, Shradha has honed her skills over years of experience. 


Shradha Samantray’s journey into the world of data and technology can be traced back to her early academic years. When contemplating her decision to venture into the tech field, she shares her perspective with candid introspection, “In India, the simple truth is that when you’re growing up, you’re often presented with just two well-trodden paths: becoming a doctor or an engineer.”


While Shradha ultimately chose engineering, her academic journey was marked by proficiency in both biology and mathematics. However, what truly distinguished her was her fascination with computers from a young age. Fondly reminiscing, she adds, “Despite excelling in biology and mathematics, my genuine passion lay with computers. This interest was not a passing phase; it had taken root during my school days when I first learned basic and DOS programming.”


After pursuing a B. Tech specializing in Information Technology, her journey led her into the complex and intriguing world of data. During her academics, she was often questioned about her choice, “Why data? Why not Java?” Reflecting, she says, “I’m a data modeler. “For me, it’s about delving into the intricate connections of data and crafting its models. This, in essence, is the very bedrock upon which every masterpiece is artfully constructed.”


Her fervor for these subjects shaped her professional journey. As she transitioned into her career, Shradha assumed roles as a Software Engineer and later as a Data Architect. These early positions allowed her to engage with diverse tech projects, offering invaluable hands-on experience. 


Driving Data Transformations

Her career path led her to prominent organizations like Emirates and Cognizant Technology Solutions. At Emirates, Shradha held a pivotal role within the core team responsible for establishing the analytical framework when the industry transitioned toward microservices and data-as-a-service frameworks. 


Currently working as the Senior Director of Data and Analytics at Informa, she says, “It’s been a wonderful six years with these teams. I’ve played a substantial role in a data transformation program and was key in driving this transformation.” Talking about one of her significant achievements in the role, she says, One of our notable achievements has been the inception and delivery of a Recommendation Recommendation Service. This project empowered our media and digital marketplace products, enhancing user experiences by providing personalized content recommendations.” She continues, “It’s a great example of how data-driven insights can impact user engagement and revenue.”


Shradha’s team also successfully engineered a value-driven data strategy initiative that will ensure the organization leverages data as a strategic asset, driving innovation and competitive advantage. 


In Shradha’s view, “Data serves as an organization’s DNA.” She explains, “Data serves as the guiding compass for organizations, offering the insights essential for well-informed, strategic decision-making. Whether it’s comprehending customer preferences, tracking market trends, or optimizing operational efficiencies, data plays a central role in steering organizations in the right direction.”


Breaking Barriers: A Woman in Tech

However, her rise to the top wasn’t easy; as a woman navigating the tech landscape, Shradha knows firsthand the challenges of shattering the glass ceiling. She emphasizes, “It’s not easy when you’re a female in the technology industry. There’s often a heightened sense of competition, sometimes even within ourselves, as we question if we’re ‘good enough’ to seize the next opportunity. This self-doubt can be a huge hurdle that we need to overcome.


She candidly shares her experiences, “Breaking through barriers in the tech world, as a woman, has not been without its challenges. There were moments when I was expecting my baby and a promotion opportunity arose. Balancing these responsibilities can indeed be a formidable challenge.”


Shradha’s tenacity, coupled with her family’s continued support and encouragement, has played a pivotal role in her journey. She humbly acknowledges her good fortune, “I’ve been blessed with a wonderfully supportive family, including my forward-thinking parents and my husband. Their encouragement has enabled me to pursue my passions wholeheartedly.”


But for Shradha, it’s not just about managing her career; it’s about embracing the balancing act and ensuring her family receives the attention they rightfully deserve. She proudly shares, “My son is not merely an aspect of my life; he is my entire world. Achieving this balance is not solely about managing my career; it’s also about ensuring my family gets the attention and care it needs. It’s about setting an example for my son, teaching him the invaluable lesson of balance and shared responsibilities.”


Conclusively, Shradha provides a powerful directive to emerging women leaders in the tech sector, especially those engaged in data and analytics positions: “Embrace continuous learning to harness the ever-evolving tech landscape’s potential fully, and remember that your knowledge is your power. Simultaneously, be a fierce advocate for diversity and inclusion, as your commitment to creating an inclusive environment empowers not only women but also drives innovation and growth in the tech industry.”