At Pert, we pride ourselves on being at the forefront of the smart home automation technology revolution in our country since 2014.
A huge contributing factor to our success has been extraordinary women, not just those who are part of our team but also the special ladies in our lives – moms, grandmoms, wives, sisters, and daughters – who wholeheartedly support our workforce from home (often managing it along with their own careers).
So on the occasion of Women’s Day 2022, we’d like to honour some inspiring female leaders who led/are leading the science & tech scene in India & beyond. Their contributions as innovators, entrepreneurs, and activists have had a huge impact on our lives in one or another.
These individuals have battled ages of social stigma, taboo, and personal challenges to rise up the ranks in a world which is still heavily dominated by men.
So here’s to these strong women – may we know them, may we raise them, may we be them!
1. Aruna Jayanthi
Business Leader (1964 – Current)
Our first feature was aptly hailed as the “Most Powerful Woman” in India by Business Today. Jayanthi has been a key driver of growth for Capgemini, a huge B2B outsourcing MNC that reported 12 billion Euros in revenue in 2016.
She has served as the India CEO, MD for the Asia Pacific, and now leads the Latin America & Canada division for the group.
She also sits on the supervisory board of the Michelin Group and has held several key positions in tech, such as the Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the National Institute of Technology Calicut, the Independent Director of SBI Capital Markets, and a member of the Executive Council of NASSCOM.
2. Dr Indira Hinduja
Doctor (1946 – Current)
Infertility & pregnancy problems plague more than 5/10 women in India. But many pioneers have worked to resolve their common issues, one of which is Dr Hinduja.
She was the first Indian woman to deliver a test tube baby on August 6, 1986. She also championed the Gamete Intra Fallopian Transfer (GIFT) technique, leading to the birth of India’s first GIFT baby on 4 January 1988.
She has also been credited for developing an oocyte donation technique for menopausal and premature ovarian failure patients. Once again, this resulted in the country’s first baby being born through this technique on 24 January 1991.
The gynecologist, obstetrician, and infertility specialist is still with us & resides in Mumbai, leading the IVF department of the P.D. Hinduja Hospital.
She was awarded the Padma Shri for her (literally) life-changing work in 2011.
3. Rekha Menon
Business Leader (1967 – Current)
Accenture is a household name in the IT industry. So it’s no surprise that there’s a woman at its helm. Menon is the Chairman & Senior Managing Director of its India division.
Over the last 18 years, her strategies & ideas have helped Accenture’s consultancy services in transforming India from an unattractive & flailing business destination to one of the hottest markets to launch & scale a business.
She’s also the Chairperson of NASSCOM (the first woman to do so), a member of the National Council of CII, and USIBC’s India Advisory Council.
But the list doesn’t end there. She has been the Chair of the Governing Council of National Skill Development Corporation’s (NSDC) Sector Skills Council and is on the Boards of NASSCOM Foundation and Invest India.
4. Shradha Sharma
Media Tech Entrepreneur (1980 – Current)
Don’t let all those senior names make you think that success only comes at a later age for women. Shradha is a 38-year-old bright mind who co-founded the famous website YourStory way back in 2008 when she was only in her 20s.
Over 10 million readers flock to this platform to read stories of new startups, tech ventures, and innovative entrepreneurs. With over 20k+ stories published by her team, she has become a famous name among the youth in India.
She also interviewed Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019. YourStory is now backed by Ratan Tata, T V Mohandas Pai, and several other notable titans of the industry.
Because of Shradha’s articles, many women techpreneurs have been motivated to join the workforce & take the regional IT scene to the next level.
5. Prithi Rathi Gupta
Fintech Entrepreneur (1970 – Current)
It’s not just MNCs where women are making big waves. Many are also founding their own startups with ambitious social missions.
Prithi’s startup “LXME” is a one-of-its-kind fintech venture which empowers women to save, invest, and manage their finances properly.
Many ladies are dependent on their husbands for income & survival, but LXME is changing that through tech-powered financial education that’s accessible by everybody.
It not only arranges boot camps for women of all income classes & age groups but also provides direct investment opportunities through its mobile app.
Prithi hails from the Anand Rathi Investment Investments Group, so her background has prepared her to take on finance-related issues that women commonly face in their lives.
6. Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw
Billionaire Entrepreneur (1953 – Current)
Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw is one of the most famous self-made billionaire women in India. She joined Biocon Biochemicals Limited in 1978 and was entrusted with the mission of growing the business in India.
As per Government regulations, the foreign company itself could not own more than a 30% stake in India, so Kiran took over 70% of the company, which would later go on to contribute to her wealth.
In the initial setup years, life was quite difficult for her; she faced a lot of problems in securing partnerships & deals as India was still quite a patriarchal society back then. Moreover, trying to build a pharmaceutical & biochemicals company was going to be a big challenge as we lacked the infrastructure for it.
But despite all the hurdles, she spearheaded the opening of new factories, plants, and enzyme projects which would come to define today’s industrial standards.
In 2004, after talking to the acclaimed Narayan Murthy, she listed Biocon on the public stock market, an IPO which was oversubscribed 33 times and its first day of trading closed with a market value of $1.11 billion. It cemented Biocon as the second Indian company to pass the $1-billion point on the first listing day.
Today, Biocon has its hands vested in several research fields such as cancer, diabetes, skin diseases, industrial chemicals, and more. Kiran’s story is a testament to the unstoppable power of a strong-headed woman who didn’t let social perceptions stop her from achieving success.
7. Kalpana Chawla
Astronaut (1962 – 2003)
This name needs no introduction. Chawla was the first Indian-American astronaut and the first Indian woman to venture into the infinity of space.
She had joined the Space Shuttle Columbia mission in 1997 as a mission specialist and primary robotic arm operator. The NASA chief called her a “Terrific astronaut.”
Unfortunately, on February 1, 2003, the U.S. space shuttle Columbia with a seven-member crew that included Chawla, 41, was engulfed in flames over central Texas just moments before it was scheduled to land at Cape Canaveral in Florida.
Chawla was killed in the incident, but her spirit continues to inspire millions of young minority girls of colour who dream of being a part of ISRO, NASA, and other space exploration missions across the globe.
Conclusion: Let’s see more Women in Tech!
In this list, we covered women who have contributed to the fields of pure sciences, IT, and technology in general. And we hope that it inspires you to pursue your career with a positive spirit, as well as support other women in education & jobs.
On that note, Pert’s doors are always open for more flower power as we’re committed to building a workspace that is inclusive, equal, fair, and safe for everybody. So we welcome all our female readers to apply for suitable roles at firstname.lastname@example.org
Want to understand our products in detail? Download our catalog: https://bit.ly/Pert-Catalog. We look forward to working with all you brilliant minds to grow rapidly for years to come!
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