Women’s History Month, celebrated every March, corresponds with International Women’s Day. The month remains dedicated to recognizing and celebrating women’s contributions to society and the economy, as seen in President Biden’s proclamation for Women’s History Month, 2023.
Women’s History Month grew after being organized in 1978 by the Sonoma school district in California. The idea held on, and President Jimmy Carter proclaimed a National Women’s History Week in 1980, which was later expanded to a month-long celebration six years later after a petition to Congress by the National Women’s History Project.
Our interview with Neha Joglekar, Vice President of one of the Fortune 100 companies and esteemed IEEE senior member, honors Women’s History Month.
Neha Joglekar’s impressive industry track record spans nearly two decades. She is a technology leader who has made significant contributions throughout her career and has become a positive role model for women in her industry.
Q. What sparked your interest in pursuing a career in the software industry? Did you always know you wanted to work in this field?
I started studying computer science at college, and it was during this time that the ever-changing dynamics of software development sparked my interest. I was attracted to the prospect of constantly innovating and solving complex problems. Since then, the different positions and opportunities I have held have given me valuable experience and fueled my enthusiasm for the software industry, ultimately leading me to where I am today.
Q. As a technology leader with extensive experience in various sectors, how do you approach learning about new industries and adapting to their unique challenges and requirements?
For me, learning about new industries is always an exciting challenge. However, I approach it with an open mind and a willingness to listen and learn. Every industry has challenges and trends, and I approach them by gathering information and researching to gain deeper insights, especially from experts in the field. For instance, the challenges the oil and gas industry faces differ vastly from those in the financial sector. Thus, adapting to each industry’s unique challenges and requirements requires flexibility and the ability to leverage past experiences when called to develop customized solutions.
Q. With the fast-paced nature of the tech industry and the constant introduction of new technologies and trends, how do you ensure that your skills and knowledge remain relevant and competitive?
Staying up-to-date with the latest technological developments is a continuous process. When I started, everything was just a monolith on private networks. Since then, we have moved to the microservices-cloud era. Technology is ever-evolving, and we need to evolve with it. I read industry publications, attend conferences and webinars, and network with colleagues to keep up-to-date with the latest technology trends and stay informed. I also invest in training and certifications to help me keep my skills and knowledge relevant and competitive.
Q. What is the biggest lesson you have learned so far?
I would say be adaptable and embrace the change. Technology is constantly evolving, and to stay relevant, we need the willingness to learn new skills and adopt new ways of working. We might see a heavy shift to AI in the future. The current levels of AI have only skimmed the surface of its capabilities. The things we know now might become obsolete in the future. So, I think of learning as a journey, not a destination.
Q. What would you advise young women aspiring to have a technology career?
To young women interested in pursuing a career in technology, I would say: Go for it! Be confident, take risks, and speak up. Don’t let stereotypes or gender biases discourage you from pursuing your passions. I believe that women bring unique perspectives and skills to the table, and it is essential to advocate for oneself and seek out mentors and sponsors who can help navigate the challenges.
Q. What else keeps you busy apart from your full-time job?
I am passionate about giving back to the industry by sharing my knowledge and experiences. It involves participating in activities such as judging tech awards, speaking at industry events, and writing a tech-focused blog as a hobby. In addition, I am an active member of many women’s tech networks and firmly advocate gender diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. I am also the proud mom of two highly energetic boys, so I always try to spend quality time with them.
Q. How do you balance your responsibilities as a mother with your demanding job as a technology leader and maintain a healthy work-life balance?
Balancing motherhood and a career in technology can sometimes be challenging. However, I establish clear boundaries between work and home life, like setting specific work hours and unplugging outside of those. I make it a priority to make time for my family, whether it’s attending school events or taking time off for vacations. I firmly believe in maintaining a healthy lifestyle and paying attention to self-care, such as exercising, relaxing, and pursuing personal interests outside of work. Ultimately, it helps to find the right balance between work, family, and health. Getting to that perfect harmony might take some trials, but it’s achievable, I promise!
Q. Lastly, what are your future career aspirations, and where do you see yourself in the next 5 years?
My ultimate goal is to continue positively impacting the industry and contribute to developing innovative solutions that can benefit businesses and society. In the next 5 years, I see myself expanding my knowledge and skills in emerging technologies, becoming more involved in driving diversity and inclusion initiatives within the tech industry, and potentially taking on more leadership roles. The future has many possibilities for growth and development in technology. I am enthusiastic about the opportunities that lie ahead.