Aneesha Pant, CTO, YES Securities
Q. As a Woman Leader, how challenging has it been for you to succeed in your chosen field?
I have been blessed, right from my first job where I got to work in a small subsidiary, which was part of a large organisation with just 2 of us managing the IT setup. Co-incidentally, both of us were females in an otherwise male dominated field. During this period of late 90’s, we witnessed a lot of developments in the IT field, and with emails and internet being new concepts, I learnt a lot and had an exciting 10 years in that organisation.
Q. How have you been able to convert obstacles in your career path into opportunities?
The exposure of starting from a small setup and getting hands dirty in all aspects of technology really helped. There were days where we struggled with performance issues, migrations, and had to spend days and nights in the office to get things right and ensure no impact on business. I have always strived to identify the issues and make sure they are permanently fixed. Setting up IT infra from scratch, getting involved in new business units, and managing ups and downs of IT infra setup – all these have been a great learning bed and opportunity for me to grow.
Q. Tech industry is dominated by male leaders. How women can excel, assume leadership roles, and make a mark for themselves?
I have never really thought about it since it’s not been an impediment in my growth. There have been situations where I may have not pushed for growth due to personal or family priorities, but I don’t feel anyone else can influence your growth. It is up to us to make a mark for ourselves and not expect the society or anyone else to give you any special privileges.
Q. How can we create a culture of inclusiveness and diversity at a workplace?
Only skillset, performance, and attitude should be the benchmark for hiring and not gender or diversity.
Q. Any interesting anecdote that you would like to share that has inspired or kept you motivated in your career?
I get a lot of cold calls and marketing emails addressed as Aneesh. I believe people still have a conception that since it is a CTO position, a male would be holding this position. Hence, most of the time, I automatically get addressed as Mr. Aneesh or Mr. Pant.
Q. Which is one woman personality you admire the most and why? Your message to the aspiring Women Leaders?
Well, I admire a lot of women personalities. Having said that, my first reporting manager was a female and I learnt a lot from her.
“I don’t feel anyone else can influence your growth. It is up to us to make a mark for ourselves and not expect the society or anyone else to give you any special privileges. Only skillset, performance, and attitude should be the benchmark for hiring and not gender or diversity.”