Employee Spotlight: Finding the Balance in Being a Woman in Tech
Lakshmi Nalamalapu is a senior software engineer for SHL based in the UK. In this blog, she shares her experience about being a woman in tech.
I always wanted to work in computer science. When I graduated about 15 years ago, it was clear that programming was a good area to get into, as there was so much growth going on. But there were not many women in the tech field at the time—perhaps in testing, but not in software development. And back when I was studying computer software engineering at a university in my hometown of Hyderabad, India, I was one of the few women pursuing that career path.
There has been significant progress in the tech industry ever since, and I am pleased to see more women going into all areas of tech operation in recent years. Personally, I found few obstacles in pursuing my own ambition of building a career in software development, working in several such roles before taking on my job at SHL in 2012. But I still have faced some of the classic dilemmas women encounter in their working lives, in particular the challenge of balancing work with having children.
I was already a mother when I joined SHL in 2012, having started my family after moving to the UK with my husband some years before. After joining SHL, I had a second child, at which point I arranged with my boss to have a more flexible working arrangement. Starting early at the company’s office in Thames Ditton meant that I could make the half-hour journey from my home in Berkshire when the traffic was light. Beginning my day at 6 am and finishing by 3.30 pm ensured I could be home in time to collect my children from their school or their childcare. And working from home on Fridays added to my ability to manage my professional and home commitments satisfactorily.
Beginning my day at 6 am and finishing by 3.30 pm ensured I could be home in time to collect my children from their school or their childcare.
The company understood that I needed to maintain that balance between home and work and I always felt able to talk to my boss about how things were changing at home and what that potentially meant for my job.
I work mostly on the e-commerce side of the business, integrating SHL’s tests to its website and dealing with clients’ day-to-day tech issues. SHL assessments are well-established and based on science. With the added benefit of technology, it is possible to simplify further the process of finding a person who is the correct fit for a role. It really revolutionizes hiring and I am very happy to be a part of it.
One of the things I appreciate the most about working for SHL is the diversity of the organization. In our team, everyone has a very different background. The company values employees’ cultures and everyone respects each other. The sort of support I have had here is not something I ever experienced elsewhere.
Finally, I hope young female candidates are encouraged by the sight of women succeeding in the tech industry and go on to pursue their own ambitions in the field. People should not hesitate about whether women can make it in tech. It can be a very positive experience—as long as you have the support of the right employer and, of course, from your family, too.”
If you are looking for a career with a company that encourages the participation of women in tech and values diversity and inclusion, then look at our open opportunities on SHL’s Career Page.