Employee Spotlight: Mastering Technology While Finding Growth Opportunities
Unequal growth opportunities continue to be a concern among women in tech, but Toshika Chauhan has found a fulfilling career path at SHL.
I started to work as a software engineer at Aspiring Minds eight years ago. Then, SHL took over Aspiring Minds, and I have been part of the effort to integrate the two businesses into one. I am now a senior engineering manager in SHL’s office in Gurgaon in India with accountability for a team of 10+ people.
Sometimes, friends ask me why I have essentially worked for the same employer for almost all of my career. A major reason is I have been given new challenges and opportunities every other time. There is never a chance to be bored or go over old ground. I have been involved in a variety of complex interesting projects, using the latest developed languages and tools including artificial intelligence, providing automation for manually-driven tasks.
Growth opportunities at SHL
One of my first jobs was to standardize the automated English language tests and also add Spanish and French language tests that grade participants on their pronunciation, fluency, and grammar. Other projects have been on the performance side, aiming to bring down response times to our tests. We achieved bringing them down to 20-30 percent of the actual time taken, which was a great success for the business. Most recently, I have been involved in consolidating Aspiring Minds and SHL's platforms. That has been a very vast and tough project, and along the way, I have ended up heading a big team.
A big attraction of life at SHL is the work culture. It is very open, and everyone is accessible. You are also recognized for what you do. Within a short period, I got promoted and rose to a level that was comparable to my peers outside SHL with similar experiences and backgrounds. Getting the right opportunities and guidance helped me achieve this, and at SHL managers will highlight your achievement and guide you in what you aspire to be.
A big attraction of life at SHL is the work culture. It is very open, and everyone is accessible. You are also recognized for what you do.
Teamwork is dream work
Working as an individual contributor is completely different from working as a manager. As an engineer, I am accountable for my own work, whereas as a manager I have to consider the strengths and weaknesses of every member of the team, and what the business impact will be on our work, plus I am accountable for timely deliveries. When it comes to team management, I have to keep people inspired and work on their growth. As a manager, you must learn that every person has a different mindset and way of working. The aim is to get the team to work as a team to achieve a certain goal. You are guiding the project along with collaborating with different teams, and the obstacles keep coming. In many ways, I get the biggest kick when an issue crops up. Our last project was delivered ahead of time and the success was down to teamwork.
There are women in the technology, but more is needed. I do believe that women still avoid this field due to inequality, especially with growth opportunities. I hope that my career demonstrates to other women that there are companies like SHL that will enable you to grow and progress regardless of gender. I come to work every day, excited about what lies ahead.
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