Chinmayi has over 13 years of experience in IT and a nine-year track record in developing and growing long term, cross-functional and highly effective engineering teams, by creating data-driven solutions using cutting-edge technology.
As a Senior Software Engineer at Peak, Chinmayi is in charge of the development and implementation of new product features, enabling prospects to make data-driven decisions and helping businesses to scale rapidly by harnessing the true potential of AI. Alongside this, she ensures the correct implementation of the Agile process models across the world-class global engineering team at Peak.
Tell us about yourself about your growing-up years?
I grew up in Odisha, a relatively small eastern state on the Bay of Bengal. Like any other child growing up in Asia, I always pictured myself becoming a successful doctor or an engineer. Therefore, there was no dilemma involved in choosing my future career path. After school, I went on to graduate with a diploma in BioEngineering and never looked back since.
Tell us about your roles and responsibilities at Peak?
As a Senior Software Engineer at Peak, I am responsible for driving sustainable growth across the region, focusing on solution innovation and customer experience. In particular, I love to help our customers to harness the full power of AI and do amazing things with their data.
Why do you think there are very few women in leadership positions in tech?
One of the biggest challenges I resonated with is the prevailing gender stereotype that women in Asia should dedicate lives only to their family and home. Being raised in the traditional society, women hesitate to take risks and leave their comfort zones. There were a few cases in my career when female colleges refused to take up promotion out of pressure and fear that they wouldn’t be able to cope.
What can we do to increase the number of women in the tech workforce?
Gender balance has always been a delicate issue in the IT industry. It's a well-known fact that this industry is predominantly male-oriented with a 74-26 ratio with an inclination towards males. I believe equal opportunity should be at the forefront for all the companies who are considering enlarging their teams. All the candidates, regardless of their gender and ethnicity should be given an equal chance to prove their proficiency.
Any tips for the women entering the sector?
The best advice I could imagine giving to anyone is to be a quick learner. Suppose you are a woman aspiring to enter the IT industry. In that case, you need to focus on sharpening your skills, pushing the boundaries, deconstructing prevailing mindsets and creating an ecosystem that accelerates your career growth. You need to develop the mental strength to resist the setbacks pushing you back. Seek the opportunities to constantly learn and excel, be resilient and adapt to changes.
What other companies should do to support female employees?
I believe companies should understand that we're at the beginning of the journey towards emancipation. There should be no hesitation expressed in the matter of support for women. Whether they need a pick up and drop off facility or a day off because their kid is sick and needs care. We all need to apprehend the truth: females rarely are just concentrated on building their career, they also most likely have a family to take care of. Support them in their journey and you will be pleasantly surprised with their achievements.
What factors were essential to you when you considered taking a role at Peak?
I liked Peak from the first interaction. It's such a unique company with incredible team members with different personalities, cultures and similar mindsets. In my past experience all the companies had almost the same cultures and value sets, but they were more of a forced-upon obligation, rather than the grounds the company is built upon. I felt charmed and connected, meeting some incredible people making unbelievable things.
What are the unique features of Peak's culture?
At Peak, we’re fully committed to building an incredible company for everyone. Our team members expect continuous learning. The skills, knowledge and capabilities of our talents are central to the success of the company. That’s why we’re fully committed to developing a continuous learning culture through our Learning and Development programmes, as well as project work that enables everyone to learn alongside the talented people they work with.
Why should every company be an equal opportunity employer?
I believe companies who focus on this will be the first in a row to harness the benefits of equal opportunities and initiative implementation. When a team is diverse and consists of people of different backgrounds, ethnicities and races, it enables every individual to break free from the outdated thinking process and creates a friendly environment. In return, the company gets an agile, efficient and results-driven workforce.
What initiatives has Peak implemented to minimize the impact of gender dynamics?
We at Peak have been striving to build a diverse and inclusive team from day one. Of course, it's a continuous journey, and there's always more that we can do in terms of gender diversity. This is why we've overhauled the maternity policy at Peak. Our team members using the policy will also receive their usual benefits, including company share options. I believe the best statement that Peak succeeds on the path of erasing gender biases will be all the team members from different countries working together.