India-born Padmasree Warrior, who was named one of the world’s most powerful women in technology by Forbes magazine in 2013, stepped down earlier this year from her position as chief technology and strategy officer at Cisco Systems. Talking with executives at Snapdeal’s Gurgaon office yesterday, Warrior shared her story and imparted her keys to success for women in the technology industry. First, she recommends committing to a path once one has chosen it. Second, she recommends being comfortable in one’s own skin. She recalls how at first she tried to dress and act like a man, but as an Indian woman who loves colors and jewelry found herself uncomfortable to the point it was affecting her performance. Despite concerns about professional ramifications, she changed her dress to better suit her personality and experienced no negative consequences, just increased confidence. Third, get noticed. She says that the greatest advantage women and minorities have is that they stand out from the crowd. Fourth, when it comes to balancing kids and work, don’t second-guess oneself. “Your children will understand,” she says, “and they grow up to be fine.” Finally, she recommends taking time for oneself. “Do things that make you happy,” says Warrior. “…Otherwise you burn out.”
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