Empowering Women in IT - eWIT
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January 2015
 
 
In This Issue
   
2nd eWIT Student’s Convention 2014 – October 26th 2014, TAG Auditorium, Anna University Chennai
eWIT Roundtable networking event – November 21st 2014, Chennai
eWIT walk for Women’s Health and Fitness – November 28th 2014, Chennai
eWIT Trivandrum chapter updates
Article on How to stay positive – contributed by an eWIT Member
Article on Work Life Balance – contributed by an eWIT Member
How Hexaware celebrates Women at Hexaware (W @H)– a report
   












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Editorial Board

  • Nirmala Gopalakrishnan
  • Latha Ramesh
  • Sarada Ramani
  • Lakshmi Gopal
  • Jayalakshmi Thirugnanam

No.6, Kalakshetra Avenue,
2nd Street, Thiruvanmiyur,
Chennai – 600041, India
Phone: 044 - 4212 0706
www.ewit.co.in

 
Editorial

Greetings from eWIT!

From the desk of the editor on behalf of the editorial board and the eWIT governing council let me first wish you all a very wonderful and prosperous New Year.

At the end of the year it is customary to reflect on the year gone by and make resolutions for the coming year. A waterfall approach to life! A convenient one too where we hardly remember

Nirmala_ewit

what happened during the major part of the year and when it comes to resolutions we have twelve more months to put them into practice. Why not go Agile for a change? So, I suggest that we run smaller sprints, many of them throughout the year. Make resolutions when we have to, implement them at once and see how it works for you. Every day can be as important and auspicious as the 1st of January. We shall greet people and wish them well all the time. Start today and give it a try.

What do we have for you in this newsletter?

Read about our annual student convention, an event that energizes all of us and takes us back to our student days. The students as usual participated with gusto in all the events and won exciting prizes. The program for the day had several key speakers give their perspective of the life of working women. A perfect launch for the young minds from a campus to a corporate environment.

Did you know that we had a knowledge sharing session? Learn about our round table event, a novel idea by itself. It helped enrich our knowledge and perspective on several current topics. Experts in all these areas answered our questions and made the interaction lively. Knowledge is key for empowerment. The interaction with the experts was quite empowering in that sense.

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy. Wonder why they left out Jill? Those of you who couldn’t get out of bed on a rather chilly morning read about the eWIT walk for women’s health and fitness. In addition to these events we have updates from eWIT Trivandrum chapter and eWIT forum at Hexaware. I was intrigued with the International men’s day celebration by WAH forum at Hexaware. Of course how can we forget them? Without them eWIT will not make any sense!!!

‘Happy Women make the Home & workplace Happy for them as well as for others around them’. Sarada Ramani’s take on work life balance is quite simple and interesting. Lakshmi Gopal’s recipe to stay positive I thought was food for thought.

I am sure all of us have lots to say and share. So get out of your comfort zone and try your hand at penning your thoughts. I would like to see more featured articles for our next edition.

Special thanks to Lakshmi Narasimhan our previous editor for having successfully launched our eWIT newsletter and publishing it in a timely manner over the last one year.

The newsletter was launched in January 2014 and there is no stopping it now !

Happy Reading ,
Editor – eWIT Matters

Nirmala Gopalakrishnan

 
 
   
2nd eWIT Students Convention 2014,October 26th 2014, TAG Auditorium,Chennai


Click Here to view more photographs of the Student Convention

The eWIT Student Convention was back this year with the theme ‘ICT – The Best Career Option for Women Today’

Empowering Women in IT (eWIT) is a forum conceptualized by a group of IT Professionals in India to increase the Share and Sustainability of women in IT /ITES.

The eWIT Academic initiative believes in promoting IT as a preferred career choice for women starting from the college level and also provides hands on training programmes to enhance soft / leadership skills to make students more effective and enable them to take on well informed career decisions and responsibilities.


The Vice President of eWIT – Ms. Rajini Reddy, along with the rest of the eWIT Governing body, was present to welcome one and all.The one day event was held in the Anna University TAG Auditorium on 26th September with Dr. Sarit Das, Dean Academic Research, IIT Madras delivering the Key Note Address. On the topic ICT – The Best Career Option for Women Today’

To help the students understand better Corporate Life Challenges a panel discussion on ‘Managing your Career’ was handled by Mr. Stanley George of Hewaxare, Ms. Jyotsna Venkatraman of McKinsey, Ms. Chitra Ravichandran of iNautix and chaired by Ms. Nirmala Gopalakrishnan an active eWIT member. The next program was titled ‘Insight to Entrepreneurship’. A lively discussion with Mr. Aneesh D of Turing Research Labs, Ms. Rajini Reddy of Exemplarr, Ms. Renu Maheswari of FinScholarz and Ms. Srimathy Kesan of SpaceKidz India and chaired by Ms. Vishnu Priya of NeN, was followed by an interactive Q&A session.

There next session was called ‘Take Care: Women Safety’ and consisted of lecture cum demo by the renowned Instructor & Coordinator Mr. SreeRamof the Chennai KravMaga Association. This program was complemented by Mrs. C. Shyamala Devi – Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police, Crime Branch, Chennai, when she spoke to the students about the ‘Do’s and Don’t’s on Women Safety’. A powerful and motivational session titled ‘Design your Life’ was handled by none other than Ms. Puja Gupta the reputed CEO of Life by Design and she managed to have the young audience on their feet ready to start designing their life and career.

As a parallel session poster competition on Women’s Safety was conducted. Many students had participated with colourful posters and new ideas to make things safer. Ms. Swarna of Prajnya Trust and Ms. Damayanthi from HCL Technologies judged the poster s.

Winners of the Poster Competition on the theme : ICT - The best career option for women today.
The winners of the Poster Competition are –

  • 1st place - Ms. Priyadharshini Selvaraj from Meenakshi College for Women, Chennai
  • 2nd place – Ms. Sasitha Jayakumar from Knowledge Institute of Technology, Salem
  • 3rd Place – Ms. Richa Mishra of Vivekananda College, Salem

HR personnel from many eWIT member Corporates met the Placement Officers of member colleges as a parallel session to understand the needs of corporates.

The prize for the paper and poster competitions held were distributed by Dr. Selvi, Dean MIT and it marked the end of the eWIT Student Convention.

Winners of the Paper Competion: Women’s Safety
Candidates from various colleges had registered for the contest and sent in their papers from which the eminent panelists had evaluated the papers and short listed 11 papers for oral presentation.

The oral presentation for all the categories was held on 19th September 2014 at Exemplarr Worldwide. The event had a healthy and tough competition amongst the 11 short listed students.

WWinners of the paper competition were

  • 1st place - Ms. Banu Kala from Agni College of Technology, Chennai
  • 2nd place – Ms. Dharini from Knowledge Institute of Technology, Salem
  • 3rd Place – Ms. Sharadha from MOP Vaishnav College, Chennai

Panelists & judges for the paper presentation were : Mr. Anand Mahadevan, Tech Mahindra, Ms. Vidya, Vice President & Head – Chennai Operations, R Systems and Ms. Sunayana, Exemplarr Worldwide

The 2nd eWIT Student’s convention was very memorable for the participants. Many of them felt the need for many such events in future that are informative & interesting from eWIT. We thank all the Sponsors for making this event a success

   
eWIT Roundtable networking event, November 21st 2014, Chennai

 

eWIT for the first time organized a networking event as a round table with experts speaking on various Technology topics to women professionals. The response was overwhelming and women professionals from leading IT and ITES organisations came together to share their thoughts and experiences on the topics. The closed group discussions enabled the women professionals express themselves in an interactive and easy manner

The following topics were discussed at each table along with an external expert and an eWIT moderator:

  • Scrum
  • Big Data
  • Internet of things
  • Information Security
  • SLAs & KPIs
Notes on the Scrum table

Mr Rajamanickam, Enterprise Agile Coach, SEI Certified CMMI Lead Appraiser, Certified Scrum Master, Lean Six Sigma Executive Champion, Trained Management Consultant, Visiting Professor, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai. was the SME for this table.

The table had 9 participants from large Companies to College lecture with experience on the topic of Agile development methodology.

The following was the pattern of discussion

  1. Misconception about Agile
  2. Need for Agile development
  3. Best Practices in Agile methodology implementation & practice
  4. Tools being used in practice
  5. Challenges
  6. Benefits of agile

It was an interactive discussion which enabled us to finally tabulate the benefits as under

  • Agile development methodology enables/encourages and fosters Open communication
  • There is a lot of motivation and encouragement being shared within the team
  • Every Retro is useful for immediate course correction
  • While Agile development supports flat hierarchy, even the current Pyramid structure is well maintained & managed
  • There is a significant Mid set change in all the teams that have adopted agile methodology towards working in team, delivering Good quality product, etc
  • The team stability index metrics helped in understanding how the stable teams are much more productive than splitting and rejoining team members based on projects.

   
   
eWIT walk for Women’s Health and Fitness, November 28th 2014, Chennai

Walking, no doubt, improves one’s health. To spread the awareness of women’s health and overall wellness, eWIT organised a walk on the Marina beach on 30th November. Driving to Marina, I had a pleasant surprise: so early in the morning, traffic policemen were on the road regulating traffic. I was even directed as to where to park. For one minute I thought they were deputed to help eWIT for our walk. Later, we realised that they were there for a marathon in Marina. Needless to say, it helped us too. Almost all the registered members assembled at the famous Gandhi statue at 6.15 AM. It was great to see that there were so many early risers among eWIT members. Maybe the walk or the breakfast thereafter was the motivation. The peace and calm that reigned that morning was in direct contrast to the earlier week’s cyclonic weather. Marina beach was brisk as usual with morning walkers and joggers.

Kalyani distributed the beautiful eWIT caps to all the walkers with the help of Bhuvana. Rama Sivaraman, President of eWIT flagged the start of the walk at Gandhi statue. All of us followed. The walk was upto Anna Square, a good 3 km stretch. Walking with all my friends was the most wonderful experience. We ended the walk at Gandhi statue and headed to New WoodLands for breakfast. Promising to come back next year for another great walk, we parted company and made our way home. I hope this first step leads us to many more giant steps in the coming years for eWIT.

   
eWIT Trivandrum Chapter Updates



eWIT Trivandrum chapter was established in 2012 and since then, the chapter’s presence in the city has gained a lot of momentum and awareness amongst working professionals and the media.

A snapshot of the activities that have been conducted recently by the eWIT Trivandrum chapter through 2014 is given below:

Technical sessions

  • SCRUM – How BIG and Agile are you? – by Sreelakshmi Jayakumar, Allianz - July 2014
  • CHANGE nature & architecture of web development – by Varghese Cherian, UST Global – Nov 2014

Life skill trainings

  • Global Corporate Etiquette – Elangovan – May 2014

Celebrating womanhood

  • Women’s Day - 08th Mar 2014

Role Model series

  • Enakshi Ganguli, Child Rights Expert in Feb 2014
  • Jayashree Mishra – renowned author and social worker in March 2014
  • Dr. R S. Sindhu – Gastroenterology surgeon (& Vanitha Woman of the year 2014) July 2014

A few other initiatives have been taken up by the eWIT Trivandrum chapter to help women professionals.

  • Shetaxi launch – collaboration with Gender Park, Govt of Kerala
  • Mindwatch on Kairali TV : Dr. Sindhuja Varma
  • Panellist in IWN – CII - Cochin Conference : Rina Vivekanandan
  • Women’s day in Techno park
  • Creche initiative in Technopark

   
Article on ‘How to Stay Positive’ by an eWIT Member : Ms. Lakshmi Gopal(eWIT Member)

One cannot control everything that happens in one’s life, and one should not try. But certainly we can control how we react to what happens. The ability to stay positive in one’s life is what makes the difference between worried and stressed – or confident and relaxed

A positive person is aware of problems, yet is also able to look ahead to solutions. A positive person chooses to welcome each day as a new adventure. A positive person may have reason to complain, but chooses to smile.

Most of the motivational speakers say , “just have a positive attitude, and everything in your life will be great”. It is a lie. Positive attitude only helps one to deal with problems better than a negative attitude. The best place to approach any problem is your own “Positive Zone”.

How to create your positive zone? It is very simple. You need to follow a simple ritual “START”

“S”is for Smile – As you wake up , Tell yourself – the first thing I did today is smile, and the last thing I will do tonight is smile and no matter what happens to me today, I will choose to keep smiling and stay positive”. The smile is your secret weapon.

“T” for Thankful – Thank God for letting you wake up and enjoy another day on earth. Thank any god – Siva, Allah, Christ or Earth Mother – but do give thanks. A gratitude attitude eliminates stress because it is impossible to feel grateful and stressed at the same time.

“A” is for Anticipate – Anticipate the great day you are going to have. Tell yourself. “Something wonderful is going to happen today “and expect great things. Remember, we become what we think about most of the time. When you send a positive response to your subconscious, it accepts it. When done properly, this triggers positive feelings that, in turn, drive action.

“R”is for Remove – Remove any negative thoughts you might be having right now before they have even the slightest chance of becoming part of your day. Instead of the worrying thoughts about going to office, put the smile on your face and replace the thought with Tomorrow is Pay Day

“T” is for Think – Think about specific goals for the day. It would be helpful to divide the goals into Personal, Professional, Physical action items. That’s it. Going through each letter can take as little time in ten seconds. Get out of the bed and stay with your Positive Zone for the whole day. And remember to continue the ritual every day.

   
Article on Work Life Balance : by Ms. Sarada Ramani (eWIT Member)

Work Life Balance
As women, we ride too many horses at the same time and sometimes things get out of control which leads to a serious situation affecting our immediate family, our extended family and even our work. So in this fast world filled with Expectations from everyone how does one succeed in juggling many things. The few dictums that you need to strictly follow are:

Focus your time and attention on things you can control
Scheduling is the first and foremost important aspect when you talk about ways and means to bring about a balance between your work and life. This is not only essential for your official work, but also for your personal life too. Like scheduling your office meetings, schedule your personal visits, shopping etc, pre deciding on what you what to buy and where you want to buy and before that when you want to buy.

Schedule free time for yourself
When doing the scheduling, allocate free time for yourself necessarily. This is an essential time which has a direct relationship to your well being. Use this time for letting yourself go, indulge, do anything that would be relaxing for you including a visit to your beauty parlor to freshen you up.

Outsourcing
In our world, this is the Golden letter word which enables us to live happily. Apply this to your personal life you. Of course, we Indians are a blessed lot, unlike our western counterparts, we can find people to cook, clean, drive for us. Find out what others things can be outsourced like online ordering for groceries, trying to find out a neighborhood tailor who can come home to take the order and deliver the stitched clothes etc.

Learn to Say No
Understand that you are NOT A SUPERWOMAN who can do everything. You can do only so much. So learn to say No when you know that you would be stretching yourself too thin and when you really want to say No.

Exercise
Join a Gym or a yoga class or go for a walk everyday . Being healthy will make you happier and help you to achieve a lot of things very easily. I can hear you say that with long hours, a full time job and kids, how do you think I can keep fit ?. But mind you, where there is a will there is a way and you can definitely find time. If not every day at least twice a week to start with and then increase as you go along..

Relax
You don’t need to get a weekly off or take one week off for relaxation. Everyday start allocating 10 minutes for something which relaxes you. This will definitely recharge you and make you more energetic.

Imperfection is OK
Accept that you cannot be perfect at all the times. Even though you may be a perfectionist, when you delegate, the other person may not meet your expectations. In such cases, don’t rush and take the work back - Ensure that you give the other person some more time to understand what you require and allow them to come to your terms in their own time.

These are some of the tips that I learnt having to juggle between raising 2 kids, starting a business in my midlife, extensive travel and learning all things about entrepreneurship. While some of them were learnt immediately, others were learnt only at a high cost of lost opportunity. But these enabled me to be at Peace with myself all the time.

Happy Women make the Home & workplace Happy for them as well for others around them.

   
How Hexaware celebrates Women at Hexaware ( W@H) – A report

W@H (Women @ Hexaware) committee works with a mission to “Promote and foster welfare of women” and works tirelessly to exert leadership role in empowering women employed at Hexaware. With support and participation from senior management of Hexaware, W@H committee is able to carry-out its tasks very effectively.

Year 2014 was eventful at Hexaware with W@H committee organizing various events / activities. Following are some of the events / activities:

  • Events based on talent (Mehendi contest / Collage event on the theme “Go Green”)
    • Participants of Mehendi contest had creative designs on women empowerment related themes.
    • Through Collage event, participants spread the “Go-green” awareness. Highlighted on “Reduce – Reuse – Recycle” principles of “Go-green”. Collages made of reused materials had a clear message on ways to effectively implement “go-green” concepts and save the environment.
  • “Self-defense for women” training program
    • With spurt of violence against women, W@H committee decided to empower women on “self-defense techniques”. Mixed Martial Arts expert conducted training sessions for women-folks at Hexaware on “self-defense”. This training focused on physical fitness / body-mind coordination and self-defense techniques. Important take-away from this training was “How to survive the most critical 5 seconds”. Surviving violent encounter requires knowledge of what to do and the will to do. This training built confidence in the participants that they would be able to manage challenging situation
  • International Men’s Day celebration
    • To highlight and emphasize that every individual need to understand the importance of gender equality and act in life, W@H celebrated “International Men’s Day”. Achievements and contribution of men to society and family were recognized. Men at Hexaware were given an opportunity to exhibit their talent in this event
  • Harmonization with Chennai
    • Hexaware being a Cosmo political corporation, a series of events were conducted under “Harmonization with Chennai”. Events were targeted for expats to Chennai to know about the city and get familiarized with the language and culture. These events helped the expats to settle-down in the new city in less time
  • Participation in eWIT events
    • Women employees from Hexaware actively participated in various events organized by eWIT (eWIT walk / Networking event – round table conference on “Information Security”)

W@H is looking forward to 2015 to roll-out various events like expert talk on “Parenting”, women wellness programmes and on latest technological developments.

W@H is focused and committed to create a great place to work for women at Hexaware


   
 
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