Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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“ For a woman every task in the beginning is challenging as she needs to prove herself ”

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Today women are now being respected and identified as equal contributors to business decisions across all sectors. In corporate business, finding acceptability for an innovative idea is difficult for everyone, more so for a woman. In an interaction with Ms. Karishma Mookhey, Director of Network Intelligence (NII) and Co-Founder of the Institute of Information Security (IIS) reveals some interesting facts.

How are women at managerial posts viewed by your organization?
We at IIS donot differentiate based on gender. When we must consider potential team members to join us, as well as when we look at team members for promotions, we give importance to the person, experience and the qualities that we believe are a right fit to our organization.We consider that women are self-reliant, confidant, aware of their abilities and fit for being leaders and that is why we continue to place them in managerial posts. Professionally women are equal than men in every which way and emotionally they have more empathy for the people they lead.

How do you see your ‘role sets’ evolving in the IT world?
There was a time when “role sets” ruled the world but it slowly moved away. For example, there was a time when it was perceived that all doctors must be Men, also it was perceived that all chefs must be women. But, that “role set” has gone out of the window. Today we see equal number of ladies becoming doctors and at the same time men are taking over the chef role by storm. Similarly, in the cyber security world, we see a shift happening- albeit slowly but steadily. We are witnessing more and more women enrolling for cyber security courses and entering this part of the IT domain. Like the other industries mentioned above, it is just a matter of time when the “Role Set” will be challenged.

How a woman can execute challenging tasks and can bring desired results in the corporate world?
Women are professionally capable, and they must understand this and be self-confident, self-reliant and not see themselves as inferior to men in any way. For a woman every task in the beginning is challenging as she needs to prove herself, they must work double hard and show their perfection every inch of the way and have to prove themselves every time so that they are perceived as professionals.
I think that it is time that men realize that woman are here to stay! We have the expertise, the knowledge, the confidence, we bring a different perspective to our companies – one that they really need. And I think woman need to stop trying to “fit in”, they need to stand out and “be themselves”.

What type of challenges are you faces in corporate business?
Honestly, being a lady who is not from a technical background, my biggest challenge was being underestimated always, and this was also my biggest strength! Initially it was really tough for me to get the technical lingo, to understand things and I did spend a lot of time learning! It was a challenge to design the courses, but I did get a lot of help from KK for this. Also, when I was pregnant, it was a challenge to give time to the office and to balance the work life with my personal life which became very demanding.

Being a woman, how did you balance between your family, relationships and work?
Well, it is tough especially since I have two very young children! I try to divide my day such that I can give a fair bit of exclusive time to my three children- Alaina, Aveer & IIS. But I make sure to be present whenever my children need me most, be it school performances, doctor visits, play time. I put in some work hours after the kids go to sleep whenever I can to clear up some work backlog. It is also always helpful to have your family backing you and I have been lucky in this regard! With my parents, my in-laws and my siblings always there to help, it is easier to concentrate on work.

What are your future plans?
Future plans are to spread awareness about Information Security, making IIS the go-to destination for all Cybersecurity trainings globally, open branches all over India and overseas to provide easily accessible trainings. Our eventual vision is to build a centre of excellence, where IIS is perceived as the “Mecca” for Cybersecurity courses globally!

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