What's your background?
Since high school, I developed an interest in Electronics and decided to get into engineering. All my cousins, my sister was into either arts or commerce, I was the only one who decided to get into engineering. Thanks to my parents for supporting me and gave me the freedom to choose the career I wanted. Due to finances, I had to work to pay my engineering fees and that is how I landed up in my very first job after finishing a diploma in computer course. I was doing really well professionally and was at the peak of my career, which is when I tied the knot for lifelong commitment and moved to Australia leaving everything behind.
For most of my experience, I have found myself as the only female engineer, but it never bothered me; all that matters to me is kind of work, surroundings and support from seniors. With my previous job due to long commute, non-flexible, non-supportive work environment I find it hard to spend time with my 2 young children and decided to change. That is how I landed up in my current job at Leidos Australia. Leidos Australia not only gives me the flexibility I was looking for but also the ongoing opportunities and learnings to continue my passion in technology. I joined Leidos Australia as a Senior Software and now working as a Software Engineer Lead. This clearly shows how Leidos Australia is good in recognising talent and hard work.
What's your job about?
With 20 years of local experience, Leidos Australia is a leader in providing practical solutions to the federal government using science, engineering and technology.
As a Software Engineering Lead, I am engaged in multiple projects. I am not only leveraging my experience but also learning new technologies, building innovative solutions and being part of the workforce working to solve the world’s toughest challenges in government, defence, intelligence, border protection and health markets. My daily activities involve creating and building innovative solutions, troubleshooting the issues, improving the processes, facilitating the agile event ceremonies, building healthy client relations, mentoring, and coaching my software development team.
As a people leader, I look forward to a face-to-face conversation with my teammates. It gives me great satisfaction to be part of their journey on the path they have chosen. My job is to align their interests, passion for the hands-on professional experience. At times, they may need to upskill; Leidos Australia provides a huge training platform and free courses.
Like my manager, who gave me the opportunities and provided me with the environment for my voice to have the audience, I try to do the same thing for my team and that involves coordination with program managers, leads etc.
Since last year, I have been part of the Women and Allies Network (WAAN) committee and we run many events on professional development such as inviting influential guest speakers, conducting mentoring sessions etc.
I believe Leidos Australia is not just the company but one big family where we look after each other, grow together, work together and have fun as well. We run few social events throughout the year to get to know each other and build relations
Did you always know you wanted to work in this field?
Well, not really. When I was at the university studying electronics, I never thought I would end up designing and developing software.
Since my first job, I realised computer programming, designing software is limitless and very creative. The idea of helping organisations to grow their business and communities for a better quality of life with the help of software attracted me the most.
What is most rewarding about your job?
The most rewarding thing for me as a senior engineer is when the customer is happy. Working with an amazing group of people to produce the best outcomes, build the relations and help a business to grow
What were some of the challenges you faced in getting to where you are now?
I have faced many challenges; the best challenge I have faced so far is juggling between parental duties, work duties and keeping up to date with emerging innovative technologies. However, working in Leidos Australia, that promotes work-life balance, flexible work arrangements has helped me to pursue my passion and also raising two young children.
One of the other challenges I have experienced in the past is unsupportive behaviour. Apparently, after talking to my female colleagues this is a very common challenge women face in the male dominating industry. However, working in Leidos Australia I can proudly say that leaders here are very supportive and very encouraging and they are good active listeners
3 pieces of advice you would give women who want to work in your industry?