A Woman’s World: VMware Spotlight on Ankita Nanda

“I think my love for being a constant learner, a problem solver and making use of technology in solving day-to-day life problems, as well as customer problems, has gotten me into tech and has kept me in tech while being a working mother.”

Being a successful woman in IT and a working mom are titles that Technical Account Manager Ankita Nanda wears proudly. Based in Singapore, Ankita specializes in multi-cloud and helps customers across the Asia Pacific region implement cloud solutions. She’s also a passionate learner and a fierce advocate for helping women and mothers establish themselves in tech.

A lifelong student 

Ankita grew up watching her parents succeed in technical, challenging fields, with her father working as an electrical engineer and her mother earning a PhD all while raising children. They taught her to love learning from an early age.

“I come from a background where learning is considered to be an everyday, ongoing thing that we should always be doing. From there, I also learned that when we constantly keep learning, constantly keep upgrading our skills, that also makes us a very good problem solver.”

Ankita quickly grew interested in tech because of its real-world applications and she applied her aptitude for absorbing complex information to the field. Her love for tech led her to earn her Bachelors of Engineering Degree in Computer Science with Honors.

“I understood that technology plays a very important part in solving those problems that we have around us in our lives as well as everywhere around us, so I was always curious about knowing and finding solutions via technology and that is what got me interested in a career in tech.”

She was also inspired by her role model Indra Nooyi, an Indian-American businesswoman and former CEO of PepsiCo. “She has said, ‘Remain a lifelong student. Never lose your curiosity.’ And this is something that I have followed always.”

Ankita’s tech career led her to engineering roles in the aviation, finance, and telecom industries before she joined VMware as a TAM two years ago. In addition to her customer-facing work, she’s earned her VCP and VCAP in Data Center Virtualization.

As a TAM, she prides herself on building effective customer relationships, challenges herself to keep up with the never-ending changes the tech industry undergoes, and always looks for ways to learn something new. “I think something that really keeps me going every day is the new industry trends, going up with the cutting-edge technologies, learning new skills, and also discussions with my customers to help my customers solve the technical challenges that they face. I try to come up with the creative solutions for solving those problems for my customer. I really believe in building strong relationships with people and customers.”

Making progress and speaking up   

Though she’s been in tech for more than 15 years, Ankita acknowledges that entering the field and earning the respect of her colleagues wasn’t easy.

She spent the early years of her career as the only woman on her team and discovered that support and mentorship opportunities were often lacking. Male colleagues often assumed she didn’t have the requisite knowledge to solve technical challenges without giving her an equal opportunity to demonstrate her qualifications.

She also faced barriers common for many mothers in the workforce, such as discovering there was no dedicated mother’s room at her office when she returned from having her son. When she wrote to HR about the problem, they told her the only reason a mother’s room didn’t exist was that no female employee had ever asked for one.

“That’s when I realized it’s about voicing, it’s about asking for it. Nobody will come and give you something on the plate. So, over the years, over years of experience working in tech, being around challenging people, this is something that I have learned, that you will not get things being served to you unless you ask for it.”

Since then, she believes tech has become much more welcoming for women and members of underrepresented groups. “I feel there are a lot of changes that have happened in the tech industry. A lot of space has been made for women in tech now, with a lot of companies that have come up with diversity and inclusion programs. I’ve seen things changing since the last maybe seven or eight years,” she noted. 

She feels these changes will benefit future generations of women aspiring to enter tech, and she hopes to set a positive example for her daughter and other young girls.

Be fierce, be fearless, and trust yourself

When Ankita isn’t helping her customers or reading up on the latest tech news, you’ll find her spending time with her two children and husband, listening to music, and trying new sports, such as swimming and tennis.

She hopes the future of tech will include more opportunities for mothers who want to balance their family responsibilities and work goals — which both Ankita and her mother, who chose to continue working after having children, prioritized throughout their careers. Ankita believes this change starts with educating parents that family and career aren’t mutually exclusive.

“You should not be thinking that if you are in a situation that you have to choose your family first, it does not mean at all that you’re going to leave something behind for your career. It just means that you will find a different path.”

She also encourages women aspiring to enter tech to be fierce and fearless: “When you are your authentic self, when you trust yourself, when you are true to yourself, then a lot of opportunities and doors open up along the way.”

Looking for more?

In honor of International Women’s Month, VMware is shining a spotlight on some of our remarkable employees. Check out the rest of the “A Woman’s World” blog series for inspirational stories of women like Jamie Lewis, Gina Chaney, and Alicia Thompson.


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