Leadership

#BreakTheBias for International Women’s Day

VMware’s Service Provider and Edge Business Unit is celebrating diversity and inclusion on this International Women’s Day. We asked our team members to share their thoughts about advice for women in tech, women they admire, and equality for everyone.

What advice do you have for women who want to develop a tech career?

Pulling up a chair to sit at the table is great advice if you want to be a part of someone else’s legacy. I want to encourage women to build their own table. My advice is to create your own.

Payal Munoth, Business Operations


Let go of self-judgement and comparing yourself to others. When you are your authentic self and surround yourself with people who also give (aka healthy relationships) you will be on your journey. Be open, honest, true to yourself and your values. Ask “why” along the way!

Eniker Molnar, Director of Transformation, Future of Work


Learn wherever you can! Figure out what skills you already have that can be translated to your career and don’t get discouraged. You’d be surprised how many seemingly-not related skills are really important to have in any job. There are a lot of technical and non-technical jobs in tech that may suit you.

Melanie Chew, Partner Marketing Manager


Perseverance is the key to success. Keep working hard. Have patience. Never give up. If you are getting enough food for yourself, you are already luckier than millions of people. Stay determined and focused.

Pratibha Jain, Senior Member of Technical Staff


1. If you feel uncomfortable, say something immediately.

2. Continue to study every day, whatever you think is interesting and useful.

3. Be confident. If you try to do something, God will bless you.

Vivian He, Senior Inside Sales Representative


If you’re in college and interested in pursuing a tech career, the best possible route you can take is to identify a few companies you’re interested in working for and participate in their internship program. The experience you gain and the relationships you build there could serve as an excellent springboard to a career there or somewhere else.

Scott Nyberg, Senior Manager, Content Marketing


Chase the dream you have and believe in yourself.

Qianwen Wang, Senior Corporate Counsel


Sincerity and curiosity help to learn new things. Learning new things keeps us updated and relevant.

Chitrasen Behera, Senior Consultant


My career in tech spans 20 years and in that time I’ve had the pleasure of reporting to almost 20 different direct managers. Unfortunately, only 1 of them was a woman but she happens to have been the best. I’d say women are much better represented now, particularly at companies like VMware, and we have some great role models in the highest technical and leadership roles who we can all aspire to replicate. If you have the drive and passion then all doors can be opened.

John Hague, Senior Client Solutions Architect


Just do it. Sounds cliche but I feel that a lot of women are scared to pursue a career in tech because they feel they have imposter syndrome at times. Women can do anything as well as and even better than men in a lot of cases. They’re an inspiration in all that they do in the home, in their life and in the workplace.

Farhan Mahmood, Senior Global Sales Manager


I think the most important advice for girls or women who want to consider a career in tech is really the same advice for all women and girls anywhere – that the key thing is to believe in your own abilities. Studies show that women often underestimate their own abilities, which holds them back from taking on the challenges that help any of us achieve to our potential. Stereotype threat — the phenomenon that if people are aware of a stereotype they are more likely to act in accordance with it — is a real issue for girls in science, math and technology. Girls don’t think they can do well, and therefore they don’t. If women believe they can succeed in tech, they will. And so many amazing technical leaders already do.

Simmi Sharma, Senior Consultant

Tell us about a woman who has inspired you in your career, or who you would like to thank.

My biggest inspiration is my grandmother. She was born and raised in a time when girls are not allowed to school but she refused to accept that. She always followed her brothers to school and listen outside the class, and never give up even if she was punished for sneaking out to do something not approved by her parents or society. She is 93 years old and broke her hip last year. Doctor said there is too much risk to perform surgery and she may have to lie in bed for rest of her life. Guess what? She is standing on her feet again several months later, she can walk slowly with aid now. Whenever I face difficulties and challenges in career or life, I will naturally think, what would my grandmother do? Certainly not give up, which keeps me going still today.

Qianwen Wang, Senior Corporate Counsel


My manager, Dianne, has definitely helped me see what it takes to be a leader and how to be an advocate for your team. She has been supportive of our team taking on new challenges and stretch assignments to further our personal development.

Melanie Chew, Partner Marketing Manager


My inspiration is my mom. My father passed when I was 4 years old. My mom was alone with 5 daughters (the youngest being 2 years old). She made sure that we all had good education. As teenagers, we started tutoring other children. That gave us the money to support our lives. I, my elder sister and my younger sister were district toppers in 12th board exams. My mother’s pics and interview were even printed in local newspapers.

Today, we 5 sisters are:

1 M.Com

2 Engineering Manager at Adobe

3 Senior Software Engineer at IBM

4 Senior Member of Technical Staff at VMware

5 CA working as Unit Manager at Metlife

Pratibha Jain, Senior Member of Technical Staff


Kathy Jia, Senior Director, Professional Services. She is my colleague and mentor. She told me if you feel uncomfortable at all, say something immediately – but if you want to say something, think about it for a few seconds first. And Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She was a feminist, and a very kind woman, but insistent.

Vivian He, Senior Inside Sales Representative


I’m thankful for all the wonderful women mentors who have inspired and encouraged me throughout my 20-year career in tech.

Jamie Shoup, Social Media Manager


A Rajeshwari, my previous manager. She inspired me the most among many inspiring woman colleagues. Through her patience, leadership and compassion she changed my total outlook. She supported and executed with maturity and focus.

Chitrasen Behera, Senior Consultant


I’d like to thank my wife, Leticia Lopez, for making the leap to tech. She was a teacher for many years and felt the need for something greater. She was scared to apply to VMware because she felt she wasn’t good enough. Well, over a year later, she is thriving. She is loving every minute of her job and loves to be surrounded with such amazing people. She has already been promoted once and is a mentor to new hires. I couldn’t be more proud to call this woman my wife.

Farhan Mahmood, Senior Global Sales Manager


Ronda Rousey is a pioneer. Across her career, she broke down barriers and turned stereotypes on their head. The epitome of this is her tenure in MMA. UFC wasn’t originally designed to include women. However, Rousey’s tenacity, toughness, and commitment to excellence motivated the company to spotlight them. In fact, without Rousey, likely, women’s opportunities in MMA wouldn’t be what they are today.

Scott Nyberg, Senior Content Manager


Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam has been my role model. I follow his principles of success:

1. Have a great aim, Dream & Dream and follow your Dream

2. Acquire knowledge for it

3. Work hard for your goals and last but not least is perseverance.

Simmi Sharma, Senior Consultant


My mother has inspired me throughout my career. She is an entrepreneur and started a family business with my father when I was a child – always inspiring my sister and I to dedicate ourselves in crafting the futures we desire. She instilled within us positive values, and told us being a woman should not hinder our dreams. Throughout life, she has encouraged me to push the boundaries in my career, to be a go-getter, and to lead with passion. It’s been a blessing to learn from her.

Jessica Hatz, Product Marketing Manager


Both my grandmother and my mother inspire me. My grandmother was one of the first women investment bankers at Merrill Lynch in the early 1970s. She checked the stock market daily, in the newspaper (pre-internet) and would do the crossword puzzle. She would share why it was important to have your own money and invest your money, regardless of marital status (she and my grandfather were happily married and both of them worked outside the home). She also shared how silly it was that her uniform required that she wear a blouse, skirt, panty hose and heels. Even on a cold day in Michigan she couldn’t wear pants. As a kid, I didn’t understand why she couldn’t wear warmer clothes. My mother also inspires me because she also worked outside the home and balanced caring for us and maintaining a household without ever complaining; she’s retired now and still actively volunteers in her community.

Eniker Molnar, Director of Transformation, Future of Work

Is there a quote from a woman or about women that continues to inspire you?

Empowered women, empower women.

Jamie Shoup, Social Media Manager


“How can you be part of the problem? You are my solution architect and you bring me the best solution. Be part of the solution.” A Rajeshwari (based on the original quote by Stephen R. Covey, “Be part of the solution, not part of the problem.”)

Chitrasen Behera, Senior Consultant


“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen.” – Brene Brown

Sometimes we don’t want to show up because we aren’t at our best. When we do, whether it’s at the gym, for our family or for our employees, those are the times that seem to have the most impact on your day. VMware allows us to be ourselves and no matter who we are…that’s OK.

Farhan Mahmood, Senior Global Sales Manager


“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”  – Maya Angelou

Eniker Molnar, Director of Transformation, Future of Work


“A strong woman understands that the gifts such as logic, decisiveness, and strength are just as feminine as intuition and emotional connection. She values and uses all of her gifts.” – Nancy Rathburn

Payal Munoth, Business Operations


“Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something. Especially not yourself.” – Mindy Kaling

This quote is a good reminder to believe in yourself and keep pushing the envelope of what’s possible professionally, as well as in your personal life. Keep setting the bar high and you’ll never disappoint yourself.

Scott Nyberg, Senior Manager, Content Marketing


Earn a rupee or half, but always make sure that it is earned via your own hard work only.

Pratibha Jain, Senior Member of Technical Staff

What does diversity and inclusion in the workplace mean to you? How can you #BreakTheBias?

To me, diversity and inclusion in the workplace is breaking stereotypes and believing in equality. Together we can break the bias. Let’s move as equals and make this world believe in diversity.

Simmi Sharma, Senior Consultant


Have empathy for others, understand and accept them with a sincere heart.

Qianwen Wang, Senior Corporate Counsel


People are different yet complementary. Include each individual by empowering them and by respecting what makes them different.

Chitrasen Behera, Senior Consultant


Diversity and inclusion in the workplace means to share our similarities and celebrate our differences. Diversity in thought leads to genius ideas.

Jamie Shoup, Social Media Manager


A diverse and inclusive workforce is vital because it brings different skills, backgrounds, and perspectives together to create a culture of belonging that enables employees to bring their whole selves to work.

Scott Nyberg, Senior Manager, Content Marketing


#BreakTheBias. Women just need basic respect.

Vivian He, Senior Inside Sales Representative


It’s important that the workplace, or any part of it, should reflect society or our communities as a whole. I believe that gives the best chance of success, but just as importantly in making the workplace being a worthwhile and positive place to be.

John Hague, Senior Client Solutions Architect


Growth, strength, courage, learning, trust. We get better by surrounding ourselves with people that have different ideals, religion, beliefs than us. We grow from diversity and it’s been proven that more diverse teams thrive more.

Farhan Mahmood, Senior Global Sales Manager


Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance. #BreakTheBias

Payal Munoth, Business Operations


Making sure that women have a healthy work-life balance, encouraging women to come back after family breaks.

Pratibha Jain, Senior Member of Technical Staff


Diversity and inclusion means not only having diversity in terms of numbers and stats, but truly welcoming and including all types of people within the organization. For women, I think inclusion means ensuring we have access to the same executives, resources, and promotional opportunities as our male counterparts, are invited to important meetings, and are paid equally and competitively.

Jessica Hatz, Product Marketing Manager


Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace means treating one another with respect and caring about other humans. I can #BreakTheBias by treat everyone equally and with respect. I empathize and try to put myself in their shoes.

Eniker Molnar, Director of Transformation, Future of Work


Diversity and inclusion to me means that everyone, no matter their race, gender, sexuality, etc., is included in places where decisions are being made, and everyone can be psychologically safe in their workplace without worrying about others making assumptions about them. I can #BreakTheBias by calling out stereotypes and inappropriate comments, give a platform to people who aren’t always heard, and continue to be aware of my own actions and overcome my own biases.

Melanie Chew, Partner Marketing Manager

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