International Women’s Day (IWD) is an annual event to celebrate women’s achievements and spread the message of female empowerment and gender equality across the world. Recently, Vaishali Umredkar, Executive Editor of Electronics Maker spoke to Ms Mitu Misha, Regional Sales Manager at Texas Instruments. During the conversation, Mitu shares her thoughts on woman empowerment, gender equality and her potential.
Share your journey and role in TI?
I joined Texas Instruments in 2008 as a Technical Sales Engineer. Back then, I worked at TI’s Pune office. In 2013, I moved to the Bangalore office and by 2015 took on the role of Regional Sales Manager.
My journey at Texas Instruments has been dynamic and full of learning. Today, I manage several leading accounts and am responsible for growing our business with customers across communications and automotive markets. What really excites me about my role – apart from the fact that we generate revenues for TI – is the thrill of solving customer problems. With our systems approach to selling, we partner with our customers to understand their challenges and find the right devices and solutions from our portfolio to address them.
TI gives me opportunities to grow professionally as a manager and leader. For instance, I often lead sessions for the entire India Sales & Applications team, make strategy presentations to the global senior management, actively participate in TI’s hiring and training program, and lastly, coach and mentor other employees in the company. This has helped me develop a more holistic approach to leadership.
How do you see the evolution of Indian women in the Tech industry, especially in your field? Do you see the numbers growing?
I work in B2B sales and this gives me the unique opportunity to interact with various people from broader electronics industry in addition to my own company. Sales is a very demanding job – it involves a lot of travel along with the pressure to meet targets and stringent deadlines. Hence, women sometimes are a little skeptical about the field. However, I believe we possess natural abilities like multitasking, conflict resolution, compassion, empathy and so on that make us competent sales leaders.
Over the past few years, there has been an increase in the number of women in the technical and management fields but when it comes to the engineering and technology sales and business development function, we still don’t see too many women. I would love to see greater diversity in this function. Like I said before, women can do very well as sales leaders and they should definitely explore the opportunity to work in this field.
Are there any challenges with women working in technical fields?
While mindsets are changing, we still do not see as many girls opting for STEM as their career choice, leading to a limited pool of candidates for companies to choose from. There is a pressing need to encourage female students, right from school, to take an interest in Science and technology and build a full-fledged career in this field.
At TI I have had equal opportunities to learn and grow and that enabled me to strengthen my skills and capabilities. More importantly, the culture within the company encourages everyone to speak up and have their voice heard. I urge women across all fields to voice their challenges. It is important to make their concerns heard for them to be addressed. This is an absolutely vital step in bringing about change.
Any inspiration or ideal you follow?
It is difficult for me to name just a single person. I have been influenced and inspired by many female figures in my life including my mother. She has been my constant source of support. Her belief in my abilities has made me more confident. I have always admired the unconditional care and support she has given me through the years and I hope to inherit these characteristics myself.
I also remember watching the film ‘Hidden Figures’ about female mathematicians who worked at NASA during the Space Race. It really inspired me to keep working hard and always remember that gender has nothing to do with being good at your job – what truly matters is the passion and drive to achieve the goals you set for yourself.
According to you, what special qualities do women have?
Women are naturally empathetic, nurturing and tenacious. I believe that women are great multi-taskers and have good emotional intelligence. This, I think, makes them great employees, team players, and successful leaders.
On International women’s day, would you like to give any message especially to women in India?
Firstly, I would like to wish every woman a very Happy Women’s Day. I believe that women can achieve anything they set their minds to. I would like to encourage more women to be part of the technology field, especially if they have the skills suited for the industry. The belief that women can’t be as equipped in the tech field is just a myth and through proper planning and a clear vision, we can achieve both our personal as well as professional goals.