This blog is part of our ongoing Women in Technology series.

Vaishnavi Prasad has been a technology leader for 20+ years with extensive experience in engineering, business operations, and strategy. She has worked with multinationals across various business domains such as consulting services, digital marketing, financial services, and Legal tech.

Vaishnavi is the Vice President of Operations for India with a track record in establishing global in-house centers for large multinational companies. As the India operations leader for Consilio, she is responsible for setting up the organizational structure that supports the company’s long-range growth strategy, operating framework, and global delivery model. She is also responsible for setting up new capabilities/skill sets that are core to the business, growing the capabilities in-depth, and establishing the India center as a key location for the organization.

Vaishnavi works closely with Recruitment and Marketing to develop a talent brand for Consilio in India and support our international recruitment strategies to attract a diverse mix of talent and critical skillsets needed to deliver on business demands.

How did you get into this industry?

After graduating with a master’s in computer science I joined Intel as a software engineer. I really wanted to apply my background in math and CS to a new role focusing on software applications. I moved to India during my time at Intel when outsourcing and consulting jobs were the hottest. I wanted to expand my skill set and I had the opportunity to join Accenture and learn about various industries and delivering solutions to clients. I also became Epsilon’s CEO chief of staff which helped me focus on business operations, growth, and strategy. In the last five years of my career, I have supported establishing offshore centers in India for mid to large-size companies, handling all the legal, financial, and operations aspects for multinational companies.

My career journey has been focused on my interests in technology with companies that provide operations and business opportunities which allows me to leverage my technical expertise with my business acumen.

What were some pivotal moments in your career that helped to get you to where you are today?

Becoming a mom to twin daughters was an important moment in my life, and it also happened to shape my career. While in India, I took on roles that were not a typical trajectory of a Software Engineer, but I took on the challenge. This gave me the opportunity to learn and develop very different sets of skills. Being a chief of staff and operations head was one of the pivotal moments.

Have you ever noticed a time in your career where your gender proved to differentiate you?

Yes, there were a few occasions where gender has played a part in my career advancements and opportunities. One specific example was when I was offered an internal role that entailed larger and expanded responsibilities but with no change in compensation. The company was ready to pay higher compensation for an external candidate. I wish I had pushed harder to make my case in that situation.

What is your advice for someone working in a predominately male workplace?

Be true to yourself and stand up for what you believe in. It is important to let go some of the smaller battles to achieve bigger wins. Be willing to take risks in your career and go the extra mile, build your networks, and learn to delegate.

I loved Sheryl Sandberg’s advice – Sit at the table. Be the most competent person in the room.

What do you think companies could do to motivate more women to pursue careers in technology?

Identify women leaders in the company, develop mentorship programs for women to help other women navigate their careers, and look into creating gender-diverse teams not because it’s a mandate but because the right person is the perfect candidate for the role despite their gender.