Women have been gracefully donning their many-hued hats while they handle the endless chores at home and the diverse agendas at work. In their various roles as mothers, wives, daughters, and stronger leaders, women are making a difference in society. Traditionally, women have had to overcome more barriers in order to succeed and build their own careers.
To celebrate International Women’s Day, Edugraph brings an inspirational story of Tamilarasi Ravikumar, Program Manager (Tech), Competitor Monitoring Team, Amazon India who is leading in a male-dominated tech world.
Her 9-year journey at Amazon from a technology support analyst to a programme manager has been incredible, involving numerous challenges, countless opportunities, and some priceless lessons.
Tamilarasi grew up in a family with a merchant (clothing) business background, where customer experience, customers, sellers and vendors were part of everyday discussion. As a young girl, she showed a keen interest in computer programming and would often spend hours tinkering with computers. After high school, she enrolled in Anna University for a degree in engineering in 2009. She excelled in her studies, her professors recognized her potential early on, and she went on to secure a university rank in Information Technology.
After graduating from college, Tamilarasi began her career at Amazon as a Tech Support Analyst in 2013. She started out as a fresher, responsible for tech configurations, and other deliverables. With her passion for technology and automation, she took on increasingly senior roles at Amazon over the years. She is now a Program Manager and leads multiple tech projects at Amazon India to delight customers. And is also a mentor to many in the company. Her hard work and obsession to solve complex tech problems have brought her recognition, while she continues to inspire young people in the team to pursue their passion and follow their dreams, no matter how unconventional they may seem.
In her own words, she shares, "I started my career as an automation analyst, wherein I developed and managed teams within the automation of various business processes, streamlining the system infrastructure, and updating databases with cutting-edge technologies. This experience enabled me to establish a solid foundation and gain a deeper comprehension of the technical facets of the business. My responsibilities increased as I got involved in scaling systems to delight our customers.
This helped me transition into a project planning and management professional, which involved managing several projects at once and allocating resources to ensure the timely completion of the projects. It’s been more than nine years with Amazon, but it still feels like Day 1."
Life milestones like marriage or pregnancy could be a career-altering decision for women as with typical stereotypical apprehensions, and expectations from society. How someone is able to overcome the challenges and continues to persevere along their chosen path sets them apart.
Tamilarasi Ravikumar, Program Manager (Tech), Competitor Monitoring Team, Amazon India
During her pregnancy, Tamilarasi was sceptical about not being given challenging work, as she was of the view that she may not seem to be able to take on responsibilities or continue with the same work momentum when she returns from her maternity. But, she was happy with the support she received from her manager. With her determination to work hard, while maintaining a healthy work-life balance in this new phase of life, she was able to continue to succeed at work and even be promoted at that time.
Being a mother taught her to be patient. With a strong foundation in technology, and upskilling herself with new and advanced skills, she was able to transition seamlessly to project planning and management and not everything was easy, Tamilarasi faced many challenges, however, she has never let these setbacks constrain her, and has always remained focused on her goals.
She is now inspiring her team and other women leaders that with hard work and determination, they too can achieve their dreams.
"I look forward to working every day, meeting my colleagues and leaders, who constantly thrive to innovate on behalf of customers. Amazon’s peculiar culture and high bar on standards bring the best out of every Amazonian, and this has worked for me as well. When I look back, my heart is filled with pride and happiness at how far I’ve come, and Amazon has been a catalyst in nurturing my growth," she added.
Tamilarasi is one of the few women in a leadership position in a major tech company, and her success has been an inspiration to many others who are striving to achieve similar goals. Her leadership philosophy is centered around the idea of empowering others. She believes that in order to be an effective leader, you need to be able to inspire and motivate your team to do their best work.
She says one of the conversations with her mentor has set a breakthrough in her career - “Both negative and positive comments will always exist. You don't need to take it personally or get upset about it; instead, disregard the chaos, and background noise and concentrate on your work, which will bring you all that you want to conquer”. This is something that Tamilarasi repeats as a mantra every day.
Her story highlights the importance of mentorship in the tech industry. Mentors can provide valuable guidance and support to young professionals, helping them to navigate the challenges of the industry. Companies can play a role in promoting mentorship by creating mentorship programs and encouraging their employees to participate in them. Reaching out to people and talking about your problems is the first step.
Amazon India is constantly working towards creating an inclusive and equitable workplace for all. Aligned with this year’s International Women’s Day theme, ‘#EmbraceEquity’, Amazon India's second edition of the #SheIsAmazon campaign highlights women who inspire, lead, and innovate. There are thousands of women working across different businesses at Amazon, such as Operations, Logistics, Customer Support, Human Resources, Retail, AWS, Customer Fulfilment, Transportation, and Finance to name a few. Through these opportunities, Amazon enables women to reach new heights in their professional and entrepreneurial journeys.