Samrudhi has a Bachelor of Electronics and Telecommunications, followed by Masters in Astronautics and Space Engineering.
And her hobbies include painting and dancing and has a Diploma in the Indian Classical dance form of Bharatanatyam.
Let's get to know her inspiring journey!
Can you tell us a bit about your current role and responsibilities in the tech industry?
I am currently working as a Project Engineer at ALTEN on a Rolls-Royce Aero Engine project. Apart from my job, I volunteer with a few organizations. I am serving as Vice President - Internal Relations at the European Young Engineers.
I am also associated with Space Generation Advisory Council (SGAC) and UK Students for Exploration and Development of Space (UKSEDS). With SGAC, I am working on the Small Satellite Project Group where I work and research on applications of small satellites. Last year, I attended International Astronautical Congress in Paris as a co-author of a paper with SGAC.
Apart from this, I am volunteering as a citizen scientist at NASA on the GLOBE program. The GLOBE Program is an initiative to research our global environment.
In 2022, I was awarded the Bright Sparks award which recognizes 30 young and most talented engineers in the UK. Additionally, I was selected as a delegate at the ‘67th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women’ hosted by UN Women, UK.
How did you first get interested in working in tech, and what drew you to this field?
I have been always fascinated by space, from my childhood, I have always wanted to study space. My fascination with that field was the driving factor to take up tech.
However, I studied space engineering for my master’s, and before that, I completed my bachelor’s in electronics and telecommunications. The main reason behind taking up E&TC was that electronics is such a domain that can be applied to everyone. Be it IT, medical, space, or just basic home appliances, it is a basic requirement in every field.
Additionally, after a certain age, I found I was good at it and decided to pursue it for my bachelor's degree, specialise in it, and apply my skills to the space industry.
Have you faced any challenges or obstacles as a woman working in tech? If so, can you describe them?
(These are general challenges faced by women in tech and are not particularly related to me!)
Women in tech often face a range of challenges and obstacles, including:
- Lack of representation: Women may feel isolated as a result of the underrepresentation of women in the Itech sector, and it may be more difficult for them to find mentors or role models who can relate to and support their experiences.
- Work-life balance: Women may find it more difficult to strike a balance between their professional goals and their personal obligations, especially if their workplaces lack maternity leave regulations and childcare facilities.
How have you overcome these challenges, and what strategies have you found to be effective?
I feel, there must be some pioneers to start good things, so if women are facing challenges, we need to do something to overcome those. I make an effort to be the type of person who, despite difficulties, can make life simpler for other women.
I've always believed that I need to conquer this obstacle so that someone else might one day look at me and have the courage to face their own obstacles. This idea constantly motivates me. Apart from that, my family has been supportive of my career goals and I feel that is one of the major factors to success.
In your opinion, why do you think there are fewer women working in tech compared to men?
I feel, these days there are women taking up tech and they have been encouraged to do so. Women, in my opinion, are already empowered, what our society really lacks is the acknowledgment of this truth.
Society as a whole is aware that women are capable of doing whatever males can do, but they are reluctant to accept this because of some preconceived notions. Once, we open our minds wide to accept women as the second gender and not as a secondary gender, then we are already there!
Have you noticed any efforts or initiatives within the tech industry to encourage more women to enter the field or to support women already working in tech?
There are a lot of initiatives in every industry to uplift women. I absolutely respect and appreciate the types of initiatives which are been taken up to give women equal opportunities.
- Special quota for women
- Networking events and conferences for women
- Women-centric communities on social media
- Outreach campaigns to promote women in tech
Do you think there are any misconceptions or stereotypes about women in tech that need to be addressed or challenged? If so, what are they?
The most common misconception about women is that they must simultaneously care for the home and work, whereas males may just go to work, come home, and rest. This, in my opinion, has been the major obstacle to women pursuing careers.
Cooking and cleaning are fundamental duties and not gender roles. No one will ever ask a man, ‘How do you manage work and home responsibilities at the same time?’ that is because we don’t expect a man to work in both areas but for women we do, and this needs to change.
What advice would you give to other young women who are interested in pursuing a career in tech but may be hesitant due to the underrepresentation of women in the field?
Just go for it, no one is going to come with a plate full of opportunities in front of you.
You’ve got to go out, look for opportunities and make them yours. Chase your dreams, the worst that can happen is you will gain an experience instead of success and that is totally fine. Do not wait for anyone to be your role model, be your own role model and mainly, always believe in yourself.
Finally, what are your long-term goals and aspirations within the tech industry, and how do you see yourself contributing to the field in the future?
I believe that what comes from society must go back to society, and when it comes to knowledge, it’s multiplied when shared.
Right guidance is very important, today I am able to work for a worthwhile cause because I was mentored rightly. I wish to do the same by passing on personal or professional expertise to people who are having difficulties in their career paths.
I will use my knowledge to try to close the gap between what professionals and students desire to do and what the market truly requires. It all comes down to what I can do to make the world a better place. How can I help others by making things simpler and better in my own special way? I aim to make a difference in my community and aspire to be the type of person who can lead by example for future generations.