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S4E14: Pregnancy and Parenthood in the Tech Industry With Vidya Srinivasan

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Vidya Srinivasan is an engineer, speaker, and singer, who works as a program manager at Microsoft and holds bachelor's and master's degrees in computer science.

When she's not on the job, Vidya stays busy with tech-related volunteering and activities. She loves to hack-for-good, and has won multiple awards at the Microsoft One Week hackathons. She has been part of the Grace Hopper Conference leadership since 2014 and regularly speaks about tech at various conferences and presentations.

Vidya is also passionate about music and her family. She holds a degree in Indian classical music and performs with Seattle bands to raise funds for nonprofits. When she recently became a new mom, she added time with her daughter to her busy schedule–and carried on doing the other things she loves as well!

In our conversation, I speak with Vidya about how she's balanced her career and passions with her experiences of pregnancy and parenthood. She gives advice on juggling responsibilities, staying involved in activities, and being transparent with your colleagues and company while starting a family.

Key takeaways:

  • If you want to be successful at a job, don't cut corners even on the small stuff. Do everything with the best quality possible so you make great impressions and become known for reliability.
  • Just because a woman is pregnant or has a kid doesn’t mean she doesn’t get to do the things she loves doing. Mothers are people with their own interests, goals, and activities.
  • According to traditional stereotypes, when a man becomes a dad he becomes a breadwinner, and when a woman becomes a mom she’s a caregiver. People need to realize men can be breadwinners and caretakers, and women can be caretakers and breadwinners.
  • Returning to work after becoming a parent depends on each person’s personal circumstance. Communicating about your situation to your workplace and being transparent helps a lot.
  • Many companies, whether intentionally or not, put new mothers on the “mommy track” and give them less important work. Be vocal: if you want more projects at work, make it clear that you can handle them.

Links and mentions from the episode:

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