This blog is written by Rishika Shekhawat, SWE Global Ambassador and Product Engineer at John Deere Technology Center in India.
The women engineers in Pune had their weekends engaged for the Women’s Day celebration of the much-awaited SWEet Milan event 2020 which was held on March 7. Engineers from various firms like Bentley, Black and Veatch, Capgemini, Cummins, Dana India, Eaton, Emerson, Euronet Worldwide, Exxat Systems, Halliburton, John Deere, KAT Controls Private Limited, Sigma OSS Systems, TCS, TE Connectivity, several freelancers, and the SWE Pune Affiliate members came together to spend the day on professional development through this workshop. The host for the event, Cummins College of Engineering Pune, along with their SWE members, took all necessary precautions to ensure hygiene as per the Coronavirus guidelines.
The schedule was a jam-packed agenda on sessions like ‘Leading with Courage’ and ‘Design Thinking.’ The event started with a lamp-lighting ceremony followed by Preetika Hingorani’s introduction about the ongoing successful journey of the SWEet Milan events. She showcased all the past Milan events and how it has evolved over the years. Next came Rupali Patil’s overview about the SWE Pune Affiliate. She shared three individual stories that reflected SWE’s mission of Aspire, Advance and Achieve.
The introductions of the sponsor companies Capgemini and Eaton were led by Satinder Kaur and Nitin Chalke. Satinder Kaur, senior manager of Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion at Capgemini, spoke in depth about the various policies the company had introduced to embark upon a gender parity workforce. Additionally, Nitin Chalke, president, Vehicle & Hydraulics, APAC at EATON, focused more on the key pointers for women to succeed at the workplace. His message to the audience was to believe in yourself and stressed the importance of networking & mentoring events. Vanchana Raul, engineering leader, Electrical Sector and India Leader for WAVE (Woman Adding Value at Eaton) briefed us about the company and its businesses. Anagha Kulkarni, from the Cummins College of Engineering, shared her personal journey of empowerment through education.
Growing up, we women tend to lose focus of our health. But, by combining dance with music reminded us of how important our own health is.
Seema Raghunath, founder of Working Women’s Fraternity India (WWF), led the ‘Leading with Courage’ session. This interactive session kept me on my toes as it concentrated on introspection and self-awareness. Seema posed provocative questions such as: how do you showcase courage? why is it important in building an image? And, what differentiates it from being brave? She pointed out that demonstrating courage is developed by gaining knowledge and displaying confidence. I also learned about moral courage, the highest definition of courage, which is taking a stand for your moral values. She led attendees through the 10 Commandments of Courage and spoke at length about WWF which is the support system working women can rely on.
The second half of the workshop featured sessions on ‘Design Thinking’ by Radhika Chavan, co-founder of Digital Tensor. Radhika had a line of activities and various examples in her backpack that encouraged us to engage more. Competitions like build a spaghetti tower and design a toothbrush holder gave experiential insights and brought out our winning spirit. She emphasized the importance of combining both creativity and simplicity to design any product. The video by IDEO designing a shopping cart showed that a diverse and engaged team can drive the design of any product. The session ended on the takeaway that anyone can be a designer and design thinking toolset can help to make designs better suited to customer needs.
The highlight of the event was a surprise Bollywood workout session by Garima Yadav. Growing up, we women tend to lose focus of our health. But, by combining dance with music reminded us of how important our own health is. The evening ended with a heartfelt thank you from Paul Robichaud, SWE India Managing Partner, who encouraged us to grow more with every opportunity.
Overall, this year’s Women’s Day was spent on professional and personal development. The opportunity to meet and share ideas with like-minded women engineers provides a common platform to learn and network. Thank you to all the volunteers of SWE Pune Affiliate and Cummins College of Engineering for yet another successful event. I can’t wait for the next one!