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The iron and steel manufacturing industry has been a largely male-dominated field, with a physically challenging work environment not always seen as conducive for women.
But that didn’t stop a young, fearless girl from Dehradun, India, from unapologetically driving her career forward and further.
Ruhi Ranjan chose to work as a systems engineer on the shop floor at a manufacturing firm right after graduating from the Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee. She took on challenging, career-defining roles and rose through the ranks to make her mark in the boardroom and in the world of technology.
Now a dynamic and versatile leader at Accenture, Ruhi shares inspiring stories from her illustrious journey and offers valuable advice to other women pursuing a career in technology.
Laying the foundation for leadership
I started my career as a trainee systems engineer at the largest steel manufacturer in India, where I was one of very few women. The work I did there set a very strong foundation for later years, giving me a wide range of experience on the usage of technology for manufacturing at scale.
It also gave me the confidence to handle difficult situations in very tough working environments through sheer grit and determination, as well as the ability to think and react to critical situations with split-second decisions.
I learned the best ways to interact with a wide variety of stakeholders—from shop-floor employees to general managers and, most importantly, the power of collaboration across levels to deliver successful outcomes. Even today, that experience helps me handle challenging client and employee situations with ease.
Never settling; always striving
When I decided to pursue a career at Accenture, the very idea of working for an industry-leading company and competing with the brightest minds in the world motivated me to give my best, to not settle for jobs that were traditionally earmarked for women.
I was ready to make my mark and set an example for younger women colleagues.
I owe my success to incredibly dynamic leaders, who gave me a lot of confidence and support to take on challenging assignments. They told me, “The role you’re in is not because you’re a woman. You’re in this role because you are the best person to lead and deliver in this role.”
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"I was ready to make my mark and set an example for younger women colleagues."
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Simple truths to stay ahead
How can technologists meet the demands of the post-digital era? It’s simple—love what you do and do what you love.
Stay current, challenge yourself, get out of your comfort zone completely, and let your career take to the skies. Never work with an end goal in mind because in a career span of 30 or more years, the goal posts will move multiple times.
For women working in IT, the trends are always changing. I now see a lot more women in my portfolio in leadership positions. I am so proud of their achievements and how they lead from the front. We need more and more women to step out and take charge of their careers and their destiny.
The world will be a very different place to live and work post the COVID-19 crisis. This would be a great opportunity for us to reinvent ourselves and be at the forefront of change. As technologists, we will need to continuously think of innovative ways to use technology to support our clients’ business objectives and improve the world we live and work in.
My advice to all who aspire to make their mark at Accenture is to be a part of the organizational fabric; be proud of who you are and who you work with. This will change the way you think and work, and it will help you be successful.
Innovate every day and bring big, breakthrough ideas to life. Check out Technology Careers with Accenture.
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