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Diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are not just words but values that are exemplified through our culture at Cadence. In the DEI@Cadence blog series, you’ll find a community where employees share their perspectives and experiences. By providing a glimpse of their personal stories, we celebrate our One Cadence—One Team culture and the importance of sustaining it as we learn from diverse perspectives.
“When you learn, teach. When you get, give…
I’m a woman.
In physics, resonance is defined as a large amplitude vibration created by many vibrations that are relatively smaller but of similar quality coming together. In real life, I could similarly feel the energy of the whole room rising, thanks to the over 240 attendees at the Cadence Women Conference (CWC) India, drumming together in unison until the room pulsed with high energy and positivity.
It was a fitting culmination of the three-day event that brought together women achievers and leaders from Cadence India, as well as outside experts. Event planning started many months ago, with attendees being nominated through business unit leaders. Additionally, several community events were held in the weeks leading up to the event, including a voluntary FEMMA run, “My Professional Accomplishments,” and “The Woman Who Inspired You” video and online quiz contests.
CWC day one started with the welcome address by Kripa Venkatachalam, VP of Technical Field Organization at Cadence, along with meeting and networking with colleagues coming in from various locations across India, and a fun ice-breaker event and dinner that put everyone at ease. On day two, Yoon Kim, VP and chief of staff to the CEO, spoke about realizing the lack of women representation at conferences and how that inspired the idea for the Cadence Women Conference. Yoon inspired us to think of two takeaways from this conference: to think of the one thing we can do for ourselves and the one thing we can do for the community.
This introduction was followed by a talk by Padma Parthasarathy, senior VP and global head – consulting and digital services of Tech Mahindra, who spoke about her career journey and the importance of taking chances, as well as having a growth mindset.
A panel discussion with women leaders was a natural follow-up to Padma’s ideas. The panel was comprised of Garima Srivastava, director at Samsung Semiconductor India Research; Suhasini Rao, CEO at CubeRoute; Parul Sharma, director of engineering at Intel; and Roopashree HM, global director of Foundation IP and EDA at Texas Instruments. The discussion was moderated by Yamini Kaur, engineering director at Cadence, and aptly titled “Superwoman Syndrome: Untie Your Cape and Embrace the Imperfect You.” It was interesting and inspiring to hear these leaders speak about being yourself, setting priorities, and asking for help when needed.
These ideas were reinforced through the “Leading Yourself” workshop, which taught us how to create a personal brand by defining our purpose and values, communicating those values to others, and demonstrating them through our actions. A key learning was the importance of creating one’s own story, no matter what challenges and obstacles lie in the way. This was exemplified during the awards night later that evening, where achievements in various award categories, including Mentoring Champions, Customer Champion, Innovator, Effective Leadership, Star Rookie, and Women’s Ally were celebrated. These awards were determined through nominations that recognized the impact of these colleagues in the world of technology through being role models in their professional life.
The final panel discussion, “A Few Good Men: Our Male Allies,” was chaired by Tina Jones, senior VP of global human resources at Cadence. She asked the three Cadence panelists—Paul Cunningham, SVP and GM, System Verification Group; Jaswinder Ahuja, corporate VP and India managing director; and Alok Jain, VP R&D—about their experiences. Each panelist emphasized not just the importance of mentors but also being prepared for mentorship through asking for feedback and accepting it, as well as stepping out of a comfort zone, taking risks, and believing in ourselves.
The participants also had a chance to think about where they would like to see changes in the community through the Cadence Voice group discussions. Attendees were divided into subgroups for these thought-provoking discussions and presented their thoughts and suggestions in interesting formats. One group came up with a slogan and a song, while another used a theatrical skit about some of the challenges faced by women employees.
The common consensus was that CWC India provided a lot of learnings, and similar forums or events in the future, along with more training and mentorship opportunities and special leave for challenging circumstances, such as caregiving or health issues, would be helpful.
Now that I am back from CWC India, I am thinking about my next steps. One of the key takeaways after the conference for me is to “own my career.” Providing equal access to specific resources based on the unique backgrounds of each and removing barriers to access helps us grow and succeed. The keys to this are mentorship and an empowering environment—something else that I’ve witnessed during my journey at Cadence—and now I’m even more eager to think and plan how to mentor and help others in the community.
Ultimately, we all need to be a part of the solution by valuing our differences and stepping up for each other and ourselves. After all, as stated on the International Women’s Day website, the theme for the 2023 International Women’s Day is “Embrace Equity” because “We embrace equity to forge harmony and unity and to help drive success for all.”
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