Women in Tech: Enabling Strong Female Voices

The tech industry is notorious for a lack of gender diversity. This can be especially apparent when looking at engineering roles. As Truecaller is strongly engineering driven, this makes the goal of improving gender diversity that much more important – women often struggle for visibility within an industry that has mostly male voices. 

We are strongly committed to working towards a better representation of women within the organisation. Also, we think a vital part of that is showcasing women and providing a voice for women within our organisation. So, we had a chat with Milu Raju, a Backend Engineer working in Bangalore within the Fintech department at Truecaller. 

Read on to find out more about working as an engineer from her perspective. 

How did you get into tech?

I have always found mathematics and logic much easier than other areas. This resulted in me inclining towards an engineering discipline. Exposure to coding in my school days made it clear that programming is my area of interest. It became even more clear after my first internship that I had chosen the right profession.

What do you like about the industry? 

The tech industry is all about finding the right customer problems to solve and trying to tackling it with better and better technology. For me the exciting part is solving problems. Tech, especially software, is an area where you see the results of your work almost immediately and there is nothing more fulfilling than that.

What are some of the things you are working on right now?

As part of the Truecaller Pay engineering team, we focus on building a secure, robust and personalised payment solution. I work specifically in making Truecaller Pay compliant with payment regulations in India. I am also building a more improved and intelligent bill reminder system to drive engagement. 

What are some things that you have seen Truecaller do that is beneficial for the women within the organisation?

Inclusion begins at being heard. In Truecaller, women are encouraged to speak up, express opinions and ask questions. Essentially to come out of the gender norms and participate. Women in the workplace are always multitasking personal and professional lives. Truecaller has policies that provide peace of mind to do this multitasking. Some of the policies that stand out are liberal leave allocations, flexible work options and maternity benefits.

What are the challenges of the role? Are they different as a woman? 

Every day since I have joined Truecaller, I have worked on new areas and technology. Some of these tasks have a horizontal dimension, knowing that my work could create problems across Truecaller for customers as well as other developers was very scary. However, once you complete such challenging things with quality, there is a level of satisfaction, excitement and  confidence. As a woman it is not just about proving yourself. There is a bigger task at hand too.

What is Truecaller’s culture like? 

I onboarded remotely the day India went into full lockdown. There was a lot of stress and uncertainty in my mind about the job, about onboarding remotely and about the pandemic. Since day one, I have been experiencing the warm, supportive and inclusive environment that Truecaller has. The effort that Truecaller leadership takes to promote a fun culture is commendable.

Do you have any advice for women entering male-dominated fields?

In my observation, there are male dominated fields that are not ready for a change yet and there are some which are ready to accept women. Fortunately tech is one of such areas where women are receiving support to cut through gender roles. Women should see this opportunity and leverage these support mechanisms to build a career in tech. My advice to all women would be  “never stop asking questions”.

Is there anything you think is not discussed enough within the tech industry?

Tech jobs by nature, as well as by conscious choice, have become an area that is welcoming women to the workplace.  However, women especially young girls, lack the awareness about the opportunity, confidence in themselves and support of family to come into tech. I think there is a need for outreach to bridge this gap.

What is your opinion on the tech industry within India? What would you like to see changed?

India has successfully adopted innovations like QR code payments and is now leading innovations like the UPI payment network. However, I think there is a lot more potential. India has a lot of smart people constrained by lack of resources for experiential learning. With the internet under $0.1/GB, online learning platforms, remote work solutions, IT career is more accessible than ever before and India needs to embrace this.