Imagine working for a company with opportunities that very much aligned with the career path you had in mind. For Namrata Kulkarni, a Senior Engineering Manager at Mindbody, this hope became a reality when she joined the wellness management software company five years ago.
Every day, Kulkarni looks forward to being a mentor and guide for new team members of the company. She is also encouraged to join initiatives designed for women in tech such as the Women in Tech conference (WiT) and Women Who CODE, a global community for women in the industry.
It was actually during her first visit to Mindbody’s headquarters that she was invited to attend the WiT event, saying she “got to know about all the wonderful work WiT was doing and the support from Mindbody to create a diverse environment.” This is just one of many ways Mindbody “values the diverse perspectives women bring to help overall growth of the organization,” she says.
And Bhalchandra Namjoshi, a Managing Director & the Head of India Operations, would agree adding that “As a global company, we believe in leading from the front and taking proactive steps to create an enriching and collaborative work environment.”
In the six months that he’s been with Mindbody, Namjoshi says he appreciates Mindbody’s commitment to advancing gender equality at work, specifically the programs in place to increase opportunities for women across different levels in the tech space.
We recently spoke to Kulkarni and Namjoshi about how Mindbody supports women in a male-dominated tech space. Check out their intel below.
Tell us a bit about your job. What are your priorities at work?
Namrata Kulkarni: I’m a Senior Engineering Manager at Mindbody in Pune, India. Apart from my day to day technical jobs with respective scrum teams, my main responsibilities include hiring and onboarding high potential teams across all business units for India development center. I also work closely with stakeholders across various offices of Mindbody across the globe.
What were you doing previously/what has your career path looked like?
Namrata Kulkarni: I started my career as a net developer and was offered a wonderful opportunity to be a technical lead for the Mindbody India office. I eventually took the role as a senior engineering manager. From being a passionate developer to mentoring and guiding enthusiastic new teams, I thoroughly enjoy my journey at Mindbody. In general, the opportunities at Mindbody are very much aligned with the career path I had in mind for myself.
How long have you been with Mindbody? What about it made you first want to join?
Bhalchandra Namjoshi: I have been with Mindbody for about a year now. I liked the challenge of setting up a captive center from scratch in India. More importantly I was excited by our mission to help people lead healthier, happier lives by connecting the world to wellness. Very rarely you find an organization whose mission statement aligns with your own personal mission statement.
What are your main job responsibilities, and what about your role most excites you?
Bhalchandra Namjoshi: I am responsible for building world class engineering teams for all major verticals of Mindbody at our India center. My role provides me immense opportunities to be innovative, think out-of-the box and deliver great value to our customers.
While at Mindbody, you’ve been involved with the Women in Tech group. How did you first get involved?
Namrata Kulkarni: During my first visit to San Luis Obispo (Mindbody headquarters), I attended the Women in Technology event and got to know about all the wonderful work WiT was doing and the support from Mindbody to create a diverse environment. I thought of bringing this initiative back home to India to help women grow in their own tech careers.
Beyond the WIT group, are there any other ways Mindbody encourages and supports women?
Namrata Kulkarni: Overall, Mindbody supports women in technology and non-technology careers. It’s support for work-life balance and the environment is deeply encouraging.
You’ve also been at your company during a time of global expansion. Tell me a little bit about that experience.
Namrata Kulkarni: I have been working with Mindbody for more than four and a half years now. I am glad to get an opportunity to participate in the overall growth of the India office. I have been given an opportunity in hiring, onboarding and helping new teams setting up the processes. I completely enjoy interacting and working with different teams. It has helped improve my overall understanding of Mindbody’s business as a whole and also helped to expand my horizon.
How did your own manager support you during this process?
Namrata Kulkarni: I have always received required guidance and timely feedback from my manager. My manager has encouraged me to take additional responsibilities and supported me in initiatives like WiT and Women Who CODE (WWCode).
Mindbody, in general, has always supported attending additional training sessions or conferences for professional growth. Apart from these initiatives, I also get an opportunity to interact with various stakeholders across the globe. It helps me improve my understanding of product and technical road maps.
What kinds of longer-term initiatives are you participating in to advance gender equality at your workplace (whether an employee resource group, mentorship, etc.)?
Bhalchandra Namjoshi: Mindbody supports a variety of programs intended to advance gender equality and inclusivity in the workplace. The WiT affinity group focuses on networking and supporting the professional development of women across the company, especially in highly technical roles, such as software engineering, quality assurance and IT.
The MBPride affinity group focuses on the LGBTQIA+ community, including supporting those who are transitioning. At our India center we hosted the first session of the local chapter of WWCode of their 360-degree inspiration series launched to further the vision of increasing opportunities for women across different levels in the technology workforce.
What do you love most about your job/working at your company?
Namrata Kulkarni: I think I’m fortunate that I work for a high-tech company that not only values the diverse perspectives women bring to help overall growth of the organization, but also promotes work-life balance and the value of living a healthier, happier lifestyle.
Why do you believe Mindbody is a particularly supportive place for women employees?
At Mindbody, we continue to look at creating impactful programs that lead to greater diversity and inclusion. As a global company, we believe in leading from the front and taking proactive steps to create an enriching and collaborative work environment.
What’s your #1 tip for men who want to be allies to women at work but aren’t sure of what to do or where to start?
Bhalchandra Namjoshi: Keep gender equality in mind while hiring and promoting in the workplace. Everyone of us has an unconscious bias which creeps in our decision making. Being aware and mindful of such pitfalls helps in creating a healthier workspace.
What’s your no. 1 tip for women who are looking to grow a career in technology?
Namrata Kulkarni: Actually, I have a few! Manage your time effectively and jot down your strengths, weaknesses and work on it. Also, read a lot and seek ways to enhance your technical skills.
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