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6 min read

WomenXTech - Meet Diksha

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At TimeXtender, we strive to be part of the change we want to see in the world. Diversity and inclusion are essential elements of our company culture. We are excited to launch our WomenXTech series, spotlighting remarkable women at TimeXtender whose work is making a significant impact. Through their experiences, we aim to highlight the importance of gender diversity in driving technological innovation and creating a supportive work environment.

Meet Diksha Upadhyay, our sporty and health-conscious colleague who's part of the Product Marketing Circle. Let's hear her thoughts on diversity in the tech industry:



"Hi, I'm Diksha Upadhyay, a Product Marketing Specialist at TimeXtender. I'm an Engineer turned Marketer who transitioned from writing code to being able to better understand consumers.

Originally from New Delhi, India, I now call Seattle home. Like many Seattleites, I go to a climbing gym, do bone-breaking hikes, and take long walks in beautiful parks.

Being the youngest of three siblings, with a decade of age difference, I’m still the most pampered one. I’m truly grateful for where I’m today and I owe this to my family’s constant support and love.

I'm mildly obsessive about healthy living, which you'll notice if you ever see me in a grocery store – I'm the one who can spend hours reading every label and ingredient before buying. Fun fact – I’ve practiced yoga daily for the last 4 years (even if it meant only for 10 minutes on some days).


1. What inspired you to pursue a career in tech and was there a particular moment or person that motivated you?

Growing up, my introduction to tech came through my brother, who was studying software engineering at the time. He brought home our first family computer in the early 2000s and filled it with all sorts of software like Encarta’s Encyclopedia, Mavis Beacon Teaches Typing, and a bunch of video games. I was utterly hooked. For an elementary kid, I was already dabbling with Logo and Pascal. 

When it came time to choose a college degree, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to be a computer engineer. While I loved the coursework, I realized that being in tech wasn't just about building things, it was about understanding how these technologies could fit into the broader market dynamics. My first job was a real eye-opener, where I saw firsthand that the right technology, when positioned effectively, can be a game-changer. That realization has driven every step of my career since. 


2. Can you describe a specific challenge you faced as a woman in tech and the strategy you used to overcome it?

I was interning at a tech company right after grad school and I constantly struggled to prove my technical competence. Being the youngest and only woman in the team added to this and developed an unsettling performance pressure which I later figured was imposter syndrome. My ideas were overlooked, and my contributions undervalued.

I didn’t give up and with the right inspiration from books, workshops, and incredible women in tech, I figured out a strategy and developed a 3Vs principle:

  • Visibility: Proactively showcase your work and contributions. Ensure engaging in high-impact projects that draw attention from key stakeholders.
  • Voice: Shaping conversations is much bigger than just speaking up. Involve yourself in broader discussions about diversity and inclusivity, be an advocate for your own personal development and for workplace, ensuring all voices are heard and valued.
  • Vigor: Maintaining resilience and determination by having a growth mindset and seeking opportunities that challenge and advance your skill set. It is important to not shy away from challenges that stretch your capabilities.

3. In your experience, how does diversity within tech teams impact problem-solving and innovation?

Diversity within tech teams bring in a variety of perspectives, skills and experiences into the development and decision-making processes. This sort of inclusivity helps companies better address the needs of a diverse market and are more likely to report higher innovation revenues.

A diverse team challenges the conformity of ideas, encouraging more critical thinking and creative outcomes. This reduces groupthink where teams settle too quickly on a consensus without evaluating more alternatives. This synergy promotes a more dynamic working environment while driving competitive advantage in rapidly evolving tech markets, which is critical in tech.

Cultivating diversity within tech teams shouldn’t be a corporate metric. It must be regarded as a strategic imperative that can define the success or failure of organizations in a globalized tech landscape.


4. How do you manage work-life balance in a demanding tech role? Any tips?

I’m big on organization, I start each day by making a priority checklist for both work and personal tasks. I use calendar to keep them separate and maintain a routine. I absolutely avoid multitasking that helps boost my productivity. Lately, I’ve been using the Pomodoro Technique that’s helped me focus better through the day. A 20-minute midday cup of tea while staring out the window with no tech is a must for me. It’s truly wholesome and preps me for the rest of the day.

On a personal level, it’s very important that I stick to my routine of practicing mindfulness, yoga and hitting the gym. Through the years, it’s increased my mental clarity and energy levels. It’s also equally important that I spend time with family and friends after my workday. And before bed, I do my me-time with a book or a hobby I’ve picked up.

I think by being proactive and intentional, I manage to maintain a work-life balance where both areas receive the attention and care they deserve.


5. From your perspective, what is one actionable step tech companies can take to improve gender diversity and create a more inclusive environment?

In my opinion, initiatives like this are a great starting point. By extension, establishing an independent body or committee dedicated to diversity and inclusion can promote a supportive environment that strives to achieve an equal representation in the industry.

Such a committee can have mentorship, bias training and awareness programs that involve everyone from new hires to executives. The purpose is to provide personalized guidance, help navigate the industry’s challenges, develop essential skills, and advance careers. For these programs to be successful, they require executive buy-in to lend credibility, careful matching of mentors and mentees based on shared goals and interests, and proper training modules to ensure they are effective. Monitoring the effectiveness of these programs through regular feedback and metrics is also necessary to refine the approach and understand the progress.


6. What's one piece of advice you would give to young women considering a career in tech?

One piece of advice I’d give that I also live by is to embrace and nurture your curiosity. It may be applied to every aspect of life but it’s highly applicable in the dynamic and ever-evolving tech industry. Continuous learning and adaptation are key to your success and satisfaction in this field.

Tech is a field driven by innovation. Take advantage of every opportunity to expand your knowledge, whether through formal education, workshops, networking, or self-directed learning.

Your ideas and contributions are valuable. Share your thoughts and participate actively in discussions. Confidence grows with experience, and every step you take builds more of it.


7. Do you have a mentor? If yes, can you share a success story from your mentoring experience?

While I don't have a mentor, I do have a strong network of people who support and guide me. I personally lay more emphasis on the power of mentorship network over a single mentor. It’s like having an army of varied perspectives, range of experiences, and skills from every walk of life. 

One success story comes from a time when I was considering a significant career shift within tech. I consulted various people in my network, each offered unique insights that helped me weigh the pros and cons. One, a product manager, shared strategies for transitioning roles effectively, while another, a senior developer, offered technical advice and reassurance about the skills I would need. This collective guidance was central in my decision, that ultimately led to one of the most productive and satisfying transitions in my career yet. 


8. What role do you believe male leaders should play in mentoring and sponsoring women in tech, based on your own experiences or observations?

Male leaders have a vital role in impacting career development and influencing gender diversity. By actively advocating for women, they can use their influence to open doors that might otherwise remain closed. For instance, when male leaders publicly endorse a woman's ideas or recommend her for significant projects and roles, it boosts her visibility and confidence. Men in power can push for equitable policies like fair recruitment, equal pay, and supportive parental leave.

Male executives should be at the forefront of mentorship programs where men mentor women. This allows for a reciprocal exchange of perspectives, enriching the leadership style and understanding of gender-specific challenges. By modeling respectful and inclusive behavior, male leaders set a workplace tone that values and celebrates diversity, encouraging similar behavior across all levels of the organization.


9. What changes have you observed in the tech industry regarding gender diversity during your career?

Early in my career, the industry faced a wake-up call as reports highlighted the stark underrepresentation of women, particularly in engineering and leadership roles. There was a wave of initiatives aimed at increasing the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women. Programs like Girls Who Code and Women Who Code grew in prominence, focusing on building a pipeline of future women tech leaders. Tech companies began implementing structured diversity programs, including bias training and transparent hiring practices, while also forming employee resource groups (ERGs) for women to cultivate a supportive and inclusive culture.

By latter half of the decade, these efforts started showing tangible results. A great number of companies had policies to support work-life balance, such as flexible working hours and improved parental leave that made tech careers more accessible to women. There has been a gradual increase in the percentage of women in tech roles and more women ascending to senior and C-suite positions.


10. How do you see the role of women evolving in the tech industry over the next decade?

Over the next decade, the role of women in the tech industry is going to be more prominent and influential, especially in emerging fields like artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, and sustainable technology. As women ascend to higher ranks, they will shape the strategic direction of their organizations while fostering more inclusive and supportive cultures that enhance the recruitment and retention of more women in tech. This shift will empower a new generation of female tech leaders.

With that, women will play a bigger role in steering the tech industry towards ethical practices and responsible development, particularly in areas requiring empathy, collaboration, and holistic thinking. The reduction in the gender gap will reflect in workforce numbers and growing influence of women across the industry."



Stay tuned for more stories highlighting the contributions of women in tech. Thank you, Diksha, for sharing your journey and being a role model for aspiring technologists.


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