[Women in Tech] We must leverage opportunities to connect, learn, and continue to support each other, says Dhanya Ros Mathew of Fujitsu Consulting
Dhanya Ros Mathew has over 20 years of experience in the IT sector, especially in telecom networking. At present, she serves as the Service Delivery Director – Oceania Region for Fujitsu Consulting India.
With an engineer father and a mathematician mother, Dhanya says her interest in STEM came naturally.
“I always loved the logical aspect of Mathematics and Science, which is also what I love about engineering and my area of work,” she tells HerStory.
Born in the hills of Chikmagalur and raised in the port and steel city of Vishakhapatnam, her father worked in the Vizag steel plant, while her mother — an accomplished mathematician — retired as the vice principal of Kendriya Vidyalaya.
“I grew up in an environment where I witnessed both my parents work incredibly hard while also giving us ample time and attention. Values such as honesty, commitment, conviction, and caring for the needy were inculcated in us from an early age through the actions of our parents. I completed Engineering in Electronics and Communication from GITAM, Visakhapatnam,” she says.
A rewarding career in IT
Post-campus selection, she started her career with Infotech Enterprises Ltd, Hyderabad, in 2001 in the embedded engineering space in Verilog programming.
A year later, she joined Infosys, where she spent the next 18 years working on interesting wireless and telecom related projects as a core developer, which included 2G, 3G, and 4G.
Dhanya also worked as a C++ developer for over 12 years across different Telecom OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers).
In fact, she was instrumental in incubating the 5G service line, where she worked closely with senior management, architects, and partners in the OEM space and helped set up the first 5G lab at Infosys.
Post Infosys, she joined Fujitsu Consulting India in 2021 as the Service Delivery Director for the Oceania region (Australia and New Zealand).
She heads the lead service delivery for clients, ensuring delivery excellence, business, and revenue growth, strong stakeholder management and operational efficiency, focusing on technologies, including Infrastructure Services, Business Application Services, Multi-Cloud Services, Service Integration, and Digital Transformation.
Overseeing a team of 440, Dhanya believes extending empathy and frequently checking in with team members is essential to become a good leader and mentor — one she practices without fail regardless of the different moves in her career trajectory.
Encouragement and mentorship
Dhanya shares an instance when years ago, a woman in her team wanted to quit as she was a mother of a child with special needs and was unable to manage both her professional and personal life at the same time.
“I counselled her, we worked with her manager who agreed to adjust her schedule and find a middle ground, and she decided to continue working,” she adds.
Dhanya continues, “In another instance when I was a project manager, a fresher called me for a discussion. As soon as we began, he started weeping as he was worried that he couldn’t write good code and wasn’t confident enough. Today, he is an onsite professional and is doing very well. Thus, a few words of encouragement and mentorship can do wonders.”
She is happy that organisations today are stepping up and ensuring work-from-home opportunities, flexible working hours, and empathetic managers to attract and retain more women in the workforce.
“To attract and retain diverse talent, mentorship programmes and a well-connected support network are essential. Also, it’s imperative to promote STEM education for girls early on, thus opening up better opportunities going forward,” she says.
She highlights that often women shy away from expressing their opinion or objecting to other’s opinions due to cultural conditioning or a fear of judgement.
She emphasises that we should leverage opportunities to connect with others, learn as much as we can from our peers, and continue to support each other.
Challenges – professional and personal
In a career spanning 20 years, she admits there have been many challenges in the path.
“Establishing a team in a new area for an Australian service provider from scratch to a record number of 100 in 15 months was one challenge. Another is taking up a transformation product development programme with a unique business model, beating all odds with a fabulous team, and being able to deliver it in 20 months,” she says.
On the personal front, Dhanya identified very early that her elder daughter is a child with special needs. This warranted a lot of intervention, therapy, and not-so-pleasant encounters with schools.
“Maneuvering those battles alongside work used to take a toll. However, with support from my husband, we successfully crossed that bridge. We have a few more challenges to face, but God has been kind and blessed us with strength. Life is about facing your challenges along the way, choosing to keep moving forward, and celebrating the journey,” she adds.
The COVID-19 pandemic, she admits, was difficult when it began. Being a mother, managing the house, caring for elders, cooking, and being an employee — all at the same time — was perplexing, and “nothing short of madness.”
But she did figure out a “method to the madness” by splitting responsibilities and being organised on the family front and planning management and prioritisation in her professional life.
In her spare time, Dhanya spends time with her children and also enjoys painting, cooking, and baking.
“My future plan is to build on the leadership and management experience I have gained over time and continue leveraging the opportunities that come my way. Growing with a company where I can make a remarkable difference, constantly evolving, and contributing as much value as possible to the organisation will continue to be on the agenda, too,” she concludes.
Edited by Suman Singh