Why women are returning to STEMM careers at Thoughtworks

December 7, 2021
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When people leave Thoughtworks, they often joke “until next time!” because it’s not uncommon for employees to return to the company after a period of advancing their career path elsewhere. Inny So, Lead Infrastructure Consultant, and Bhumika Srinivas, Project Manager, discuss their reasons for coming back to Thoughtworks and why they think it’s a great workplace for women in STEMM.

Share the knowledge

Both Inny and Bhumika feel grateful that Thoughtworks fosters a positive work environment where they’ve always felt comfortable reaching out for help, especially in the early stages of their career. Knowledge sharing is actively encouraged, and as Inny and Bhumika have progressed along their own career journeys, they are now more than happy to help those coming up behind them.

Inny So: “One of the many reasons I came back to work at Thoughtworks is the opportunity to mentor other women. I enjoy being the person who helps others succeed, and it’s very close to what I do day-to-day as a consultant, helping our clients achieve their goals.”  

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Bhumika Srinivas: “I decided to return because of the support system and open culture that Thoughtworks as an organization provides its employees.” 

The open culture and exchange of knowledge is felt all the way up the company, from new starters to more tenured employees. Feeling supported at work means employees feel confident when taking on new challenges.

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Bhumika: “When I joined the company, for the first six months I was assigned a buddy through a buddy program. After that, I got access to the mentoring program where I could consistently seek support from mentors within the organization. This network of people has helped not just grow my career but also champions the skills I bring to the table when there is an opportunity to do so.” 

It’s not only the sharing of experiences that helps create an inclusive environment at Thoughtworks. Bhumika also appreciates being able to freely discuss often tricky topics, such as benefits, salary, and career progression, which she feels goes a long way to promoting an environment of mutual respect: 

Bhumika: “There are open conversations about salaries, growth within the organization, performance reviews and current issues. There are a lot of people-friendly policies, which made my decision to come back easy.” 

There’s no failure here – just learning opportunities

At Thoughtworks, making mistakes is considered to be a natural part of gaining experience and learning new skills:

Inny:Thoughtworks has always provided me with a safe environment to make mistakes and learn.” 

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This ethos means that employees are encouraged to step outside their comfort zones and take on new responsibilities – to learn on the job. Inny and Bhumika feel this helped them master new techniques and cope with changing situations: 

Inny:Thoughtworks has always believed in my abilities, and that’s been incredibly empowering as a woman in STEMM. I’ve been given a variety of opportunities and have worn many hats, including working on engagements where I needed to step up.”

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Bhumika: “Knowing I have the support of open-minded peers helps me grow professionally and personally. I am given the time and space to learn from the projects I work on, and also the opportunity and freedom to grow my skills and career in the direction that I would like to take it.”

Did you know every year at Thoughtworks, you’ll receive 2 days of training leave, up to $2500 to attend training or conferences, and $500 to spend on books, publications and technology to help you keep up to date with the latest tech trends?

Learn more about these professional development policies along with other benefits.

The key traits needed to work in STEMM are not what you think

It’s a common misconception that to work in STEMM – and specifically the techier side of the industry – you have to be really good at programming or have studied computer science at university. Inny says that, in fact, “anyone can learn those skills through an online course” and there are two different key traits that she actually looks for in a candidate when conducting interviews, and that she encourages people to ask of themselves:

1. are you naturally curious?

2. can you solve problems well?

Inny: “I believe these are the skills that really matter in the real world of work. People often look at programming – and the technical skills – as being the only important things, but the skills that matter the most as a consultant are being able to articulate a problem well and having the ability to explain that to a non-technical audience.” 

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Bhumika agrees, and would like people to see the interview process as an opportunity to learn about the employer as much as it is for the employee to find out about them: 

Bhumika: “It’s important to be curious and ask questions throughout the interview process to learn more about the role and the organization. The goal of the interview process is for you to be confident that there is a mutual fit.” 

She goes on to advise applicants to: “research the role and identify what transferable skills you can bring.”  

Skills for life

In addition to the professional skills Inny and Bhumika have developed during their time at Thoughtworks, they have been able to gain wider experience which has benefited other areas of their life.

Inny: “I love to travel and there are some great opportunities for me as a consultant at Thoughtworks to travel for work. From Singapore and Beijing to San Francisco. . . conference speaking has taken me around the world, and it has given me the opportunity to meet a lot of great people.” 

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Bhumika: “A lot of the values I hold true, professionally and personally, have been influenced by my time at Thoughtworks. Thoughtworkers are encouraged to participate and voice their opinions, and this has given me the opportunity to feel seen and heard.”

Keep asking questions

If you are considering a career in STEMM, Inny and Bhumika share some key advice to help you on your journey:

Inny: “Practice open-mindedness, develop empathy and try not to judge so easily! There is wisdom in knowing what you can do well and knowing when to ask for help. Thoughtworks has taught me all of those things, and I am a better person for it.” 

Bhumika: “Get to know the organization and their culture and values, and assess how they align with your own. Speak to people in your network who might know about the organization to find out more.”

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About the Author
WORK180 promotes organizational standards that raise the bar for women in the workplace. We only endorse employers that are committed to making real progress so that all women can expect better.

Looking for a new opportunity?

Our transparent job board only has vacancies from employers we endorse and lets you see what benefits, policies and perks come with the job. Check out the latest job vacancies with Thoughtworks