Padmasree Warrior

“I always tell women to use the fact that we offer a different point of view in a room full of men, to their advantage.” ~Padmasree Warrior  

Padmasree Warrior

Padmasree Warrior
Image: Interpop Events via Flickr CC

Padmasree Warrior has spent a long time in technology.  Currently she is the Chief Technical Officer at Cisco Systems, where she oversees technology development and anticipate market conditions.  She is also in charge of leading merger and acquisition processes.  As a leader in technology, Warrior says that network development still has a long way to go, as only about one percent of everything that could be connected together actually is.  She has been with Cisco since 2007.

Born and raised in India, Warrior received an engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology before making her way to the United States.  She earned a masters in chemical engineering from Cornell University and spent 23 years working for Motorola Company’s U.S. office in Arizona, where she rose corporate ranks to become CTO.  In 2004, Motorola was awarded the National Medal of Technology, the first time the company had been recognized by the government for achievement.  She is a frequent honoree on powerful women in business lists from Forbes and other publications.  Her 1.4 million Twitter followers stand as a testament to her forward thinking abilities.

Cisco is still over 75% male employees, and Padmasree Warrior is an outspoken advocate for women in technology.  She currently serves as a mentor for career women for the State Department.  She says that work-life balance is too stressful, and prefers the term integration.  Work, family, community and self-improvement do not need the same amount of time devoted individually.  Sometimes, sacrifices have to be made and priorities have to be constantly adjusted by what your life needs.  Sharing your work experiences with your family and taking time off when family needs you are equally important.

Warrior says that women approach problems differently than men, and that ultimately delivering results and being authentic are the most important things for women in careers.  She says the message of Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In is that women too often remove themselves from opportunities because they are afraid they won’t be able to handle doing everything they want.

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