We had the pleasure of speaking with Archana recently, who is the Executive Director, Head of Data and Analytics Engineering at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. Check out the Q&A below!
Firstly, please introduce yourself
Hi, I’m Archana Vembakam and I lead the data analytics engineering initiative in one of our tech arms in the IB organisation of J.P. Morgan. I’m a big tech enthusiast, data is my passion and I'm very interested in what data can do - what else data can do for us. So that’s my interest and my current responsibility.
What are you looking forward to at Women in Tech Texas?
Meeting a whole bunch of smart accomplished women as well as the up and coming talent in the industry. I love the networking opportunities and the chance to ask questions and answer so many questions that might come up.
What advice would you give to a woman looking to step up their career in tech?
I would say find your passion, be curious and keep learning. Knowledge is the way to actually neutralise any kind of preconceived perception of gender bias that you might feel that people have. Secondly, find a mentor, be a mentor and remember you don’t need to do this alone.
What do you see as the biggest challenge currently facing women in technology?
Self-doubt - there are tons of smart women out there but the issue is you have to believe in yourself. For the accomplished ones, there is imposter syndrome so they feel that they maybe don’t deserve it, or people will see through what they’re saying and won’t be seen as smart as they are thought to be. I would say that self-doubt is something that would really prevent you from coming up, whether it is asking for more pay, asking for that next promotion - whatever it might be. So really build the confidence, and speak up and collaborate. So definitely seek help when you need it.
The theme of the event is Resilience, as a woman in tech, what does resilience mean to you?
You will fail - it’s a given. You will fail at some point in your life, in your career, in your job. There is a voice in our heads that says, “okay, you were an idiot” and there is another voice that says, “get up, it’s okay - deal with it and move on”. It just depends on what voice you listen to. You have to be kind to yourself and deal with any kind of adversity that comes up and create your support group. That to me is resilience - to overcome challenges and support each other, celebrate your victories. Optimism goes a long way and that defines resilience.
Catch Archana’s session Shifting from Legacy to a Modern Data Platform at Women in Tech Texas on 19-20th May 2022.