Can women with demanding jobs truly balance work and family? Keerti Rane is a senior program manager on the Cloud & Enterprise Commerce Platform Team. She leads the integration between Microsoft Azure Services and the Commerce platform. She has also worked on several projects for Office 365, enabling international users in countries such as Brazil and China to purchase with their local currency and payment methods.
Keerti has been with Microsoft 11 years and has two teenage daughters. This fall, her 17-year-old will attend UCLA for electrical engineering and computer science.
When we think of women who juggle careers while raising kids, we often say with praise: “I don’t know how she does it.”
Keerti says computer science careers are ideal for women. She offers seven tips to consider so you can “balance it all” too.
- Look for flexibility. Keerti leaves work at a reasonable time most days and transitions into family mode for the evening. She gets back online to catch up on work after the kids are asleep. Weekends are reserved for family time. She says, “This routine is hard to juggle but it works.” Her favorite Sunday activity is to have the whole family hang out in the kitchen to cook dinner, fighting for their space at the stove or their favorite chopping tools.
- Find the right manager and team for you. On Keerti’s team, people understand everyone has relationships, families and life outside work. “When I joined the team a few years ago, my manager made it a point to say he expected me to disconnect completely from work while on vacation. This level of maturity in the team enables me to manage the ups and downs of family life.”
- Set expectations about your availability. When Keerti’s kids were little, she made a hard stop at 5 p.m. If there was a late-afternoon meeting, she would let people know in advance she would need to leave at 5 p.m. or reschedule. Keerti says, “I never found that to be an issue.”
- Deliver. Keep the trust of your manager and coworkers: Get the job done. Keerti says, “I never used my kids as an excuse for something that didn’t happen.”
- Set your children up for success. “My daughters are smart and independent. I wanted them to be able to do things for themselves, even at a young age.” Doing their own laundry, making their own snacks. “They learned what you need parents for—and what you can do yourself.” What they do need parents for: Communication, sharing opinions, talking about what is going on in their lives, choosing career paths, problem solving, or just a snuggle or hug.
- Women are well-suited to computer science. To Keerti, female software developers stand out: “Women have practical minds. They are used to organizing and problem-solving. They take ownership and get the job done.”
- Be confident. “Don’t be scared of being a developer. When a woman has technical aptitude, everything falls into place.”
Life is very busy. Keerti says that as women, we have a lot to balance – and it’s worth it. “My daughters talk about how I balance my career and being a mom,” Keerti says. “They advocate for being career women. They think it’s cool.” As her daughters frame their own aspirations, “They say, without a doubt, ‘I’m going to be a career woman.’”
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