Last month, I joined our Hyderabad team’s India Women’s Forum, a diversity-focused group where women get together to learn and elevate each other. We discussed my background, career, and struck a balance between my professional and personal life. While speaking in front of a group of more than thirty successful women made me a bit nervous, I was joined by my colleague, Usha Devaraju, who guided the conversation and put me at ease. Together, we delved into the most interesting topics and had a fantastic conversation.
Usha and I took turns putting on our “interviewer hats” to ask each other what has inspired us most and our plans for the future.
Eglae: What is and how big is the women’s diversity group in India and how often do you all get together?
Usha: Berkadia India is 47% women, but that is very different within technology. We have formed SPECTRUM, a diversity focused group created to bring awareness and action to diversity.
In 2014, we created Shine, a forum that has focused on anything from health sessions, networking events, celebrating women’s day to a full-scale training program for female leaders. The forum has seen an increase in participation with every event and continues to be a support system for women at Berkadia Hyderabad.
Eglae: Usha, how did the idea of having me in the India’s Women Forum come about?
Usha: As a female SVP within Berkadia’s Innovation team, we were curious to learn about your career journey and the path that lead you to such success. We also knew that with your experience of living in 16 different cities during your young age—doing Philosophy undergrad, a masters from MIT, and eventually leading the Product team at Berkadia, all while having a family and giving importance to fitness—would lead to a fascinating conversation. We knew your story would be inspiring to the women of Shine.
Usha: You shared many powerful messages during our conversation with Shine. What are the top two or three things that you want people to remember from that conversation?
Eglae: There’s no recipe for perfection, there’s only the effort that you put into it and the only bar that matters is the one you set up for yourself.
It is all a matter of prioritization and perspective (think crystal vs rubber juggling balls!).
You don’t have to do anything; you choose to do it – and there’s a lot of power in that difference.
Eglae: Is there anything that has stuck out to you from our conversation today?
Usha: One “wow moment” for me was when you told the story of your husband taking care of your first born son. The message really resonated with me.
Eglae: That’s a good one. It was a wow moment for myself, too! For context, at the time I was reading the book, “Lean In.” One of its lessons is to let people do things their own way, or you will end up doing it all. It was in that same moment when I saw my husband burping our new born—let’s just say I would do it differently (ha!)–and I took a step back and realized that as long as it was being done, and my son was okay, I didn’t need to intervene. It was getting done and that’s all that mattered. All that to say, if someone else is doing something “their” way, and differently than how you would do it, it doesn’t mean it’s the wrong way.
Usha: Are you interested in coming back and speaking at India Women’s Forum again?
Eglae: Absolutely – however, as we’ve discussed, I hope my next conversation will include both men and women so we can learn together about some of the challenges and pressures that we, as women, feel at times.
Seeing representation of female leaders across different business units at Berkadia, focusing on helping other women grow in their careers and the overall effort being put into our diversity journey makes me happy and proud to be part of Berkadia. Join Berkadia, Search Commercial Real Estate Jobs
-Eglae Recchia, SVP – Product