Srimathi Shivashankar

Srimathi Shivashankar
Associate Vice President – Diversity & Sustainability, HCL Technologies

Education: Bachelor of Engineering (National Institute Technology, India), M.B.A (Ohio University, USA)
What I’m Reading: Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert
My Philosophy: Believe in yourself; the rest will follow
Interests: Music and Reading
Company Headquarters: Noida, India
Primary Business: Global IT Company
Annual Revenues: $3.1 billion

How do you think Asian Americans have evolved in terms of industry/field diversity?
I think many Asians who usually pursue traditional professions are confident about taking up global subjects such as diversity & sustainability now. 10 years ago, this field was very new in India, and many used to ask me why there should be a separate role like this when HR exists. But today I do not get such questions in any forum.

“I see some stereotypes exist, especially about how Asians do not value personal time, and are not particular about work life balance. The definition of balance is independent of culture, and is largely driven by how an individual defines and pursues it at all times.”

What do you think is the greatest issue or dilemma facing the Asian/Pacific-American community today?
We have a large number of Gen Y in the work force. Creating channels for engaging and enabling them, and establish connect with senior management philosophy is an important task on hand.

What advice would you give the next generation of Asian/Pacific-American business leaders? What are some tips for other Asian/Pacific Americans beginning their careers?
Diversity is a key business imperative today. We have reached a stage where we no longer have to provide information on “why” and “how” aspects. However, business is looking for innovative ideas to implement in the workplace. Engagement channels that leverage technology, and standardized to meet with global employees /multi generational workforce needs are appreciated. Key to success of D&I programs is that you find ways to integrate the values you want to promote in the workplace with everyday practices of employees.