Name: Avantika Nair
Title: IT Project Manager
Degree: MSc Business Administration and E-Business
- Introduce yourself, and share a fun fact that makes you unique!
My name is Avantika Nair, I am 28 years. I hold a MSc in Business Administration and E-Business from Copenhagen Business School.
Fun fact: Even though I lived in South India (35 degrees C average weather) most of my life, I love going winter bathing.
- What does a day in your life look like at Velux?
As an IT project manager at VELUX, my day is a combination of facilitating meetings with my project team and being the point of contact to ensure that work gets done! A lot of my work is planning and outlining a project and coordination and creating a common understanding between the business and more technical colleagues (developers). I also spend a lot of time using project management tools to keep track of all that’s going on!
- What motivates and excites you the most about your career path and the leadership position you hold?
As a project manager in IT, the endless possibilities of the future of tech are what excites me! The fact that tech is ever-changing is what motivates me. There will always be ways to improve and new technologies to use to reach our new goals.
- Share with us the biggest lessons you learned on your journey to where you are today.
“Verbalise your dreams” is something I read on a (female) leader’s post on LinkedIn, and I completely resonate with this.
Spending time reflecting on what you want and then sharing it with your bosses with your reasoning is the best way to work towards your goals. This works for all relationships, not just professionally! As women, it’s essential we speak up with our opinions and make our voices heard.
- Tell us about a (female) role model who inspired you to become the leader you are today, and how (s)he impacted you personally or professionally.
My mother is my biggest role model and inspiration.
As a single parent, she started her career relatively late (early 30s), and from being a technical writer, she has become a Vice President at a big multi-national company in the last 2 decades. She always strives for excellence and recognises effort over outcome. This work ethic is something I grew up watching, and I truly believe it has shaped my perspective of working towards high-quality deliverables. Having such a strong role model has been essential to my success so far.
- If you could give one piece of advice to your younger self, or to other young female students today, what would it be?
For years, I could remember being anxious and concerned that I did not have a “dream job” or a “passion” that I could turn into a job. I would like to tell young students and my younger self, “You don’t have to figure it all out, or have a 5-year plan. You will find something that interests you and meets your goals, and if you don’t, you can always find something else! Trust that your future self will have the tools to handle everything that comes at her!”.
- How do you see STEM education shaping the future?
STEM education is what will cause a greater divide between those who fall behind and progress forward.
The goal is that we educate ourselves in the ever-changing technologies but also focus on how to ensure the bare minimum knowledge of STEM is provided to all. I believe it is key to inspire young women to consider educations in STEM, as that is the way towards gender equality in the workspace.
- Why is it important for you to promote diversity and inclusion within STEM?
The practical applications of STEM impacts a multitude of areas like Healthcare, Robotics and more. If a homogenous group of people innovate together, they come up with an application or solution that works for them, but might not work well for others. Hence, it is essential that Women, POC, and other minorities are involved in the innovation and creation of tools so they are better for all, and not just best for some.
- What steps has your company taken to promote a more diverse and inclusive workplace, and which one has been the most effective?
At VELUX, many of the jobs do not require Danish, which makes it more diverse as many internationals are hired. We have the opportunity to add our pronouns to our profiles so people refer to us in the right way.
We had sessions with Human Library to work on breaking down our unconscious biases.