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From Imposter Syndrome to Empowerment: A Woman's Story of Growth in IT

02/27/2024 12:59 PM | Marla Halley (Administrator)

In the dynamic world of technology, authenticity is not just a choice; it's a superpower that propels women forward in their journey through challenges and opportunities alike. As a woman in IT, I've found that embracing authenticity has been the key to navigating the twists and turns of my career with unwavering determination and a commitment to staying true to myself. In this blog, I invite you to join me on a transformative journey of self-discovery, resilience, and empowerment in the ever-evolving field of IT. 

Authenticity is the key to success for women in IT. By embracing our true selves, we unlock our full potential, inspire others, and drive meaningful change in the industry. 

Amidst the challenges of my journey in IT, one of the most profound experiences was my transition from India to the US. Moving to a new country brought with it a host of challenges, including language barriers and the longing for family back home. These challenges quickly led to negative self-talk and resulted in me diminishing my own skills that I had acquired and learning that I’d received till that point.  

Despite these obstacles, I embraced the opportunity with courage and determination, seeking out entry-level positions in IT while simultaneously mastering US English. Through perseverance and resilience, I overcame these challenges, created a version of myself that was able to start over, while building on strengths I already had and achieving my goals regardless of what challenges I had to surmount. This proved to me and others that authenticity knows no boundaries and that embracing our true selves is the ultimate path to empowerment. 

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome: Embracing Opportunity and Change 

"Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else." - Judy Garland 

I have held roles of Software Developer, Business Analyst, Technical Writer, Project Manager, Program Leader, IT Dev Team Manager, Agile Transformation Leader and PMO Director in various organizations in FinTech, Healthcare and Marketing industries. All this while organically growing by learning each skill at the most foundational level, by doing it myself.  

As women in IT, we often face imposter syndrome, doubting our abilities and downplaying our achievements. But success comes from embracing opportunities and challenges, believing in us, and taking bold steps forward. Even if that means asking for the compensation we deserve, a promotion we have been eyeing, or applying for an opportunity we may have already talked ourselves out of, in our mind. 

Along the way I found many mentors who I ingratiate myself to this day! For those reading this you know who you are, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart! 

Continuous Learning, Mentoring, and Modern-Day Skills: 

We find this world of IT constantly evolving and changing with rapid technical advancements. When we stop learning, we stop growing. In addition to the skills these roles have required, I have recently delved into the realms of Generative AI and Cloud Infrastructure Strategy. Continuously learning and adapting to modern-day technologies is essential in staying relevant and effective in the rapidly evolving field of IT. These skills have not only expanded my expertise but have also enabled me to contribute meaningfully to innovative projects and initiatives. 

Along my journey in IT, I always look forward to giving back. I've had the privilege of mentoring four talented women in IT, guiding them on their paths while learning valuable lessons from their unique perspectives and experiences. This journey of mentorship has reinforced the importance of giving back and helping others achieve their goals. By lifting each other up and fostering a culture of support and collaboration, we can create a more inclusive and empowering environment for women in the tech industry. 

A Leap of Faith: Balancing Education, Parenthood, and Career Ambitions 

"The only limit to the height of your achievements is the reach of your dreams and your willingness to work for them." - Michelle Obama 

As a mother and a woman in IT, I faced a pivotal moment in my career journey when I decided to pursue higher education while juggling the demands of motherhood and a full-time job. With my first baby just 13 months old, I embarked on the challenging yet rewarding journey of earning an MBA. Balancing late-night study sessions with diaper changes and boardroom meetings, I learned the true meaning of resilience and determination. Despite the obstacles in my path, I refused to let anything hold me back from achieving my goals. Along the way I did turn some naysayers into believers and friends by achieving precisely what I was told ‘I can’t do’! 

Practical Tips for Embracing Authenticity: 

1. Stay True to Your Values: In a fast-paced industry like IT, it's easy to get swept up in trends and expectations. Stay grounded by reminding yourself of your core values and beliefs, and let them guide your decisions and actions. 

2. Embrace Vulnerability:Don't be afraid to show your vulnerabilities and imperfections. It's okay to ask for help, admit when you don't have all the answers, and share your struggles with others. Vulnerability fosters connection and empathy, making you more relatable and approachable. 

3. Seek Mentorship and Support: Surround yourself with mentors, colleagues, and friends who uplift and support you on your journey. Seek out opportunities for mentorship and peer support, and don't hesitate to reach out for guidance when you need it. 

4. Celebrate Your Achievements: Take time to celebrate your successes, no matter how small they may seem. Recognize your achievements, acknowledge your progress, and give yourself credit for your hard work and perseverance. 

Seizing the Moment: Leading with Purpose and Passion 

"Success is not about the destination but the journey of embracing opportunities and challenges along the way." - Angela Duckworth 

Authenticity empowers us to lead with purpose and passion, embracing vulnerability and transparency in our interactions with others. By sharing our stories of growth and transformation, we inspire our colleagues and peers to embrace their authenticity, unleash their potential, and pursue their dreams with unwavering conviction. Bringing our whole self to work, being open and honest and leading with purpose and values has continuously proven to be the recipe for success in my career. 


As I reflect on my journey of growth and empowerment in IT, I'm reminded of the incredible potential that lies within each of us. By embracing authenticity, seizing opportunities, and staying true to ourselves, we can overcome any obstacle and achieve our wildest dreams. Together, let's rewrite the narrative of women in IT, one story at a time. 

Ashima Sharma works is Senior Director IT at CareSource. Her expertise is in the field of PMO leadership, digital transformation, Agile development business analysis and change management. Ashima has over 20 years of leadership and strategy experience in the IT industry.

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