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Women Making an Impact: Pratima Rao Gluckman on Overcoming Obstacles in Tech

September 24, 2021 - 3 min read

This year, at the annual Zscaler Sales Kickoff (SKO) in August, we were joined by powerful and inspiring women who shared their stories of setbacks, persistence, and triumphs. Supported by the WIZE (Women in Zscaler Engage) employee resource group, these accomplished women are challenging gender bias head-on and changing the world for girls and women everywhere.

Pratima Rao Gluckman is a woman of many talents. Not only is she a Senior Engineering Manager at electric vehicle company Rivian, she is also a dedicated mother, published author, motivational speaker, and champion of gender equality and female leadership. In her book, Nevertheless She Persisted: True Stories of Women in Tech, Rao Gluckman details the leadership journeys and mindsets of 19 successful female technologists in Silicon Valley to highlight the challenges and victories that come with being a woman in tech.

"Throughout this book, there are two consistent lessons,” Rao Gluckman said. “First, persist. Regardless of what society expects of you or tells you to do, persist with your own vision of what you want to achieve in your life. The tailwinds of persistence will help you soar. The second lesson is that we all have the power to change the world for someone else. If each one of us makes it a point to intervene in one woman’s life, we can get there, slowly but surely—one woman at a time."

Though Rao Gluckman knew she wanted to be an engineer from a young age, she faced hurdles along the way while navigating an industry that is largely dominated by men. 

“My ‘aha!’ moment arose in 2016, when I realized that the professional roadblocks my female colleagues and I were facing weren't just coincidental,” she said. “They were the result of unconscious gender bias in the tech industry. As I looked around for information on how ambitious women could break the glass ceiling, I realized there was little out there. I had to discover it on my own.”

From tackling imposter syndrome to finding mentors, Nevertheless She Persisted gives readers an intimate look at what it’s like to be a woman in tech, as well as insightful advice about how to identify and overcome these challenges. Rao Gluckman’s passion and ultimate goal today is to make the tech industry a place where everyone can thrive in leadership, regardless of their gender. 

"In my work as a mother, a writer, and a female leader in the high-tech field, I feel as though I am casting stones into turbulent waters by telling the stories of nineteen women who hold senior positions in the high-tech world of Silicon Valley,” she said. “Why do I want to do this? I want to cast a stone representing limitless possibilities, the concept that anything is achievable, for my daughter and all the daughters out there. I want to cast a stone representing acceptance of female leaders for my sons, and all the sons out there, so they know how to accept, embrace, and love living in a world that is supportive of female leaders."

WIZE is one of many employee resource groups at Zscaler that celebrate and elevate our diverse cultures and unique worldviews. You can be a part of it. Explore career opportunities at Zscaler to join a global team that puts its people first.

Further reading:

Fostering Corporate Inclusivity: Honoring Zscaler Leaders on International Women’s Day

How Zscaler’s New Mentorship Program Elevates Learning and Growth


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