Skip to main content
All Posts

Six Takeaways From the 2024 Aptos Women’s Panel

Women in leadership shared insights from their experiences on how to have rewarding careers.

To celebrate Women’s History Month, the Global Culture Team at Aptos held its annual Women’s Panel. Taking part in the panel were several female leaders from Aptos and Revionics who shared their different perspectives on how women can achieve rewarding professional and personal lives.

The panel consisted of Revionics’ Aakriti Bhargava and Aptos’ Medini Gaddikeri, Lisa Lee, Lisa Robinson and Denine Ryan. Aptos’ Malinda Wilkinson served as the panel’s moderator.
The panel consisted of Revionics’ Aakriti Bhargava and Aptos’ Medini Gaddikeri, Lisa Lee, Lisa Robinson and Denine Ryan. Aptos’ Malinda Wilkinson served as the panel’s moderator.

Here are six takeaways from the session.

1. Find Yourself an Advocate and Mentor

Panel members stressed the importance of having a mentor to help direct one’s career path. Not only can a mentor serve as a guide, but also that person can provide the motivation to achieve a higher level of performance and the realization of personal potential.

“One mentor constantly challenged me to push past my comfort zone,” said Aakriti Bhargava. “It really helped me get to where I am today.”

In addition to having a mentor, the panel pointed out the importance of having an advocate in the company to champion your skills and abilities to higher-ups in the organization. “You need an advocate,” said Lisa Lee. “You need to build those relationships so that you have that person mentoring you, leading you and pushing you to move ahead in your career.”

She added that women also must be their own advocate.

“Advocate for yourself,” she told the audience. “You know where you want to go.”

2. Surround Yourself with Supportive People

The panel members highlighted the need to be surrounded by supportive people who can provide the encouragement and motivation necessary to achieve career success.

“First and foremost, you have to surround yourself both personally and professionally with people who are going to support you,” said Denine Ryan.

“You can’t be afraid to ask for help,” she continued. “I think sometimes as women, we want to do it all ourselves. But there’s always going to be people who know more than you, people that you can learn from, people that can help you advance. So you can’t be afraid to ask for that help. And then when you get that help, always, always say thank you.”

3. Become a People Leader

The panel emphasized that a woman needs to become a “people leader,” an individual who others are willing to follow because she values the efforts of her co-workers and provides support for them.

“I will always be proud of being called a ‘people leader,’” said Medini Gaddikeri. “From my first job until today, I always make sure that the people around me are comfortable. I ask how they are feeling and if they need any help. I’ll take the team out for a cup of coffee in the middle of a very busy day. I always believe that people remember how they are treated.”

4. Learn and Grow From Feedback

The panel emphasized the importance of giving and receiving feedback for career growth, as open, honest communication provides the basis for self-improvement.

“Any feedback allows you to grow, no matter what it is,” said Lisa Robinson, “as long as you can take that feedback and learn from it.”

“You can also help others by giving them feedback,” she added. “I think that it’s important that we be transparent with each other.”

5. Accept the Challenge of Work-Life Balance and Plan Ahead

The panel discussed the challenges that go with trying to balance the demands of work with one’s personal life. “It’s a fine balance, and you’re going to make mistakes,” said Malinda Wilkinson. “It’s important to recognize that.”

Medini said that to manage that challenge, she plans her day in advance to stay well-organized. “You’ve got to have a plan in place to make this all work,” she said. “It doesn’t just magically come together without a lot of preparation.”

6. Stay True to Yourself on Your Career Journey

When asked what advice they would give to a daughter, the panel members emphasized the importance of staying true to oneself. “There’s often pressure on us as women to look a certain way, to act a certain way, to be a certain way,” said Denine.

“Don’t compare yourself to other people,” she went on. “Everybody has their own special journey that they have to go on. And the one thing that you need to do at the end of the day is look in the mirror and say, ‘You know what, I’m proud of that girl.’”