As an advocate for women in tech, Priya underscores the importance of adopting a growth mindset, being open to learning from diverse sources, and forging one's own unique path to success courageously.
Tietoevry Care is modernizing health and care in the Nordics and making it more efficient, consistent, and accurate. As the head of Operational Excellence, Priya Tandon, focuses on continuously improving the business processes at Tietoevry Care to achieve a high level of productivity, quality and efficiency across its engineering operations and deliver value to customers, employees, and other stakeholders. A people-centric approach has helped Priya drive business and process transformation that is critical to the development of technology that aligns with its intended purpose.
“Operational excellence is not a one-time effort, but a continuous journey which ultimately contributes to the overall success and competitiveness of the business. Fostering a culture of continuous improvement involves empowering people to contribute their ideas, experiment with new approaches, and take ownership of the improvement process.” Priya says. “As a woman, I find myself naturally leaning towards a collaborative leadership style, which encourages teamwork and shared decision-making. This approach enables a deeper understanding of issues and complexities and motivates everyone to actively participate in continuous improvement efforts,” Priya adds. She recounts key learnings from her career journey here.
While setting ambitious goals is commendable, constantly striving to meet the self-imposed standards of perfection, in both our personal and professional lives - something I’ve seen many women do - can make us fearful of failure, create undue pressure and stress and even affect our work-life balance. Also, as women, we many a times hesitate to seek help for fear of appearing vulnerable or incompetent. If you try to shoulder all the burden yourself, you feel isolated and experience increased stress levels and a decreased sense of well-being.
Early on in my journey I recognized that asking for help is a natural part of our learning and growth process. It is not easy to overcome such challenges, but the moment I recognized and acknowledged the issue, half the battle was won. To develop a growth mindset that values progress over perfection, I had to become okay with making mistakes and learning from them. It is very hard to achieve this mindset all by ourselves, so I also sought professional coaching, which helped me navigate through ambiguous situations.
In the early part of my career, being a passionate engineer, I only dreamt of getting into a prestigious technical role in the company I was working in. I did not consider aiming for any leadership role as I did not know of any people manager who also had great technical skills. All this changed when I came across a leader who was also strong on the technological side. I found a good role model in him, and all my doubts and inhibitions vanished.
The coaching and mentoring I got from this leader helped me unleash my true potential. I made efforts to imbibe qualities such as active listening, effective communication, and resilience from him. The psychological safety I got from the positive work environment, where curiosity and experimentation were encouraged, was very reassuring. Steven Covey’s leadership program also had a deep impact on my leadership style. I developed a growth mindset and consciously tried to develop the interpersonal skills needed for it.
The inspiration we get from role models helps guide and shape our paths, but it is essential to recognize that our individual journeys are unique and the paths we take distinct. There are many paths that can lead to success and some less travelled paths can present a plethora of possibilities.
Starting in technical roles, I utilized my strengths to later take up techno-managerial roles and work on building products. I did not believe in setting long-term career goals and just followed the path my curiosity led me on, and it has helped me achieve all I have so far.
We always do what we love but, many a times, we must learn to love what we do. One time when I was not able to do both, I made the tough decision to leave the job. You have to choose your battles and learn to let go of things that no longer align with your vision. I draw courage from the quote, “I’d rather regret the risks that didn’t work out than the chances I didn’t take at all” and believe we should never compromise on experimentation and remain true to ourselves to enjoy the journey. The only limit to our realization of tomorrow are our doubts of today. I have always believed that success is not final, failure is not fatal, and it is the courage to continue that counts.
My advice to women tech professionals aspiring for leadership roles is: Embrace a growth mindset, be open to learning from various sources, and allow your experiences to shape your personal and professional development to define the parameters of your own success.