By Apurva Parad, AWS Ambassador, Technology Architect, and Product Lead – Cloud.in
By Wajiha Masoud, Sr. Ops Manager, GSI – AWS

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As we celebrate International Women’s Day in 2022, the AWS Partner Network (APN) is honored to share perspectives from female technical leaders from our global AWS Partner Ambassadors community.

This blog series six highlights trailblazing women who have shared their personal stories of how they overcame challenges, stereotypes, and barriers in their careers, who inspires them to #BreakTheBias every day, and valuable advice on developing a career in technology.

Apurva Parad leads the AWS Solutions practice at Cloud.in, an AWS Advanced Tier Services Partner with expertise in architecting, implementing, migrating, optimizing, and supporting Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud hosting solutions.

As a cloud evangelist, Apurva is passionate about engaging with technical audiences to influence the adoption of cloud platforms and tools. She has been helping audiences to deliver next-generation solutions by educating, enabling, and exciting them to use cloud-native products.

Q&A with Apurva

AWS: The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is “Break the Bias.” What does that phrase mean to you when it comes to your career?

Apurva: To me, #BreakTheBias means being free from any deliberate or unconscious bias that affects you as an individual, your health, and mental peace. Bias sometimes is learned speculation, belief, or perspective that requires to be overpowered to grow as an individual, irrespective of the hindrances.

I feel one of the prominent steps to break the bias is to make our new generations understand the importance of women in society, help them battle the hate and discrimination, prepare them to live as responsible global citizens, and teach them to value and celebrate diversity. Empowering them to identify the benefits of choosing to question inequality and gender bias will be a step forward for the interest of all people.

AWS: What gender-specific challenges, stereotypes, or barriers have you had to overcome during your career? Did someone help you navigate these issues?

Apurva: Being raised in a community where for women there are defined age limits to get educated, married, and have children, there is an unconscious pressure. In India, it’s a belief that the primary responsibility of women is to look after the family, and profession is always meant to be a secondary additional task she can do. This perception has always been a bottleneck for women to excel and achieve success.

I think it’s my parents who have helped me throughout this fantastic journey and combat this thinking. They have supported me to #BreakTheBias and have believed in me. I am about to complete a decade with various achievements in my professional path and strive each day to set the bar higher for myself.

AWS: What have you been focusing on to get to the outcome you desire?

Apurva: During my professional journey, I have gone through a lot of learning exposure and experiences. One of my achievements is to be able to engage with technical audiences and help customers deliver cloud solutions. I have been able to validate my skills by achieving AWS Certifications – Professional and Specialty. These help me boost my confidence when communicating with customers.

As a cloud evangelist, I am passionate about engaging with technical audiences to influence the adoption of cloud platforms and tools. I have been helping customers with cloud adoption and employing AWS best practices leveraging the wide range of available services. It gives me immense happiness, and each successful cloud adoption is an achievement.

I have been conducting various social events encouraging the audience to leverage cloud. I have developed public speaking skills and have been apt to present at AWS India Summits (Mumbai and Bangalore), meetups, webinars, and more. This gives me a platform to help audiences to deliver next-generation solutions by educating, enabling, and exciting them to use cloud-native products.

The zeal and zest to learn have also empowered me to write blogs that help people to understand and know about solutions, services, and best practices. I love engaging with peers, colleagues, friends, and family even on the technical front, and I’m always ready to guide on how to get started with cloud.

AWS: What advice would you offer to women who strive to grow as technical leaders?

Apurva: Breaking the bias to set yourself free and achieve your goals is the need of the hour. As a woman, it’s expected to be a daughter, wife, and mother with all the best you can do. I think it’s essential to be yourself for awhile and live a life for yourself. There is nothing that you can’t do!

As an individual, you have your fundamental strengths. The key is to believe in yourself and focus on your priorities. I believe it is equally important for women to be financially independent. During the pandemic phase, we have witnessed unforeseen conditions. Many families lost their only earning family members. Women are born multi-taskers. Earlier, they had to wait to get an opportunity to prove themselves. In today’s era, it is crucial to grab the opportunity and prove themselves.

I strongly think together we can #BreakTheBias and celebrate women’s achievements. This International Women’s Day, support your friends, family, communities, and organization to #BreakTheBias. Your minor effort and a bias-free intellect can be a life-changing experience for a woman.
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More from Apurva

Here are some blog posts written by Apurva:

International Women’s Day and #BreakTheBias

International Women’s Day (March 8) celebrates the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for celebrating women’s achievements, raising awareness against gender bias, and accelerating gender equity.

The International Women’s Day theme for 2022 is #BreakTheBias. This theme acknowledges that gender biases, discrimination, and stereotypes exist, and provides an opportunity to be part of a movement that promotes a diverse, equitable, and inclusive culture both individually and collectively as an organization.

Amazon is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion, and the company’s diverse perspectives come from many sources including gender, age, race, national origin, sexual orientation, culture, and education, as well as professional and life experiences.

AWS Ambassador Partner Program

The AWS Ambassador Partner Program features a vibrant worldwide community of technical experts, known as AWS Ambassadors, from our services and software partners.

If you’re an employee of an AWS Partner, hold multiple AWS Certifications, and contribute to the AWS community through public presentations, open source projects, social media, and more, see if you qualify for the AWS Ambassador program. If you’re an AWS customer and want to contact an AWS Ambassador, we’ve listed each Ambassador on the AWS website so you can connect with them through their employer.

Categories: APN