While amassing almost two decades of tech-industry experience with companies like Amazon Web Services and Oracle under her belt, Rashim Mogha developed a following as a keynote speaker.
The Delhi native, who moved to the U.S. in 2005 to avoid what was to be an arranged marriage, put her work and life experiences together in 2018 by both founding eWOW (empowered Women of the World) — an intellectual platform geared to encourage women within the executive ranks to visualize their success — and publishing a book on the subject. Last year marked both Mogha’s start at automation-software developer Automation Anywhere and a couple of medical situations that pushed her to reassess her life-work balance.
- Title and company: Founder, eWOW (empowered Women of the World)
- Hometown: Delhi, India
- Residence: Livermore
- Education: Majored in botany and computer science at Delhi University
- Career path: Founded eWOW in 2018. Also worked with National Institute of Information Technology, VMware, Amazon Web Services and Oracle before joining Automation Anywhere in 2019.
Why did you found eWOW?
I wrote “Fast-Track Your Leadership Career,” and within 11 hours, it was an Amazon bestseller. People were contacting me about mindful leadership and finding sponsors — that’s when I realized that with the bestseller came a lot of responsibility. I focused on the idea of building a platform for success and what success means for you — “When I become a director, I’ll be happy. When I become VP, I’ll be happy. When I start my own company, I’ll be happy.” We don’t realize what happiness means to us. Part of the discovery process is what happiness means to you.
The book is actually about all my experiences brought together with women leaders I’ve interacted with, and other experiences. It’s about finding sponsors, and building executive presence was always in the backdrop.
EWOW also emerged because of lack of intellectual framework. We talk about women in technology, women in cloud computing, women in AI, but you really can’t segment us. There’s more to life than the job where they work — that was the missing piece when I went to conferences.
How often do you speak at conferences?
Last year, I reduced it to 22. The year before, it was close to 50, so I was speaking almost every week. That was a conscious decision (to reduce engagements). And now, maybe I don’t stay for the entire conference.
What other changes have you made in your day-to-day life?
I realized that everything else could wait, and time with my family is important. Work is a subset of life.
That’s what I think my “aha” moment was — to realize that work does not hold equal as compared to life. And I need eight hours of sleep every day — I cannot compromise on that. It used to be endless days — Automation Anywhere (work) would not end until 10 p.m., and I’d pick up my eWOW stuff and go until 2:30, and at 6 a.m., my India team would be pinging me. I changed that in September.
What about at work?
I now believe in walk-and-talk meetings if I’m on a call and don’t have to be in front of the computer. And my meetings are typically a half-hour instead of an hour, and I’m trying to think through what I want to achieve (prior to the meeting) instead of starting the call and figuring it out. And I’ve tried to ensure 15-minute breaks between calls — it helps me calm down and puts things in perspective.
There’s a difference between working hard and working smart. Silicon Valley is all about the startup culture — it’s all about hustling and working hard today to reap the benefits tomorrow. But no one’s taking care of mental health. If you’re not solid in your mindset, you cannot give 100 percent.