The Last Word: Jacobs’ Sindhu Avalokita on Women Taking the ‘Driver’s Seat’

“It is critical for us, as women, to put ourselves in the driver’s seat of this conversation as much as we possibly can to psychologically gain control and be in a position of influencing our careers and our next steps.”

Sindhu Avalokita
Vice President and Director of Operations
.…on supporting and empowering women in the workplace, via the Dallas Regional Chamber.

In celebration of Women’s History Month, Sindhu Avalokita, a more-than two-decade veteran with Jacobs, a global business consulting and services enterprise that relocated to Dallas in 2016, shared her experiences and insights with the Dallas Regional Chamber. Avalokita, who has worked in areas including finance, project control, and as a civil and transportation engineer, emphasized the importance of women taking control of their careers and growth.

“I personally put the onus of support on each of us,” she said.

Sindhu Avalokita

“It’s always a good time, in my opinion, to look beyond what’s in front of us or around us. While things may very well be positive from an equality and equity standpoint, there’s a whole world out there where there is much work left to be done.”

At Jacobs, that work includes an emphasis on women in STEAM fields (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics). While acknowledging progress in understanding the challenges women face in the workplace, Avalokita stressed that more needs to be done to address deep-set biases and potential impediments to growth, wrote Catie George.

Avalokita highlighted the role of individual support. “As individuals in organizations, regardless of role, gender, or background, we have an opportunity with every interaction to support and lift one another,” she said, adding that personal understanding and exposure are critical for making policies and training effective.

True understanding, she said, comes from having “walked in those shoes.” Without that, “policies and training can fall flat.”

We live in a fast-paced world, said Avalokita, who was featured as a Leadership Luminary in Dallas Innovates’ 2023 Future 50. “I want it to be understood that none of us are perfect; we all make mistakes and learn from them, and the idea of ‘having it all’ is a mirage at best.”

Leading through “authenticity, vulnerability, and kindness,” Avalokita aims to demonstrate that these principles are not mutually exclusive with driving results. She’s a strong proponent of “informal, situation-based mentoring” and stresses the importance of building a diverse network for support.

Drawing from her own journey of overcoming self-doubt and owning her identity, Avalokita encourages women to recognize their full strength and “turn this into a positive” in their careers. This includes being conscious about “values, drivers, principles, what I am comfortable with, and when to say ‘no.'”

Read more here.

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