Member Spotlight | Sarba Roy
Security Consultant. Creative writer. Amateur folk artist. Digital marketing enthusiast. Feminist. Seeker. Toastmaster. Volunteer. Bibliophile.
When it comes to the role of women today, what inspires you, and what alerts you?
I feel extremely inspired by the courage, determination, and hard work exhibited by women who choose to break glass ceilings with their bare hands and forge into professions that they are passionate about.
Most of us today are financially independent, have our own businesses, we travel solo to far off countries, and experience countless other things that talented women from our previous generations did not have the privilege of experiencing owing to their societal pressures.
As today’s women, we are amazing multi-taskers, juggling between the blender and power-point presentations, yoga and budget planning, children, and dissertations.
Still, we often forget to take good care of ourselves and drown in the guilt of never being good enough. We suffer from anxiety, we over-work and we put self-care as the last item in our priority list. This alerts me.
What’s your goal around that and why is it important to you? Why is that a priority for you right now?
My goal is to seek guidance from exceptional women from around the world on how to lead a life driven by values and purpose and to find ways to not be in a perpetual state of the guilt of never being good enough at the many things that I end up multi-tasking.
The WomenH2H community has been my savior as I have found phenomenal women as my mentors who have nudged me to choose self-care and self-love while inspiring me to build a life of my dreams.
I hope to propagate the idea of prioritizing self-love and self-esteem to women and urge them to find a sacred space in their friendships, families, workplaces, and communities where they can be vulnerable and can ask for help.
I wish to empower Women in Technology by mentoring them to overcome their “Imposter Syndrome” where they feel they are never good enough despite being amazing learners, technologists and achievers.
How would you like your CV to look at the end of your career?
At the end of my career, I would like my CV to be filled with experiences where I acted as a trusted voice on Cybersecurity to the world and also was a passionate advocate and volunteer for women’s empowerment and education.
I would like to be an artist, writer, mentor, and lifelong learner dedicated to helping individuals and organizations become more compassionate, curious, and cyber-smart.
What do you think are the key skills for success today vs a generation ago?
I think in today’s world, thanks to the advent of technology, we lead a far more fast-paced, uncertain, yet interesting life filled with countless possibilities than a generation ago.
I think for success in today’s world, more than anything one needs to be adaptable to changes. Persevering despite the countless distractions, like social media. And above all, one has to find a unique voice that resonates authentically with their values.
Collaboration is way more important today. With so many problems to be solved, we certainly can’t do it all. We need to find mentors, peers and anyone who is passionately dedicated to fixing the things that we want to fix in the world and then form a symbiotic relationship with them to learn, grow and make the world better together. And now with everything being virtual, the physical boundaries of collaboration are completely erased.
What is success for you?
I strongly believe in the philosophy of “The Law of Dharma” that translates to “using my skills and abilities to the best possible extent for the betterment of the world around me.”
Success for me is not just my own materialistic achievements, it is based on my answer to the question of “Have I laughed, loved and lived?” The answer is never straightforward but it always fuels self-introspection and keeps me grounded and focused on what truly matters in my life.
Whenever I feel that I have done something tiny that could positively impact someone, whether it is through my professional, personal, or humanitarian pursuits, during that moment, I feel happy and successful in my existence as a human being.
What would you like your legacy to be?
I want my story to be of a small-town girl from India from a humble background who was nurtured with values, empowered by education, and inspired by a dream to positively impact the world.
She had a tiny dream of taking her parents on their dream trip across Europe with her own ability and in the unlikeliest of ways, she ended up doing it. Hence, she urges you to never ever give up on your dreams, no matter how impossible they might seem to be.
Through the course of my life, I have experienced the debilitating loss of a loved one, financial hardships, emotional breakdowns. Yet I have also had the blessing of meeting amazing individuals who have taught me crucial life lessons that I needed at that time. I always choose hope over everything else.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve personally have/had as a woman? How are you/did you try to overcome them?
As a woman, I think the toughest battles I have had are against gender-based biases.
As the only girl child of my parents in a conservative culture, they often got asked if they missed having a son while I was growing up.
As a woman in technology, sometimes there are implicit biases that you are not ‘good’ enough for a technical role, even before people connect with you and know your skills.
In a meeting room filled with imposing ideas, as the only woman, you sometimes tend to struggle to find your voice and get heard.
Also, with life in general, there are many internal battles that women end up fighting right from unsolicited remarks on their looks to the feeling of being belittled if they don’t choose to be married or have a child.
I think to overcome the biases in my culture, it is a continuous journey. But education and financial independence go a long way in breaking the shackles of patriarchy.
At work, as a woman, I am passionate about constantly educating myself on the latest trends, topics, and ideas as I believe knowledge is my biggest weapon against destroying biases.
Who or what would have made it easier? What do you wish you would have done then?
I think a great support group or community makes it much easier for us women to deal with our struggles against biases and internal conflicts.
I have been lucky to have positive influences of strong women in my life through my grandmother, mother, mother-in-law, and even my aunts, sisters, and friends.
Strong women empower little girls. That is my story since my childhood.
I am also privileged to be a member of the WomenH2H community where we collectively work with wonderful women from around the world to find ways of thriving together.
Many women are overwhelmed by the constant changes at work, frustrated with conflicts, or disheartened by office politics, drama, and draining emotions. What have you done in the past to help you get through such moments?
I have always tried to be a communicator and collaborator. Each time I am affected by anything negative at work, I ask myself, “Is this going to matter to me after 6 months?”
If the answer is yes, then I try to find solutions and communicate as necessary to resolve the situation.
If the answer is no, then I don’t divert too much of my time and energy thinking about it. I take it in my stride and try to prevent its reoccurrence if possible.
Who do you follow on these subjects? Are there authors, influencers, leaders, sites, blogs you follow?
I am a huge fan of the work of The Dalai Lama and his inspirational ideas on instilling compassion and kindness in everyday life.
The Bhagavad Gita, an Indian spiritual scripture that has practical advice on dealing with spiritual dilemmas is also one of my favorites followed by Ikigai.
I also love the books by Dr Brian Weiss, Ruskin Bond, Maya Angelou, Mitch Albom, and many other writers dealing with spirituality, eclectic ideas, and empowerment.
Do you participate in other women groups or communities? What have you seen work in such communities and what was missing for you?
Apart from WomenH2H, I have recently joined “Women in Cybersecurity(WiCyS)” and “Empow(HER) Cybersecurity,” both dedicated to empowering women in Cybersecurity.
All these communities have brilliant women who are ready to mentor, guide, help, support people like me, and I feel nothing but grateful.
What activities could we do so that we master together how to get back our zest, thrive on change, lead with grace and confidence, and co-create the beautiful workplaces we all long for?
I have experienced that the act of “mentoring” as well as “being mentored” to be highly rewarding experiences. Every woman should have both mentors and mentees in their lives to grow and shine together.
Along with a sacred space of great mentors, WomenH2H is a place where we can be our authentic selves, getting answers to tough questions from women who have walked in our shoes, ideating on ways to lead the life our dreams. I am sure together we will bring back the magic that we’ve been missing in our existence.
How do you see your role in building this community? And is there anything else you want to add that you think would be helpful for us to know as we are building this community?
I am a part of the “Contributors” circle where we are constantly thinking of ways to engage the community via fun and learning experiences.
It would be great if we could be joined by more like-minded women who want to design unique events that could benefit the community.
I also hope to share my knowledge in Cybersecurity with the community members which might help them in protecting themselves and their loved ones from cybercrimes and bullying.
Here’s to building a curious, compassionate, and cyber smart world together.