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RISE (Leadership Development Program for Women)

Shruthi headshot

Shruthi S. | Senior Manager, Business Operations | India

Originally Published: August 8, 2022

I have always maintained that there cannot be a better brand ambassador for Dell Technologies’ RISE program than me! I say this with utmost gratitude. What this program means to me, is something that I find hard to put down into words. But I do want to make this effort, so that it reaches and benefits more people.

I was selected for RISE about 7 years ago. While that may seem like a long time, I remember most of what happened during my training. I was a junior manager level at the time, struggling to move to the next level. I was working hard and constantly working on myself to see where I can invest my time to get better results. The RISE program came at the right time for me and changed the way that I viewed/approached my professional career.

The experiential learning session during the ice breaker weekend, was the first event that I had attended via the program. There were about 20 high-potential women, exposing their vulnerabilities and learning from each other. It was a wonderful and thought-provoking experience! Throughout the year, we had the opportunity to attend several exciting sessions on building our brand, managing our managers, developing an executive presence, working on having an effective development plan, etc.


When I was starting to acquire new skills and build a new path for myself, I found out I was pregnant. My maternity leave started right before I graduated from the program. This happened during the year that Dell acquired EMC. It was a crucial time, and I felt like I had to take my maternity leave at the most inconvenient time. There was a sense of insecurity and uncertainty because I had given up my team before my maternity break and had no idea what to expect when I came back. My amazing boss helped address some of this insecurity, but in the back of my mind, I always had a nagging sense of worry that my career will take a hit for the next 2 years and my promotion will get delayed.

Shruthi After my break, I came back eager to put my learnings from the RISE program into practice. I started working on having better conversations with my boss. I started asking, which is something I never did before. I asked for a new role, I asked for more responsibility, I asked for a new project…I took charge instead of waiting for things to happen to me. And in return, I was rewarded abundantly! I was given everything I had asked for, irrespective of being a new mom back after a long maternity break. The conviction that I had, helped me have better conversations with my bosses. For a self-doubting person like me, this conviction did not come easily. I had to work actively towards carving my own path to success. I started working on my brand, using my networking skills, building my visibility in front of the senior executives. I also had my first extremely planned, well-drafted IDP at this time. All my IDPs before RISE were focused heavily on attending trainings, but this time around, my IDP talked about my learnings on the job and short-term goals that I had set for myself.

What followed this was extraordinary. I have had two promotions in three years, which have had a massive impact on my overall personality AND my career trajectory. In fact, I have had two maternity leaves in the last five years, and that hasn’t been detrimental to my growth at all. RISE gave me the resources to manage my career, courage to take risks, and it also helped me reinvent myself. I’m forever grateful!


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