Prativa Mohapatra has been named Vice President and Managing Director of Adobe India by Adobe Inc. She has made history by becoming the first woman to oversee the global software company's Indian operations. She joins a growing group of Indian women leaders who are snatching the corner office in the extremely competitive tech sector. 

In comparison to men, the number of women in top leadership positions is in the minority. But female representation in senior positions operate as brilliant beacons and are great role models for everyone from existing employees to future employees.  They carry the duty to serve as a positive role model for other women who want to achieve similar goals.

Who is Prativa Mohapatra?

Mohapatra has over 25 years of experience in the tech industry, including leading business transformation, scaling teams to meet hyper growth, and evangelising Artificial Intelligence technology with customers. She comes to Adobe from IBM, where she served as Vice President of Digital Sales for APAC. She began her work with PwC India after graduating from NIT Rourkela with a bachelor's degree in computer science and engineering and earning an MBA from Xavier Institute of Management in Bhubaneswar. She was a competitive badminton player in college.

As Mohapatra joins Adobe to become the company's first female business leader as managing director in India, other nations in the Asia Pacific area where Adobe has female managing directors include Korea and Australia.

She will be in charge of directing the company's India business and growth opportunities across three business units: Adobe Experience Cloud, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Adobe Document Cloud. According to insiders, she will report to Simon Tate, Adobe's President for Asia Pacific (APAC).

Ask her about the progression of women to leadership roles, and she admits that it has been undoubtedly slow. But, she says, “The optimist in me is drawn towards the wave of positive changes all around us. It excites me to observe increasing consciousness and acceptance, as more women are filling corporate leadership roles than ever before."

According to 2021 reports, gender gap in the Indian startup ecosystem has increased in 2020, with over 77 percent of enterprises having fewer than 20 percent women in leadership roles.

The gender imbalance in startup leadership teams has persisted. According to a poll conducted last year, less than 10% of founders had women in senior positions. Whether it's founders hiring from STEM backgrounds or lateral hires from corporate leadership pools, a gender diversity divide already exists.

Founders are also oblivious to the presence of women in the workplace. Women's leadership in startups is dwindling as a result of a lack of purposeful effort to grasp their sociocultural constraints and the imposition of timetables without approval. 

We understand that being diverse is not just the ethical thing to do, but also a business need. We all know how important the role of women, or more accurately, diversity, is in digital transformation. The rate at which technology advances and transforms our lives and culture is incredible. At this incredible rate of change, success necessitates constant innovation, which necessitates a diversity of thinking, perspective, and experience. To put it another way, diversity fosters innovation, which in turn fosters success. Technology may be growing at a rapid speed right now, but imagine the speed we might achieve, as well as the diversity of thoughts and perspectives we could hear, if we enabled and empowered women around the world!

"As for the challenging task of leading a company in a world disrupted by the pandemic, Adobe is sitting in a good place now. We are experiencing the largest health crisis of our generation, and during this time, digital experiences have played a vital role in making every aspect of our lives possible — including keeping families and co-workers connected, enabling new ways of learning, powering digital commerce and ensuring continuity of essential business operations,” she points out. “As we became a digital economy nearly overnight, I believe that Adobe’s mission to change the world through digital experiences has never been more relevant than it is today,” she says.

Women representation at Adobe

Adobe has earned a reputation for being a pioneer in fostering a diverse, inclusive, and equal opportunity work culture across the company. According to a statement released, a number of senior-level positions at Adobe are now occupied by women—both internationally and in India.

At the conclusion of FY2020, women made up 33.5 percent of Adobe's employees, 26.1 percent of Adobe's leadership roles*, and 37.7% of Adobe's new hires.

According to research from the Kauffman Foundation, IT companies led by women had a 35 percent higher return on investment than those led by men. Despite receiving 50% less venture capital funding than their male counterparts, Forbes discovered that women tech entrepreneurs generate 20% more revenue.

Adobe believes that leadership role models can help to generate a virtuous cycle of growth, development, and progression. By 2025, the company aspire to increase the representation of women in leadership positions internationally to 30%.