Celebrating International Day of Women and Girls in Science

Advice and Insights from some of McAfee’s brightest STEM leaders

This International Day of Women and Girls in Science, #TeamMcAfee is proud to join forces with the incredible McAfee Women in Security Community (WISE) to celebrate the achievements of women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)!

WISE is a passionate group of women (and men!) who are dedicated to creating a more inclusive and welcoming environment for all at McAfee, actively supporting and empowering the next generation of female STEM leaders.

“At WISE, we believe in nurturing a diverse and thriving community where every individual, regardless of gender, can unleash their potential. This International Day of Women and Girls in Science, we’re proud to celebrate the journeys of Arati, Sai, Defne, Richa, and Sowmya. Their stories are testaments to the transformative power of STEM, and their voices inspire young women to dream big and pursue their passion for science and technology.”Brenda, President of WISE 

Arati, Sai, Defne, Richa, and Sowmya illustrate the transformative power of STEM, the impact of McAfee and the WISE community on their journeys, and their insightful advice for young women embarking on their own STEM journeys.

Arati, Sr. Director, Engineering

“During my school days, I was a curious student who did well in Science and Maths. My classmates often sought my help understanding challenging concepts, which fueled my confidence and solidified my love for these fields. I thrived in stimulating environments where I could push boundaries and explore my full potential, and STEM offered exactly that. It was the perfect path to avoid succumbing to the boredom of routine and truly discover what I could achieve.
Being part of WISE has been instrumental in my STEM journey. It’s provided invaluable networking opportunities, connecting me with inspiring leaders both within and outside McAfee through summits and conferences. Having access to diverse role models, both male and female, fuelled my drive and ambition, giving me a wealth of knowledge and guidance to navigate my career path.
As a woman leader in the tech industry, I’ve witnessed many discussions about work-life balance, equal opportunities, and flexibility. While these are crucial conversations, I want to emphasize that there’s no substitute for the dedication and commitment required to excel in any field. For young women considering a career in STEM: Focus on continuous learning, fuel your passion for excellence, and cultivate a genuine desire to make a positive impact. Prioritize preparation, integrity, and striving for excellence over any sense of entitlement. When you put in the hard work, the opportunities, achievements, and empowerment will follow naturally. Remember, it’s important to “pay it forward” – mentor others and uplift the next generation of women in STEM!”


Sai: Sr. Technology & Innovation Researcher

“Right from my early school days I liked the evidence based scientific reasoning method – using experiments and observations to draw conclusions on a phenomenon. Naturally, pursuing a career in STEM was a path I couldn’t wait to explore. Today, as a Sr. Technology & Innovation Researcher at McAfee, I continue to delve into the unknown, but with the added benefit of having a supportive community and team around me.
Being part of a supportive community like WISE is invaluable. Navigating the corporate world can be challenging, and having a network of individuals who understand and can provide guidance makes a significant difference.
To young women considering a career in STEM: If science ignites your curiosity, follow that spark. There might be challenges along the way, but remember, the beauty of STEM lies in its constant evolution and endless possibilities. Embrace the journey, learn from supportive communities, and most importantly, never let anyone dim your passion for discovery.”


Defne: Director of Technology Services

“My path to STEM started with a simple spark: a love for solving problems. Growing up in a supportive environment, fueled by encouragement from parents and teachers, I was never afraid to ask questions and delve into the unknown. Fast forward to today, and I’m the Director of Technology Services at McAfee, leading a team that supports People Success and Legal systems.
McAfee has been instrumental in my growth. Here, I’ve tackled challenging programs that pushed my boundaries and provided invaluable learning experiences. I’ve also had great mentors at McAfee who have helped and supported me. And being part of the WISE community fosters a space for women to learn, collaborate, and empower each other.
To young women considering a career in STEM: Believe in yourself. Find mentors who inspire you, hone your math and science skills, and sharpen your problem-solving skills. Most importantly, don’t hesitate to speak up, stay curious and never stop learning – the possibilities in STEM are endless!”



Richa: Technical Program Manager

“Driven by a thirst for knowledge and a deep desire to contribute to the world, I embarked on my STEM journey fueled by my passion for science. Today, as a Technical Program Manager with over 10 years at McAfee, I’m proud to be part of a company that fosters innovation and empowers individuals to make a difference.
McAfee has been more than just a workplace; it’s a vibrant community where I’ve thrived. But the impact of the WISE community has been truly transformative. It’s provided invaluable support, fostered collaboration, and offered leadership development opportunities specifically for women at McAfee. Through WISE, I’ve connected with incredible individuals, celebrated our achievements, and found a sense of belonging and inclusion.
To young women considering a career in STEM: Don’t hesitate! This field empowers you to find your voice and gain invaluable experience. Embrace real-world projects; they’ll sharpen your thinking, unlock leadership potential, and open doors to endless learning opportunities. Remember, your unique perspective and contributions are essential in shaping the future of STEM.”


Sowmya: Data Governance Manager

“Growing up surrounded by academia, with a mother who rose to lead a women’s college, instilled in me a deep yearning for both career advancement and leadership. But it was the allure of logical problem-solving and the thrill of technology’s evolution, like witnessing the first Indian cell phone, that truly drew me to STEM. I embarked on a journey to unravel the intricacies of cellular and satellite communication systems with a bachelor’s in electronics and communications engineering, eager to play my part in shaping the future and being at the forefront of innovation and emerging technologies.
McAfee and the WISE community have played a pivotal role in my STEM career. As the leader of the India WISE group, I’ve had invaluable opportunities to engage with global leaders, foster stronger connections within the Indian WISE community, receive recognition, contribute to WISE publications, and establish trusted mentorship relationships. These experiences have not only empowered others but also provided me with a fulfilling outlet beyond my data governance role. Leading WISE has honed my soft skills, allowing me to influence, connect, and build confidence.
For young women considering a career in STEM remember: Failure persists only as long as fear dictates. Embrace lifelong learning and don’t shy away from changing domains or upskilling. My career, spanning 19+ years, has taken me from electronics engineer to data governance manager, requiring me to adapt and learn along the way. Take calculated risks, embrace change, and follow your instincts. The most transformative journeys often begin with a leap of faith. Remember, the investment in growth and change is always worthwhile.”


If you’re interested in the work that we do or want to learn more about our career opportunities at McAfee, please visit our jobs page or  join our talent network to receive updates on career opportunities from McAfee.
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