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We speak to Ruth Irudayaraj on her role as a Lead Business Analyst at Verisk

Category: Work-Life Balance, Flexible Working, Gender Balance, Women's Network Group, Mentoring Females

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HEad and shoulder shot of Ruth smiling at the camera
Ruth Irudayaraj, Lead Business Analyst at Sequel Verisk

 

I began working in tech in India, after graduating. I started out as a developer with a company called Cognizant Technology Solutions, working with SQL code and .NET.

Following that, I travelled to the US to work on a project and stayed there for six years.

During that time, I took on a Lead role as Systems Analyst and then Business Analyst, involving a lot of stakeholder management.

I moved to the UK when I got married. I worked in a few different roles including project management across different industries, including banking. In between maternity breaks I worked at GSK, and then during the pandemic, I discovered Verisk Specialty Business Solutions. I've been working at Verisk since 2020, in a Lead Business Analyst capacity.

 

Working in male dominated environment

I've always worked in environment traditionally dominated by men where there were very few women at management level. But I've always found that as long as I'm firm, and put my point across well including facts, my opinions are taken on board. I've also been blessed to work with male colleagues who have been helpful and encouraging. It is also very encouraging to see more women in senior positions.

When I got married and had a family, I started to face hurdles. I had a child who fell ill fairly often, and I had to take care of them. Colleagues would ask why I didn't put myself forward for opportunities, but I felt that at the time, my child had to come first so I had to decline. Unfortunately that wasn’t received well by my former colleagues.

 

Childcare and career

When I had my second child, I realised that I really enjoyed having a career as well as a family life. I took another maternity break and decided to look for other opportunities.

I've been lucky enough to find ways to balance both work and my family; I think Verisk is supportive of the fact that your work time is work time but there's a personal life beyond work as well.

 

Flexible working at Verisk

Flexible working is my number one priority, because I have kids at school, and along with everyday routines, there are emergencies and appointments. I flex my time to work around my family, which has been great - especially as I joined Verisk in the middle of the pandemic, when I had a six-year-old home schooling, and a one-year-old.

My manager and colleagues were very supportive of my situation. It was reassuring to know that I had support. I could have important conversations with my line managers, and I believed I could always ask for help if I needed it.

Verisk has a tremendous focus on work-life balance. I have seen this emphasised by senior management many times during my tenure here at Verisk.  

 

Women's Network Group

I became a member of the Women's Network Group when I joined Verisk. I'd seen articles they'd posted about career development, and they had also developed a mentoring programme, which I joined without expecting too much.

Straight away, I was mapped to a mentor - our Chief Strategy Officer. He's been my mentor for six months or so now and has been so helpful. I always wanted to learn more about strategy, and the regular networking opportunity is great.

He encourages me to push for more; try new things, ask varied questions, reach out to people.

The mentoring opportunity empowered me to apply for a promotion, which I did and also got it.

 

Mentoring other women

I line manage and mentor a few people in our organisation, including people starting out new careers and experienced professionals. I enjoy mentoring and find it very satisfying to mentor people and nurture and develop their talents.

I've been mentoring females within the organisation. I provide feedback regularly, provide a listening ear and share growth and networking opportunities. I also make sure to point my mentees towards the Women's Network and any of the other opportunities - there are several good networking groups.

I also like share experiences about my own journey and tell them about the opportunities that are available. I've also signed another woman up to the mentoring programme - she found it very helpful. I share articles I come across with my mentees, to help them develop their areas of work. I just like to help other women after being on the journey myself.

 

What would you tell a woman who wants to work at Verisk?

It's a topic close to my heart - I have an eight-year-old daughter who is going through the education system now, and before I know it, she'll be a young adult and off looking for work herself.

My message to any woman just starting her career journey would be that you should be courageous, and don't doubt yourself. You won't know what you can achieve until you try.  When I first started out and went to the US, I felt as if I didn't know much after I'd finished my degree. But I pushed myself. At times, I was the only person at the client side from a different country, and it was challenging - I didn't know if I could do it. But I did!

 

Be courageous! Believe in yourself!

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VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please email [email protected] for more information.

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