Celebrating Women’s History Month - Q&A with Rashmi Bilgundi

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Community Team Member



Come and join us as we celebrate Women’s History Month! We pay tribute to the courageous pathfinders and pioneers who paved the way before us, as well as those who are currently advocating for a more just and equitable society.


While International Women's Day was initially observed on March 8, 1911, the concept of Women's History Month originated from a Women's History Week, first observed in 1978. Just two years later, in 1980, March was officially designated as Women's History Month.


Throughout this entire month, we take the time to acknowledge the remarkable progress women have achieved over the years and continue to strive for around the globe.


As we celebrate, we have the wonderful opportunity to connect with a female colleague here at Palo Alto Networks, Rashmi Bilgundi, Senior Manager, IT. Sharing her experiences and advice with all of you, Rashmi continues to inspire others in the workplace, and we are excited for you to learn more about her!




LIVEcommunity Team: How long have you been working in IT/cybersecurity, and how did you get into the field? Can you talk a bit about what it’s like to be a woman in a historically male-dominated field, and how the industry has changed?


Rashmi: I’ve been in the IT industry for about 17 years. I’ve always had a passion for problem solving which naturally led me toWomens QA_Rashmi B_palo-alto-networks.png pursue a career in IT. My journey began during my undergraduate studies, where I majored in computer science. During my internship, I got introduced to identity and access management, and I developed a strong passion for the underlying concepts.


Despite working in a male-dominated industry, I've had the privilege of collaborating with some exceptional men who championed my growth in this field, especially in Palo Alto Networks. 


I strongly believe that the industry is advancing towards greater inclusion and diversity, and I take pride in being a member of a team that is already contributing to this positive shift.



LIVEcommunity Team: How do you think women have shaped and changed the workplace / PANW?


Rashmi: I believe that women have transformed the workspace in many ways - Breaking Stereotypes, taking an empathetic and inclusive approach which fosters a more supportive environment. At PANW, we have a women's network which is amazing and we constantly see women uplifting each other. 



LIVEcommunity Team: Who are the women you look up to? Are there any important mentors or influences in your professional or personal life you’d like to share with us?


Rashmi: I have many amazing women in my personal and professional life who inspire me in so many ways. It’s difficult to just pick one. 


One person that I met in PANW and really admire is Vonnie French. I’ve always looked up to her and I’ve had the pleasure to interact with her through a PANW connect group during the pandemic. She's the kind of leader who not only achieves great things but uplifts everyone around her. No matter how busy she is, she's always there, with her door wide open, ready to offer mentorship and engage in one-on-one conversations.



LIVEcommunity Team: Do you have any morning routines or rituals that are essential for you? Alternatively, what's one practice you engage in to kickstart your day for success?


Rashmi: Enjoying my cup of coffee in silence has been a part of my ritual. It offers me a peaceful moment to ease into the day. I'm mindful to avoid distractions such as checking emails or social media first thing in the morning. I also like to organize my thoughts and set priorities early in the day that helps me manage my time effectively.



LIVEcommunity Team: What’s your favorite part of your job?


Rashmi: One of my favorite things about my job is to collaborate with my co-workers and solve complex problems together. I enjoy tackling challenges and learning new things. 



LIVEcommunity Team: Where will we find you on the weekend?


Rashmi: Most weekends, I start my mornings with my family in our backyard gardening, nurturing the plants and flowers, and finding joy in watching them grow. As the day progresses, you'll likely catch me in my painting corner immersed in my creative space.



LIVEcommunity Team: What’s one piece of advice you would give your younger self?

Rashmi: If I could offer one piece of advice to my younger self, it would be to embrace confidence and resist self-doubt. I would remind my younger self that you are worthy, and deserving of all the opportunities that come your way.



LIVEcommunity Team: What else would you like to mention to readers?


Rashmi: I encourage you to continue honoring and uplifting the women in your lives, both personal and professional. 

1 Comment
Community Team Member

Thanks for sharing Rashmi!

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