Anitha Gollapudi plays a dual role in Cisco’s Data and Analytics organization. She extends her stakeholder engagement skills as a platform manager, and she leverages her experience with functional data in leading metrics for a critical company-wide program. As an introvert, Anitha never expected to have a spotlight on her.
Career at crossroads?
For 15+ years, Anitha worked on increasingly progressive roles and ideas. Her career trajectory intersected with her life journey in many instances. There were situations when she had to choose between continuing her career and nurturing her family, sometimes choosing to put her family first, and sometimes to put her career aspirations first.
It was a decisive moment for Anitha and her husband when their elder daughter decided to pursue a medicine course in India. Anitha had to make a choice between quitting Cisco and changing her daughter’s career path. As a compassionate individual, she decided to support her daughter’s dream. So, she sat down with her manager and evaluated her options. To her surprise, Anitha’s manager accommodated Anitha’s desire to physically be with her daughter and together, Anitha and her manager created a flexible work schedule. Anitha travelled to support her daughter during every semester exam. After 6 years of hard work, multiple international travels every year, meticulous planning, and support from Cisco team, Anitha accomplished what she set out to. She is a role model for her daughter and other women.
Recipe for Success
Anitha is an introvert who did not know how to say “NO” when her plate was full. At the start of her career, she absorbed everything that was put in her path. The learner in her received guidance from her colleagues and leaders. The female leaders at Cisco have influenced her work style. Anitha was observant of the high performing women leaders and their key traits. And over years, it shaped her personality that increased productivity without compromising what was most important to her.
While on maternity leave with her elder daughter, Anitha learned of a position at Cisco that aligned perfectly to her career aspiration. At that point in her life, career progression was her priority. So, she chose to cancel the remaining leave and start in her dream role immediately- relying on Cisco’s physical facilities and programs to support her needs as a mother.
Memories bring back memories
Anitha feels grateful that the culture, policies, and infrastructure of Cisco provided her with the accommodations she needed to continue working while raising a family. She has it all, including 2 beautiful daughters! Anitha’s older daughter, is currently pursuing master’s in health care in Iowa. Because Anitha’s younger daughter was born during a prestigious internal Cisco initiative called Everest, Anitha fondly refers to her as her “Everest baby”.
She is proud to lead a well-balanced life while continuing to be deeply involved in Cisco’s transformation. Anitha is an embodiment of diverse experience that spans across sales and HR business functions, services, enterprise release management and operations. Many of her colleagues will tell you that she has built and mastered an algorithm for career longevity and its success. Truly, she believes that hard work and commitment are the inputs for a never-failing algorithm.
“Don’t kill the weeds with chemicals, they are part of the eco system. Just do not feed them.”Anitha
“So how do you sustain your energy to manage work and personal passion?”
Anitha suggests that introverted women like her, who are just starting off in their careers should not identify themselves based on a single success or failure. Owing to two decades within Cisco’s data, processes, and tech landscape, she craves perfection and predictability. The pandemic challenged her own expectations. When probed on how she overcame this challenge, she shared the self-care practice that she adopted from Chuck. Since she heard Chuck in an employee connect session quote: “DON’T WORRY ABOUT THINGS YOU CAN’T CONTROL.” Anitha has been setting boundaries and focusing her energy on results that she can deliver.
Like most introverts, Anitha needs time to recharge alone and does so primarily through gardening. She even turned her backyard into green paradise. Her favorite pastime is to share her garden produce with the community, cook and serve a satiating meal with fresh vegetables.
When asked, “What is your mantra to handle difficult situations gracefully?” She has a personality of teacher who creates harmony for those who surround her. She applies her gardener’s philosophy: Don’t kill the weeds with chemicals, they are part of the eco system. Just do not feed them.
I love this story and what a beautiful family photo!
Thank you! Yes 🙂
Anitha, you are an amazing lady and I know you closely. Thank you Sravani for bringing her to the lime light.
Indeed! Glad to know her better with the story.
Thank you .
Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom!! Its inspirational.
I had opportunity to work with Anitha years ago in ERMO team. She is truly amazing. Thank you Sravani for writing this article.
Thanks Rajiv !
Thank you for the inspiring story. I loved reading on how she managed her career. More power to you Anitha!
Thank you for sharing your story Anitha. It is very inspiring!
Hi Nikolay – thank you and am hoping that this would be helpful to you .
What an inspiring story, and it is so good to know Anitha through this. Thanks Sravani for penning and presenting it so well!
Beautiful story- Anitha has always been a source of inspiration
I know Anitha from almost 6years and learned a lot from her. She is truly amazing and supportive. Thanks for sharing the inspirational story.
I know Anitha for many years. Truly she is a superb role model for her daughter and many other women 👍
True enthusiast with lots of positivity. You are a true role model in all aspects.
Having worked with Anitha for over 4 years more recently, I can vouch for her commitment and work ethics based on giving her personal best! Enjoyed reading this article; about her journey as a mom, and experiences balancing parenting with a career! More power to you Anitha, and thanks for sharing this story Sravani!
You are truly an inspiration for many of us to always work hard towards your goals. Wishing a very Happy Women’s Day to you.
Anitha, Working with you from past 6 years, I see you are truly amazing, supportive & caring individual.
Thanks for sharing the inspirational story Sravani.
Good story! Inspirational…
Kudos Anitha! Very inspiring story!
Anitha is the best. Glad she was under the spotlight so others can also see how amazing she is !!!
Hi Anitha , you are a Amazing Professional with focus to stakeholder delight and a big Inspiration. Thank you Sravani for the wonderful Story writeup.
Had the Opportunity to work closely with Anitha, she is versatile, amazing. Very well articulated.
Anita you are a super woman!!! You are my inspiration to learn to bring out the best in both worlds (Career and family life), you manage that so well and have excelled in both and you make it seem so effortless. And to top it off you maintain a fabulous garden with so many different interesting plants, share the greens with your community.
What you have acheived is amazing !!! Very inspiring.
Sravani Minupuri thank you for sharing Anitas story with all of us and giving the oppurtunity for many more to get inspired …
Fantastic story about a true Cisco great! Anitha, YOU are a rockstar!
Thanks for sharing, Sravani.
I know Anith from early 90’s.Had seen her as very loving person to family & co workers. Always very hard working and dedicated. She well deserves this spotlight.
Congratulation to Anitha and lively family!
Truly inspiring story. Kudos to you Anitha…
Excellent story Anitha and nice to see your family!
You are a source of positive energy to your team and a good human being.
Truly inspiring and thanks for sharing!
Your are truly inspiring @Anitha. I accord that you have “personality of teacher who creates harmony for those who surround her” as mentioned. I am one among many people who inspired, guided, motivated….. by you.
Thanks for your guidance and motivation for my career progression. More success and health to you.
Beautifully put toghter, as eye witness of how much hard work Anitha puts in to her carrier and family, felt really happy to see the spotlight on her.
Wow. Very happy to know about Anita Gollapudi, a wonderful and inspirational role model. Real example for celebration of womanhood …balancing personal and professional life.This article made my heart jump with joy as she is our senior in Bishop Azariah High School..👌👌👏👏
I am her student in India, I know her closely in 90’s. I really admire her decision making and hard working to change her career. It’s so inspirational!!
Amma (mom) – Thank you for being yourself and teaching me and Mahitha to be true to ourselves. We are so proud of the amazing leader and mentor you have become not only to us, your daughters, but to many females around you. Your advice on personal and professional lives has given me insight on how I can shape myself to be a female leader in our world. I am proud to be your daughter.
No amount of words can describe our love for you and your guidance. We not only celebrate you but also cherish you.
Thank you amma.
Also, I would like to thank Sravani Minupuri for taking the time to capture the true essence of our mother in her natural habitat. This article has a special place in my life forever.
Thank you Anil
Very inspiring blog. Working with Anitha for past 6 months. She is an amazing, understanding and go-to person. As a women, motivating blog for me on how she successfully balances both personal and career. Thanks for highlighting her story.
Hello Akka ,
You deserve the moment of appreciation ! All the best and good luck for all prospective endeavour !
When it comes to rigor in Operations, Anitha is available 24/7 for her teams and stakeholders. She ensures she keeps the teams connected with the greater goal of providing the best user experience to her user community. She plans her meetings meticulously yet is flexible to change in schedules and can re-plan tasks efficiently. Anitha’s hands-on involvement in every issue brought to her attention, her engaging nature through her regular meetings, task delegation, follow ups and appreciative nature helps close loop on many issues in a timely manner and maintain healthy work environment. A true role model!
I have been working with Anitha for the past 6 years and You’re very inspirational and give the team excellent motivation and coordination with the teams .
Anitha, your story is inspirational for all women in technology roles, and provides proof that women can achieve work-life balance and still be successful! You have much of which to be proud! Thank you for sharing your story!
Glad to know your Story Anitha !
Having known Anitha for a number of years, I can attest to her being a rockstar! This is a wonderful story, and I’m so happy she was able to share it!
Anitha, Your work ethic and involvement are admirable. Your ability to take every task with utmost sincerity always amazes me, as I try to derive inspiration from you. Believe me – you are the perfect employee which every employer desires to have in their team.
Great inspiration and congratulate for great achievement Anitha !
Beautiful and Inspiring story.
Finding a balance between professional and personal life is not easy and bringing the best in both worlds is a notch up.
Thank you Sravani for capturing the true spirit Anitha epitomizes.
Good to see this story about you Anitha, and Thanks Sravani for the effort here in bringing this to limelight. Anitha came out clear on her opinions and she was committed to her work ethics during my interactions with her.
What a great story highlighting Anitha-It’s really admirable how she always sees projects through from conception to completion. She def plays a crucial role in her team’s success.
NetApp – Global account Manager
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