Asia Feature

Sanya Khurana finds Adobe the Perfect Place to Lean in

October 3, 2018

As a teenager, Sanya Khurana found herself in an impossible position. She loved math, science and technology—and especially coding. But the messages she got everywhere—from society, even from friends—were that her passions weren’t appropriate because they weren’t feminine enough. She even met other young women in college whose plan was to study and work only long enough to get married and start families.

These influences nearly pulled her away from her passion—until she picked up a copy of Sheryl Sandberg’s book Lean In. Suddenly, she found the courage to be herself and embrace her passions, not apologize for them.

Sanya threw herself into her studies. A few years later, while working on her Masters of Computer Applications from Indira Gandhi Delhi Technical University, Sanya received a scholarship to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference, the world’s largest gathering of women in technology.

That’s where she was introduced to a recruiter from Adobe. One application and two tough interviews later, Sanya was at Adobe Noida beginning a 10-week internship that would change her life.

As part of the Adobe Sign team, Sanya worked on an infrastructure provisioning tool for creating resources on Microsoft Azure used by Adobe Sign microservices.

“I got a lot of exposure to technology and got to work with really good people,” Sanya says. “They were passionate about getting things done, and they clearly loved their work. But they also gave me real mentoring.”

That mentoring went deep into technical skills, but Sanya most appreciated mentoring around leadership from managers who understood the unique challenges that women face in technology roles. That positive experience convinced her to accept a full-time role as a software developer at Adobe when she completed her degree.

“At Adobe, the women and men are very open-minded about gender equality, which is something we don’t find often enough in India,” Sanya says. “Nikhil Kumar, who mentored me during my internship is now my manager, and he helped me gain confidence in this new position and even reminds me to not over-apologize as women are conditioned to do. People here aren’t just aware of the bias—they actually know how to change it.”

Listen to Sanya’s inspirational TEDx talk.

Today, Sanya balances her work on the Adobe Sign team with her work as leader of a 3,000-member Lean In Circle of women in India, where she regularly encourages other women in tech to find their home at Adobe.

“Some women hesitate to apply for roles even if they’re just shy of meeting 100% of the job specifications; sometimes even when they meet 100%. So I tell women to always apply for companies, scholarships, and jobs—including at Adobe. Assume you’re qualified. Don’t underplay your hand.”

Ready to start your journey with Adobe? Apply today on the career site