There are very few women in cable tech who’ve achieved the status of Rustagi. Known for her persistence and commitment to customers, she always has a vision for what’s next in her life and the organizations that she leads. “The possibilities of what advanced technology is bringing to the industry and to this world that inspires me,” she says.
Where are the biggest growth areas for women in cable?
The greatest possibility for women is in the technology field of our industry. First, technology continues to play a very important role in the success of our industry. Cutting edge technology is what enables so many of the new services and the new platforms. And, as in most industries, the number of women in leadership positions – whether in technology or in other areas of our industry, still has a long way to grow.
What’s the most important aspect of mentoring?
We usually talk about how to be a great mentor – and I have been a mentor in formal programs and continue to mentor on an individual, personal level. However, I believe that the most important aspect of mentoring is in the mentee. The mentee must take responsibility for their mentoring. Seek someone that they already have a relationship with and that they respect. Be very specific with the mentor on what is needed from the relationship. Mentoring does not necessarily have to be a long-term mentoring relationship. Mentoring is about role modeling, giving advice and coaching. So many of my relationships are with people I respect. People I learn from. People from very diverse backgrounds that I go to for advice. My relationships don’t have a “formal mentoring” aspect, as I seek advice as and when needed, and consider what I might be able to apply to my business and/or personal growth. I consider it my role to seek out and learn, and I learn from all kinds of people. The learning must continue, no matter what position you reach.
What/who inspires you at work? What/who inspires you outside the office?
At work, the possibilities of what advanced technology is bringing to the industry and to this world that inspires me. To think about the “what if” – “what can we do” with the technologies that are coming creates exciting possibilities. And, to see what we have done in this industry with the use of video, broadband, WiFi and digital delivery on so many platforms that can impact other industries is inspiring – how those applications can move to healthcare, education, financial and so many other areas that can impact our world. Outside the office, I continue to get inspiration from technology. My children are, however, my main inspiration. Whether it is my daughter who is a freshman in college – who sees a whole new world open to her – and jumps in with such enthusiasm. Or my son in high school who has adventure in his outlook to life and is a continuous stream of cool ideas – often based on cool technology.
Best trick for maintaining the personal-professional life balance?
Priorities are the only way you can “survive” in life. There is no such thing as a personal-professional’ life balance. It is all about choosing your priority at any given moment. Sometimes, your priority has to be your work. Sometimes, your priority is your personal life. I also make sure that I don’t take on too many extracurricular activities outside of work so when I am not working, I can focus on my family. Communications is also key – being open with your family so that they can understand and are brought into decisions of priorities when appropriate.
Your favorite trick for unwinding?
I get outdoors–and take my children with me. Traveling, being in “wide open spaces” – cycling or just enjoying a walk/run with my kids keeps me grounded.