Decoding the Gender Gap

AMD Engineers share stories of fighting gender stereotypes


Over 50 students attended the Bionic Bruins co-hosted Women in STEM panel, where AMD engineers shared their journeys breaking into tech.

Alli Wang, News Editor

More than 50 students listened to female engineers and executives from Silicon Valley chipmaker Advanced Micro Devices share their journey breaking into the tech industry at a Bionic Bruins-hosted panel discussion during Tuesday’s tutorial period.

The panelists included AMD senior program manager Prithvi Mattur, software architect Rajy Rawther, and product designer Mathivathani Barathimohan and Marisa Zucek, director of operations.

The engineers have worked on projects that have included supplying processors for Microsoft’s Xbox consoles and artificial intelligence development.

Panelists said that their path to joining the tech industry was difficult, from being treated with disrespect by men in their fields and being discouraged from pursuing the engineering field.

Mattur grew up in a rural small village in India where her family had scarce resources and no technology, but sought a university education to pursue a career. She said that her dad half-jokingly wanted her to earn a bachelor’s degree in computer science, not to choose a career, but to find a “bachelor.”

“So getting a bachelor’s degree was the criteria to find a good boy and get married,” Mattur said. “Take care of him, make babies, that’s it.”

She said that she later excelled in her field after touching a computer for the first time in her sophomore year of college, and has since created a platform to help teens develop products.

Rawther, the software architect, said she was discouraged from pursuing a degree by her family’s friends as most women in her community were supposed to marry at 18 and become housewives. To accommodate gender biases, she initially decided it was better for her to become a teacher than an engineer since engineering was male-dominated.

She said fighting the inner doubt that she was less suited to be an engineer solely because of her gender was one of her greatest challenges as an engineer.

“I always need to actually push through that mindset because even though things have changed, there is still unconscious bias,” she said.