Namratha Jaisimha recently joined the Micro Controller Unit/Micro Processing
Units (MCU/MPU) Engineering organization as Vice President of the newly formed
Verification and Validation (V&V) team. Her success as a leader has resulted
in the addition of a new responsibility: VP of the Register Transfer Level/
Design for Test (RTL/DFT) team. We interviewed Namratha to hear her plans, her
dreams and her thoughts on being a role model.
Vice President - Design, Verification and Validation at NXP Semiconductors
NXP: Namratha, tell about your job as VP of V&V and RTL/DFT
Namratha Jaisimha: I’m leading over 600 people, multiple
functions, each with organization goals, technology goals, efficiency goals
and cultural improvements. Along with my team, I will be building the team to
scale, so we can build these system on chips (SoCs) with maximum efficiency,
with a goal of meeting all targets with maximum quality every time.
NXP: What successes or challenges have you had so far?
has global teams with operations in more than 10 locations spread across
multiple time zones. We’re working to streamline processes and methodologies,
and to do this we need to address stress points and keep execution on track,
which can be like changing a wheel while driving down the highway at full
speed. And we’re doing it, not losing speed, so it’s working.
NXP: What’s the secret to being a good leader in a modern tech company?
NJ: It’s about balance. We need leaders who understand
complex products and engineers who understand complex people. Good leaders
need to be able to grasp the technologies and methodologies we deal with, and
they need to be able to build human relationships. Engineers often forget
about the human aspect of things, focusing solely on the technology. A good
leader helps both sides to work together, balancing humanity with an
understanding of emotion and technology.
NXP: As a woman engineer in a senior role, have you experienced bias in your career?
NJ: I grew up in conservative India, in a small town near
Bangalore, and I experienced some gender bias especially in my early years.
Women who were good at math and science were generally steered toward
medicine—engineering wasn’t the obvious path for women. But I wanted to be an
engineer. So, I had to think outside the box, past my surroundings. I had to
make decisions on plans for family and career, how to manage both at the same
time and how to balance both properly. You don’t see enough women role models
at work who have done that, who have set the example.
NXP: Do you consider yourself a role model?
NJ: After 30 years in the industry, I have noticed that
retention of women is an issue. We don’t get enough women out of college who
stay on in their later years. It’s one of the areas where I want to help women
as much as possible so, yes, in this regard, I would say I am a role model. I
want to be able to share my experience with other women so that they can stay
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NXP: Who is your role model and why?
NJ: My mother. She took time off to have children and build a
family. At 35, she decided to go back to college and she studied and became a
professor of education. All the while, she never made her family feel like a
NXP: What’s the best advice you’ve ever heard?
NJ: My mom taught me that I can’t solve all problems in a
day, so I shouldn’t let myself be overwhelmed upfront; instead I should allow
myself to split them into smaller problems and solve one at a time.
NXP: And what’s the best advice you could give?
NJ: Give your best and 100% attention to every activity that
you do in your personal and professional life. Every day, take a few minutes
to step back and check your part in the bigger picture.
NXP: What do you do when you’re not working, how do you unwind?
NJ: In the past three years, I’ve discovered a passion—and a
talent—for painting. I taught myself via YouTube and I enjoy it very much; I
always have one painting in progress.
NXP: What NXP tech excites you and why?
NJ: Automotive technology, something that adds to the safety
and comfort of the driver.
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