Flower girl in chief and poet in residence. That’s what it says on Sana’s Twitter bio.
Sana is currently a VP of Product and Design at Peanut, the social networking app for women. She’s a longtime member of the tech community, having earned her stripes at places like Apple, Twitter, and Deliveroo. Sana grew up in India, and has lived in New York, San Francisco, and London.
I was interested in Sana’s multi-hyphenate identity—but not just the jobs she’s held, where she’s lived, or how she defines herself on a social networking app.
There’s her work with understanding feminine-coded communications, which stemmed from her own exploration of creating safe and equitable workplaces.
And there’s her exploration of her own femininity.
“I didn't make peace with my own femininity for a very long time. I had associated femininity with whatever Asian cultures associate femininity with: weak, small, demure, sensitive, and emotional. But, over the last few years, especially with weightlifting, I made my own understanding of what femininity is for me, and realized how complex it is and how misunderstood it is in wider society.”
Her identity is ever-evolving, she says. She’s spent the last few years unravelling the parts of that were given to her: what bits she accepted, versus what she discarded. And what of the parts of herself that she’s created? She’s relearned, or reintegrated, those parts that were natural to her, and re-examined aspects she had taken on because she felt she needed them to ‘succeed’.
The hour-long conversation sped by as we talked about her obsession with tea, calling herself a poet, and the femininity of creation. As for where poetry fits into her identity, she quips, “It’s part of life, isn’t it?”
All photos are courtesy of Sana Rao.