Women Impact Tech

WIT Connect Virtual Conference

We hope you enjoyed our week-long celebration of diversity, inclusion, equality and belonging in tech. Check out the sessions from this week below.

Salesforce

So many people, especially women and minorities, have all experienced what it is like to be the ‘only’ in a room. This talk from Molly Ford, Senior Director of Global Equality Programs at Salesforce, shares personal vignettes and stories from the World’s Most Innovative Company (according to Forbes) as she shares her solution for what one should do when they don’t have a seat at the table. In her role at Salesforce which is also one of Fortune’s Best Companies to Work for eight years in a row, she is responsible for shaping and sharing the company’s core value of Equality and evangelizing the Salesforce culture. Molly Ford is the Senior Director of Global Equality Programs at Salesforce. In this role, she is responsible for shaping and sharing the company’s core value of Equality and evangelizing the Salesforce culture.

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Keynotes

Leading Through Challenging Times

As we continue to adjust to a ‘new normal,’ each day presents new opportunities to lead with empathy and compassion. Our team members all face different challenges. For many, especially those working on geo-distributed teams where time zone overlap is minimal, long days can stretch many to the breaking point in spite of, and in many cases because of, all the technologies enabling remote working. While none of us have a master playbook, Ishita will share some of the specific strategies that she and her leadership team have developed, grounded in the belief of eBay’s founder that ‘people are basically good,’ that have helped her organization maintain a sense of balance and the inspiration to succeed both personally and professionally.

Reality Bytes

Technological changes over the past few decades have drastically influenced human behavior: how we do business, how we consume information and how we interact with each other. Technology has made some aspects of life easier at the cost of replacing personal human-to-human experiences with impersonal human-to-computer interaction. Social isolation has made it even more obvious that we need to stop this trend. We will explore technologies that augment our reality while accentuating our humanity, and identify how you can play a role in helping to create a more connected and human tomorrow.

Do Not Lose the Fight Against Stress at Work

As engineers and scientists, we have been working on problems some of which are known to be too complex to be solved. We are expected to work on ambiguous problems by simplifying them and making some trade-offs to find a solution. With the complicated nature of our work we are very vulnerable to stress. Especially working during a prolonged stress period that we are experiencing, it is more important now than ever how we understand and control the stress in our work life.

Crisis Resilience: Optimizing for Developer Productivity & Retention

How productive and happy are your engineers? How does that change in time of crisis? This talk will focus on metrics, tools and processes that help organizations maximize their developer velocity and happiness, leading to better products and developer retention.

Fireside Chat: Airbnb

How do I demonstrate my impact, and how do I ensure my career progression does not slow down during this time when we are all working remotely?: These are million dollar questions that are on people’s mind these days. We are fortunate that Vijaya Kaza, Chief Security Officer and Head of Trust Engineering & Data Science at Airbnb and Kamini Dandapani, Senior Director of Developer Platform at Airbnb have offered to share their perspectives on these questions, and help you navigate the current landscape.

Company Presentations

Monday.com

Why it’s good for the business, market trends, and challenges in opening up an existing platform for external developers.

Lam Research

From smartphones and tablets to wearables and automobiles, it’s hard to go more than a few hours without using a semiconductor-enabled device. The semiconductor industry touches nearly every person on the planet and nearly every advanced chip is built with technology from Lam Research. Lam’s innovative wafer fabrication equipment and services allow chipmakers to build smaller, faster, and better performing electronic devices. Dr. Nerissa Draeger will introduce Lam’s technology and talk about solutions to some of the challenges faced by the semiconductor industry; as well as share her career experience.

AWS

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, has said that “good intentions aren’t good enough,” in talking about innovation. In order to create something that is repeatable, scalable, measurable, and impactful, you need more than a group of senior managers and engineers that are smart and passionate. You need mechanisms. The same holds true for Diversity and Inclusion. This talk will discuss mechanisms that have been used to promote a diverse, inclusive culture at Amazon.

XPO Logistics

What does “logistics” mean to you? Do you picture a truck? A warehouse? A brown package? For XPO’s VP of Engineering Riya Marwah, logistics is most analogous to a gigantic graph data structure – a complex network optimization problem. In this talk, Riya will dive deep into technology’s role in optimizing one of XPO’s business use cases in the logistics domain.

The Pokemon Company International

We’ve all heard the “don’t be too aggressive” advice at some point; so how do we align our actions with our values and goals? Women face a unique challenge in the technical space and how we choose to present ourselves shapes our path forward. In this session, we’ll talk about what a personal brand is, why it’s important, authenticity, and how to define and refine your own personal brand throughout your career.

Target

Target recognized how difficult it is to recruit and retain female software engineers, especially for senior level positions. Target wanted to do something about and reverse that trend. Hear how Target created the Engineering Management Immersion Program (eMIP), a 12-month program designed to bring under-represented groups, specifically women, into the ranks of engineering leadership positions.

Skydio

The technology for intelligent and trustworthy navigation of autonomous UAVs has reached an inflection point such that they can now bring transformative gains in capability, efficiency, and safety to major industries. Drones are starting to save lives of first responders, automate dangerous infrastructure inspection, digitize the physical world with millimeter precision, and capture Hollywood quality video – all on affordable consumer hardware. At Skydio, we’ve invested five years of R&D in the ability to handle difficult unknown scenarios in real-time based on visual sensing, and shipped two generations of fully autonomous drones. This talk will dive into the collaboration of learning and modeling within our system, our experience deploying robots into the world, and the challenges still ahead.

Salesforce

So many people, especially women and minorities, have all experienced what it is like to be the ‘only’ in a room. This talk from Molly Ford, Senior Director of Global Equality Programs at Salesforce, shares personal vignettes and stories from the World’s Most Innovative Company (according to Forbes) as she shares her solution for what one should do when they don’t have a seat at the table. In her role at Salesforce which is also one of Fortune’s Best Companies to Work for eight years in a row, she is responsible for shaping and sharing the company’s core value of Equality and evangelizing the Salesforce culture. Molly Ford is the Senior Director of Global Equality Programs at Salesforce. In this role, she is responsible for shaping and sharing the company’s core value of Equality and evangelizing the Salesforce culture.

Sweetgreen

As you think about your career in tech and long term goals, it can be easy to compare yourself to everyone around you and assume you need to do exactly what they’re doing in order to grow and advance. “It’s been 5 years, shouldn’t I be a principal engineer by now?” Not necessarily! In this discussion, we’ll talk about how to measure your success against your own yardstick so you can build a career that’s uniquely yours.

DomainTools

Imposter syndrome affects everyone in the technology sphere, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, background, orientation, or experience. However, by understanding that it is often the unique way in which we view a situation or challenge that drives true value, we can recognize that it’s not always how much we know that determines our worth as a teammate or employee, but rather how we think.

Bloomberg

The importance of KTLO is widely understood as is the significance of innovation. Yet in any organization, it is tough to excel in both. In this talk, I’ll talk about BHIVE, Bloomberg Media’s innovation lab, which has led to some new products & features but more importantly helped establish a culture of rapid-prototyping & user-centric ideation without jeopardizing the quality, experience or stability of legacy products.

Disney Streaming Services

Disney+ made a big splash in the United States when it launched on November 12th and rose quickly to become a leading global streaming destination with subsequent launches in Australia, New Zealand, India, and most recently, Europe. Boasting over 54 million subscribers across the globe and serving as home for some of the world’s most beloved stories, Disney+ provides a consumer-friendly experience that’s easy-to-navigate with no ads, personalized recommendations, high-quality viewing, and unlimited downloads. This is your opportunity to learn directly from the women technologists behind Disney+.

Duolingo

Duolingo, with about 250 employees, runs 150-200 A/B tests at any given time. Karin Tsai, Director of Engineering at Duolingo, will share how Duolingo has built and scaled a healthy culture around iteration and experimentation and share insights into the tooling and processes that make it all work.

Panels

Applying Emotional Intelligence in the Workplace

Emotional intelligence (otherwise known as emotional quotient or EQ) is the ability to understand, use, and manage your own emotions in positive ways to relieve stress, communicate effectively, empathize with others, overcome challenges and defuse conflict. Technology’s fast-paced, team-based and global work environments call for strong and effective business relationships. Emotional Intelligence (EI) competencies are at the heart of effective workplace relationships and productivity and provide an integrated set of skills that support highly effective, innovative organizations. Learn from our panelists as they share how women in tech can achieve greater personal awareness, connect with others, manage stress, engage in healthy conflict and collaboration, and be more optimistic and resilient by using your Emotional Intelligence.

The Courage to Lead: Inner Dimensions of Culturally Conscious Leadership

Successful leaders today take an intentional approach to drawing connections between cultural dexterity and conscious leadership. Explore and learn the critical role diversity and inclusion plays in how you lead and build relationships and trust with peers, colleagues, and those you manage.

Applying Emotional Intelligence to the Tech Workplace

Emotional

Five Ways Tech is Changing the World in 2020

Over the years, technology has revolutionized our world and daily lives. Technology has created amazing tools and resources, putting useful information at our fingertips. The use of innovations like Artificial Intelligence, cloud computing, machine learning, predictive analytics, business intelligence tools, and applications are changing how we live and interact with the world. These innovations are results of our curiosity, creativity, and problem-solving techniques. Learn how our panelists are contributing to changing the world through their own efforts.

The Courage to Lead: Inner Dimensions of Culturally Conscious Leadership

Successful leaders today take an intentional approach to drawing connections between cultural dexterity and conscious leadership. Explore and learn the critical role diversity and inclusion plays in how you lead and build relationships and trust with peers, colleagues, and those you manage.

Guest Speakers

Jean Case

In her bestselling book, “Be Fearless,” Jean Case says, “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste.” As the world faces the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are all grappling with unprecedented challenges. But the urgency of the times also presents opportunities to lead, innovate and make a difference. Whether you’re an aspiring entrepreneur with a new idea to help those most affected by the crisis, a corporate leader allocating resources to provide relief to workforces and communities or someone aiming to tackle a challenging problem amid the pandemic — join this keynote fireside conversation with Case Impact Network CEO Jean Case, the first female Chairman of the National Geographic Society, to hear her share the stories of innovators and leaders through time and how they leveraged five research-based principles to bring about transformational change.

Amory Borromeo

The path to your professional growth might not always be clear but that shouldn’t prevent you from blazing your own trail. Many of us face this dilemma and can feel stuck or worse, leave a great company. We are torn with our responsibilities in the office and outside of work, be it community involvement, families, friends or something else. I’ve been fortunate to have suggested new titles and roles for myself in a number of companies, sometimes successfully and sometimes not. Learn how you can pave your own way to set yourself up for success and lots of professional development!

Marisella Bodrero

“In this discussion we will cover: Who do you need to become in order to make this shift happen? Understand what is required to execute this career change now How can you guarantee a job offer in 2020 using my pipeline method Defining your career future ”

SC Moatti

In our world, successful products are intuitive, seamless, and adaptable. We expect products to read our minds and perform what’s asked of them before we know what we want. The more connected we are, the more we expect from technology. The challenge is to channel innovation in a way that makes us better humans. With the ever-evolving technology industry and consumers, we need to stay on top of new rules for creating products that can be used by billions of people. In this talk, SC will lay out the three rules every product needs to be successful: the body rule, to create beautiful products; the spirit rule, to personalize products to a user’s mood and context; and the mind rule, to effectively adapt to the constantly evolving technology landscape.

Jennifer Xia

From remittance transfers to paying out wages, payments are the backbone of the financial world and in many ways, our lives. Yet the existing payments infrastructure is outdated, slow, and expensive—it hasn’t been updated for 40 years. Jennifer Xia and her team at Ripple are tackling the challenge by harnessing blockchain technology and its potential to make payments instant, seamless, certain, and cost effective. In this session, Jen will dissect the anatomy of a payment, how she’s using data science to bring finance to the future, and her journey impacting tech.

Sree Menon

Growing into a leadership role requires you to evolve your personal and professional skill sets, and usually a little extra work for women. But how and when do you learn leadership essentials in an executive role? Sree Menon, COO of Tophatter has decades of experience leading teams at GE, Dell, and eBay, but she started her career as a young woman in India who knew she wanted a different path than her peers. In this webinar, she will unpack how to lead well in both large and small organizations, including tips on managing cultural differences, leading multi-generational or multi-gender teams, and building team morale. Sree will take a deep dive into the key aspects of becoming an effective leader and claiming your c-suite title.

Carey Jenkins

Technologists are in an unprecedented position to create experiences that impact how society interacts with every facet of our world. How can we create meaningful products that improve our lives and are worthy of our attention? Carey will share her perspective on how the intersection of ethics and technology leads to the development of more compelling products and more conscious innovation cultures. She’ll unpack how technologists have not just a responsibility, but a mission, to design and build more intentionally with creativity, diversity and the purpose to foster a more positive world.

Anneka Gupta

In an industry where job hopping in order to move up the ladder is the norm, Anneka climbed to the c-suite in less than 10 years, all while working at a single company. She can relay her career journey in tech and how it progressed from a software engineer right out of college to a President at LiveRamp. Ultimately Anneka’s passion for advocating inclusion in tech has led her to join the board of the Women’s Global Leadership Initiative, which inspires and trains women around the globe to become successful leaders in their communities, workplaces and associations. Anneka can also speak to why investing in women is crucial to the economy, why tech needs more women in positions of leadership, and the actions women can take to establish themselves as trusted leaders, no matter their role or company.