These changemakers are helming skill initiatives, path-breaking innovations and leading massive teams into the future.
Numerous surveys over the years have documented the underrepresentation of women in the tech industry as well as STEM-related fields. Representation matters and that is why it is essential to celebrate women leaders in powerful positions who, with their work and achievements, inspire other women to aspire to similar success in the tech industry. Here is our pick of a few such empowered change-makers who are showing by example that it is possible to shatter the glass ceiling and lead from the front even in industries that seem to be male-dominated.
1. Debjani Ghosh
In 2017, when Debjani became the President of the National Association of Software & Services Companies (NASSCOM), she made history. She became the fifth president and the first woman to lead NASSCOM in 30 years. A technology veteran, Debjani has always striven to use her experience and expertise to redefine human experience, promote equity and change lives. She was the brain behind the ‘Think Digital, Think India' idea which aimed to apply the country’s digital expertise to development initiatives. She has always been at the forefront of path-breaking ideas, be it researching a new hybrid system of Zero emission of electric airliners, exploring the power generation management of the next generation of HY4 aircrafts, lecturing on the subject of Power Electronics, or exploring green technologies and renewable, clean energy. In 2020, she was honored by Vogue as the Tech Leader of the year. She has also been listed among India's most powerful women in tech by Business Today.
2. Gitanjali Singh
Gitanjali works for Visionet BFSI, a leading IT company, headquartered in New Jersey, US with offices in Bangalore, Mumbai and Coimbatore in India. She is the Head of Strategy and Client Success and has been recognized as a 2021 Woman of Influence in the mortgage and housing industry by HousingWire, a leading US Magazine. As the Head of Strategy and Client Success, Gitanjali Singh was also responsible for developing a sales team in India to cater to the U.S. markets. Despite initial doubts over how an offshore team could successfully clinch deals, she built a team of executives passionate about revenue generation with aspirations to grow at a fast pace. She also designed a solid, failsafe system that helped her team to identify and bridge process gaps. This year alone, her team has accomplished a total sale of $19 Million with a growth of 111% versus last year. Gitanjali’s team in fact contributes almost 12% of the overall company revenues and is projected to contribute 20% by next year.
During the pandemic when job loss and employment despondency were setting in, she was instrumental in helping set up a free skill development program named 'Unnati for India’ to help underserved youth take up IT and ITeS opportunities. Her goal is to see that over 50000+ students are trained by 2025. Gitanjali’s march to success seems unstoppable.
3. Roshni Nadar
Roshni Nadar Malhotra is a billionaire, the chairperson of HCL Technologies and the first woman to lead a listed IT company in India. In 2020, she was ranked 55th on the Forbes World's 100 Most Powerful Women. She earned her MBA from the Kellogg School of Management and is not only known for running a massive conglomerate successfully but for powering various humanitarian initiatives including the setting up of The Habitats Trust that aims to protect India's natural habitats, indigenous species and sustainable ecosystems. For her work, she has won the 2014 NDTV Young Philanthropist of the Year award, the 2017 Vogue India Philanthropist of the Year award and counting. According to latest reports, under her leadership, HCL Technologies has continued to blaze new trails and is among the top 20 largest publicly-traded companies in India, with a market capitalization of Rs 3.76 lakh crore.
4. Deepa Madhavan
Deepa is the Director of Data Privacy, Product and Engineering at PayPal and is a firm believer in learning from failures, the power of correct timing, cultivating empathy, strategic thinking, diversity and inclusion at the workplace. She also vouches for leading with vision, mentoring and intentional goal setting. Her mantras have guided her to the very top and for more than two decades, she has successfully led product and engineering teams in the regulatory data and data warehousing space. She has not just underscored Data Privacy solutions for PayPal but has built a reputation globally as a regulatory expert. Her experience is vast and she has worked in telecom, technology and green energy sectors and be it machine learning, agile delivery, executive alignment or talent development, she is the woman who can manage complex issues without losing sight of the needs of the consumers.