We were there! Odessa at Grace Hopper India

December 06, 2018 | Meera N | Deepika M

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Associate Manager Meera Narayanapillai and Quality Engineer Deepika Mukundhan represented Odessa at the recent Grace Hopper Celebration India (#GHCI18) in Bangalore, Asia’s largest meeting of women in tech. The conference featured three full days of networking, professional development, and serious celebrity spotting. Follow along with them as they describe their experiences:

Attending GHCI18 was a dream come true. It was a conference about women, by women, for women. It provided a platform for women in technology to share their experiences and knowledge, and to be reminded that we have immense potential to shape our own futures, as well as those of our respective industries. From c-suite executives to recent college graduates, this was a diverse community of women across the technical industry. And there were so many great sessions! We’d like to share those that were most impactful to us:

Accelerate Your Career

'Take control of your career trajectory' was the message from this female executive panel. Shakambhari Thakur, R&D, Samsung discussed the importance of effective communication in our careers, emphasizing taking time to listen and process before responding. Chaya KN, Head of Customer Services, ANZ spoke about the role of matrix management in elevating one’s career in an organization. She underscored the need to think about your trajectory along multiple verticals, such as role and product. Finally, Viji Vennelakanti, Great Lakes Institute of Management discussed expanding your sphere of influence: the ability to influence other’s thoughts, ideas and actions without enforcing power. These insights provided interesting ways to think about growth and influence beyond traditional promotion cycles.

Thrive Like a Sports Legend

The next session drew analogies between winning in the sports and corporate worlds. Who could have been a better choice than Nisha Millet as the keynote speaker? Nisha is one of the top recognized names in Indian swimming, with a career spanning 15 years and more than 600 gold medals. Inviting us to seek her counsel on stress management, she passionately spoke about overcoming her fear of water and how she makes use of the psychological trainings to overcome stress during the competition. According to her, key attributes of success are time management, discipline, goal-setting, speaking up for yourself, and prioritizing health and fitness. Nisha succeeded in elevating our spirits and hammering in the point that there are no shortcuts to success.

You Impact your Outcome

Self-determination was the word from Renu Kotian, Talent Development Lead and Vandana Sharma, Site HR, Qualcomm in this session. Renu spoke about the role women need to take to determine their own futures, reinforcing the notion that empowerment comes with confidence in self. The speakers discussed the enablers and de-railers for women in any organization. Enablers are confidence, diverse perspectives, loyalty, commitment, organization, capabilities, and competencies. De-railers are self-doubt, invisibility, and fear. As women, we need to be the champions of our own futures.

Lessons Moving Forward

#GHCI18 provided so many opportunities to network and grow our professional careers as women in technology. As part of the delegation from Odessa, we wanted to ensure we brought back lessons for our female colleagues in technology. The top takeaways are:

  • • Remember that you have the power to control your career! You are worthy, smart, and confident enough to achieve whatever you put your mind to. Empowerment is critical to success.
  • • Success is not easy, fast, or simple—especially for women in technology. There is nothing magic or secret about success. It is about staying focused, driven, and motivated in the long-term to achieve your goals.
  • • There are empowering, brutally-honest conversations that can only take place in environments like #GHCI18 where women feel safe and respected. We hope that every woman can engage this way; within their organizations or collectively among friends.

Kudos to the #GHC18 team for organizing such an impactful conference! We learned so much and met so many new friends from across Asia’s technology sector. We are already looking forward to #GHCI19!