Recapping WomenConnect 2016 with WIT Bangalore

August 26, 2016

Our ongoing focus on improving the gender diversity of our employee​ base​ continues to ​​have meaningful impact, with​ gains in women's representation in ​both ​technical and leadership roles​ over the last several years​. The Women’s Initiative ​(WIN) ​within our Global Sales team and the Women in Technology initiative ​(WIT) ​within our Engineering and Product organizations have built a framework to ​successfully ​hire, retain, develop, and advance women.

As we celebrate Women’s Equality Day in the United States, LinkedIn is happy to announce that we’ve signed the White House Equal Pay Pledge. Throughout the world, we are committed to continuing to create diverse teams in an inclusive work environment where every person feels they truly belong​ and are paid fairly.

The WIT Forum at LinkedIn Bangalore was excited to host WomenConnect on Aug. 11, 2016. The event was attended by 31 women from organizations like Google, Microsoft, Walmart, Paypal, IBM Labs, Flipkart, InMobi, VMWare, and HortonWorks.  All of the attendees were senior women engineers in staff engineer/engineering manager roles in their respective organizations.  

Here’s a brief overview of the agenda for the evening:

  • There were two keynote presentations, by Akshay Kothari and Raghu Hiremaglur, respectively. While Akshay covered LinkedIn's India Product Strategy, Raghu talked about the active-active evolution of the LinkedIn tech stack, and the early design considerations that made this transition possible.  

  • These keynote sessions were followed by a Q&A with leaders (Akshay Kothari, Raghu Hiremaglur, Radha Shreenivas, Vijay Ramachandran (Sr. Staff in Bangalore & WIT Core member), Khushboo Taneja (Group Product Manager for Emerging Markets) and Rajalekshmy Ramaswamy (WIT Bangalore Lead). The audience had several questions about LinkedIn's India product strategy, data analytics at LinkedIn, and WIT plans for returning to the workforce (which is a WIT pillar of many peer product organizations in Bangalore).

  • After the Q&A, we had lightning tech talks by engineers from different teams (including our email platform, spam and content filtering, relevancy, and data analytics), each delivered by women engineers. We also had a discussion with the product management team in Bangalore, sharing the focus areas for LinkedIn India users.

The audience was so engaging that, at the end of the event, they started giving us suggestions on how we should be solving various product and technology issues at LinkedIn—that was the true state of the audience when the networking dinner started.

The following are few highlights enjoyed by the audience, because no other organizations have done similar things while hosting WIT events:

  • The event was held on our office campus, which enabled attendees to get a feel of the LinkedIn office in Bangalore.

  • The audience was happy that they got facetime with our Country Manager, Akshay, and Engineering Head, Raghu, along with our HR Leader, Radha Shreenivas. Their presence helped indicate how important empowering and enabling Women in Technology is for LinkedIn.  

  • LinkedIn provided home transport through pick-up and drop-off to the participants. The audience appreciated this and left the event with a takeaway—LinkedIn cares for the safety of women.

To follow this event, the WIT Core organization in the Bangalore office is planning a variety of activities to build on our momentum in the coming quarters. We are working on how to keep connections through community engagement, mentorship, a planned hackathon, invited tech talks by external speakers, and a planned leadership lunch. We are seeing a lot of interest in follow-up Women in Tech events, and we hope that these events will help us recruit more women engineers in the future.

Below are a few photos from WomenConnect 2016.

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Thank you to all of the participants and speakers who attended. We look forward to future events with more of Bangalore’s women technology leaders.