Experts Column

The technology industry is notorious for being rife with gender bias, even in today’s day and age. While the industry and top leadership positions are still dominated by men, yet women have progressively been making their way the top of the technology business. Despite the challenges that women face in managing their professional and family lives, the technology industry has experienced an upsurge in female leadership in recent years. Over time, women have fought the bias and carved out positions for themselves in the tech world. Women are slowly but steadily gaining traction in this industry, with a few notable figures leading the pack.

On National Technology Day, Woman Entrepreneurs India Magazine brings to you the top 11 Indian female technology pundits. These prolific women have defeated the age old bias and are successfully leading major tech firms.

Debjani Ghosh - President at NASSCOM

Debjani Ghosh is NASSCOM's (National Association of Software & Services Companies) first female president in 30 years. She believes that technology has the ability to enhance people's lives and livelihoods, and she is determined to put it to use. She was a driving force behind the creation of the "Think Digital, Think India" strategy, which aims to boost India's digital capabilities as a driver of equitable growth and development. She was the first female president of Intel India and the Manufacturers' Association for Information Technology.

Roshni Nadar – CEO at HCL Corporation

Roshni Nadar, one of the most powerful woman in tech is a legend. She currently serves as the CEO and Executive Director of HCL Corporation, as well as the Vice-Chairperson of HCL Technologies, a Trustee of the Shiv Nadar Foundation, and the Founder and Trustee of The Habitats Trust. She worked as a successful NEWS producer at Sky News in the United Kingdom before joining HCL. She is also the founder and chairperson of VidyaGyan, a rural Uttar Pradesh leadership institution for financially deprived but academically gifted children.

Neelam Dhawan - Independent Director at ICICI Bank

Neelam Dhawan has over 35 years of IT experience, having worked with companies such as HCL, IBM, Microsoft, and HP. She is currently the Independent Director of ICICI Bank. She spent 11 years as the managing director and leader of national organisations at Microsoft and then HP India. During her tenure at HP, she built the "Omen" series of gaming laptops, showcasing her intellect and problem-solving abilities as she evaluated the global fall in PC shipments. She has also served on Royal Philips' Global Supervisory Board since 2012, allowing her to apply her IT skills to the healthcare industry. Forbes, Fortune, and other publications have called her one of the most powerful women in business. 

Vanitha Narayana - Managing Director at IBM

Vanitha Narayana has spent a long time with IBM and is now the managing director of the IBM-Verizon alliance. From 2017 to 2018, she was the chairman of IBM India, the managing director of IBM India, and the regional general manager for India and South Asia. She was the driving force behind IBM's transformational initiatives and expansion in India. She has over 30 years of industry expertise and has contributed to the restructuring of several locations.

 Lakshya Sivaramakrishnan - Technical Program Manager at Google

Lakshya Sivaramakrishnan is a tech evangelist and programme manager at Google. She is also known for directing India's Women Techmakers programme, which provides women in technology with visibility, camaraderie, and skills. Lakshya is a technology enthusiast who wishes to see more female technologists in the Indian Developer Ecosystem. She is a data scientist with machine learning, Google Assistant, and Cloud Platform experience. She formerly worked as a data scientist at Cerner and as a software engineer at GE Healthcare.

Deepa Madhavan - Senior Director at PayPal 

Deepa Madhavan is a tech industry titan with a two-decade track record and a strong commitment to women's empowerment. She is currently in charge of PayPal's global data governance, regulatory organisation, and regulatory data function. She is also in charge of a global set of regulatory data solutions and has led the technical solution for PayPal's data privacy. Before joining PayPal, she worked for Deloitte, PennWell Corp, and Optimal Technologies.

Aruna Jayanthi - Managing Director at Capgemini

Aruna currently leads Capgemini's operations in Canada and Latin America. She is a member of the Capgemini Group Executive Committee and has held several global leadership positions with the company, including CEO of Capgemini India, CEO of Business Services, and Head of Asia-Pacific and Latin America. Aruna joined Capgemini in early 2000 and was a key member of the team in charge of developing and launching the company's offshore capabilities. Aruna is currently a member of the Compagnie Générale des Établissements Michelin SCA's supervisory board (Michelin Group). Her prior governance roles include Chairperson of the National Institute of Technology Calicut's Board of Governors, Independent Director of SBI Capital Markets; and Member of the NASSCOM Executive Council. In 2018, she was named a Knight of the Order of the Legion of Honour (Chevalier dans l'Ordre de la Légion d'Honneur) by the French government.

Pankajam Sridevi - Managing Director at Commonwealth Bank

Pankajam Sridevi is the Managing Director of Commonwealth Bank of Australia in India. She has over 32 years of diversified experience ranging from manufacturing to technology to banking. She has spearheaded the evangelism of RPA in business processes by delivering Master Classes and Floor Walks to assist other organisations in fast learning and adapting to it. She was also essential in introducing machine learning into critical processes such as sanctions screening, payments, etc, following Human Centered Design of processes. This has resulted in increased output productivity of 20–30% as well as improved customer service. Pankajam is passionate about workplace diversity and is eager to recruit women, people with disabilities, and LGBTI people. Pankajam has received numerous awards, including the BPM Achiever in Global India award for delivering business impact through technology transformation, the World HRD Congress Women Super Achiever Award for outstanding leadership, the NCPEDP Helen Keller Award for making a difference in communities, and the GISR Foundation Woman CEO of the Year Award in 2020.

Geetha Kannan - Managing Director at AnitaB.org

Geetha Kannan is a multi-talented entrepreneur who helped launch India's Women in IT movement. She is the Managing Director of AnitaB.Org India and an outspoken supporter of diversity and inclusion. With over 30 years of global knowledge encompassing business, technology, and people, her goal has always been to raise the bar, develop teamwork, and accomplish far-reaching effect. Geetha credits a large part of her success to education, opportunities, and a healthy work atmosphere, and she is determined to make this the norm for all women in computing. Geetha's aim is to provide high-quality, comprehensive, and easily accessible materials to assist women and their network allies in achieving greater technological equality.

Archana Vohra – Director of Global Business Group Scaled & SMB at Facebook

Archana is the Director of Global Business Group Scaled & SMB India and a member of the Meta Leadership Team, where she oversees growth/middle tier sales and SMB on Instagram, Facebook, and Whatsapp. Account management, business development, agency sales, and programme management are among her portfolio/teams. She is in charge of monetization for developing and mature clients across all business verticals. Archana is passionate about supporting entrepreneurship, assisting businesses in scaling and growing online, and leading India's digital transformation for Meta consumers.

Nivruti Rai - Country Head at Intel

Nivruti Rai, a well-known tech pundit, is bestowed with the Nari Shakti Puraskar on International Women's Day 2022 for her remarkable commitment to women's empowerment.   She is the Vice President of Intel Foundry Services as well as the Country Head of Intel India. She represents Intel India's product development activities in artificial intelligence (AI), 5G (fifth-generation cellular network technology), autonomous systems for SoC (system-on-a-chip), the Internet of Things (IoT), and cloud computing. She is the Vice President of Foundry Services, and she is in charge of IP design services and automotive verticals.