Interview: Rachna Srivastava – Geek Woman Speaker

Rachna SrivastavaRachna Srivastava is a passionate speaker. Her goal is to inspire and empower girls, women and other underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering and math. Her vision is of a global program that nurtures and encourages technical and mathematical skills in women and other minority groups. Rachna is a software developer with 15 years experience in software analysis, design, development and implementation. Her educational background includes a Masters in Business Administration in Finance (MBA), Masters in Science in Statistics (MS) and Project Management Professional (PMP) certification. She is currently a Software Engineer at HP working with development teams in a complex, globally-dispersed environment. Before joining HP in 2010 she worked as a Software Engineer at IBM for nearly nine years.

Women in Information Technology

Rachna asks, “Did you know that in the next decade, the national demand for scientists and engineers is expected to increase four times that of all other occupations? But where are women? The population of women in information technology has dropped from 40% of the workforce in 1986 to only 20% now and the number is still dropping.”

The importance of inclusion and diversity

Rachna lists three reasons why we should care about having women leaders in technology:

  1. A recent study done at MIT shows that a well-managed diverse group produces more innovative solution to problems than homogeneous groups. Why is so? We know that to create innovation we have to have diversity of thoughts and in order to have diverse thoughts we need to have diverse set of people bringing these ideas.
  2. Women tend to be emphatic and empathy creates a more complete picture of issues, which contributes to changing consumer behavior. This understanding is critical to both product development and product marketing.
  3. Women are good collaborators, they are more likely to ask for advice and consider other peoples opinion. They encourage employees participation, and when employees participate they feel powerful and important and get them excited about their work. This is good not only for employees but also for the organization.

You can read more on this and other topics on her Geek Woman Speaker blog.

Pro-Track Profile

I met with Rachna and asked her about her background and the initial steps she is taking on her journey to get the word out about her important message. To hear what she told me, and her impressions of the National Speakers Association Pro-Track class that she is part of, click on the podcast icon below.

2 Comments so far
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I agree with Rachna we do need a diverse work force. Every one thinks different and having a diverse thinking gives you more views to make a good decision.

We need more women leaders in technology. Rachna Srivastava is very intelligent and has the passion.

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