The day began on an inspiring note with the President of Intel, India, Kumud Srinivasan’s keynote address. She emphasized on “Pushing the boundaries” and the need to have a specific career identity irrespective of age and family background. She ended her address with a request to make India, the World’s No.1 R&D destination.
The Day 2 of the conference saw the same size of crowd turn out even on the final day thus resonating the success of its first day.
Lavanya Gopalakrishnan of CISCO presented the keynote address for the day. The address was as vivacious as here and it dwelled on the things that she wished she knew when she was younger. The few things that she mentioned were highly relatable to all women in general. Making us realize the stereotypical mindset prevalent in our society.
The recorded video of felicitations of Dr.Supavadee Aramvith, R10 WIE Coordinator was played next and it was well received and appreciated by the audience.
Ms. Kamolika Peres – VP Consulting, Ericsson later spoke on ‘Breaking stereotypes around women in Technology’, which served to be an eye opener and raised serious questions in our minds. She also provided certain alternatives as solutions.
This was followed by enterprising speakers, Rajashree Thandy of Capgemini, Dr.Renu Khanna of Tech Mahindra and Dr.Saundarya Rajesh President of AVTAR and FLEXI Careers. Their talk was very insightful on the hurdles faced by most women in their careers.
Later the conference was split into three separate tracks once again. The inspiration track was taken over by the IEEE Young Professionals.
Ekta Grover-Data Scientist, Bloomreach, started off the inspiration track. She emphasized on the importance of projecting oneself correctly before others and our responsibility in helping the ones behind us.
It was followed by a lively and informative Q&A session with Vibha Kagzi, an alumna of Harvard Business School. She gave numerous insiders’ tips and clarified the doubts regarding pursuing MBA abroad.
Then came the famous IEEE Larry.K.Wilson Awardee, Esther Ling, from Malaysia. In her session, she spoke out for all the soft spoken people such as her. She reminded us that equal opportunity should be given to all based on their knowledge and merit, and not on the loudness of their voice.
Finally came a huge source of inspiration in the form of Leena Bansal aka Miss Walking Shoes. She is the first Indian solo women traveller who self funded herself to go to 32 countries just to fulfil her passion. Her travel stories were full of surprises and positivity just like her own self. Age and gender did not deter her at all.
The conference ended with an inspiring success story of a storyteller and an entrepreneur Ms.Lakshmi Pratury, who overcame all the obstacles and debacles that life threw at her, with a strong conviction clinging onto good hope till the end. And that hope got her all that she dreamed of and even more.
Thus the IEEE WIE Leadership Summit was a great learning experience and an excellent opportunity to network and engage in one on one conversations, obtain expert advice, motivate oneself and get inspiration from ordinary people who went on to do extraordinary things. The conference was very interactive providing opportunities to clear our doubts and also put forth our point of view.
Overall it was a one of a kind conference that covered all the areas that are of concern to women engineers also providing suitable solutions along with alternatives to tackle them. The conference also provided a great deal of encouragement and motivation to work with zeal to excel as engineers and bring more and more glory and win laurels to all women.