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IWD 2023 – Innovation and technology for gender equality

March 8 / Global

This International Women’s Day we’re joining millions around the world to recognize the achievements and contributions of women, both past and present. Today and everyday, we’re committed to creating a workplace culture that empowers and supports women to achieve their full potential. Providing equal opportunities for growth and development, fostering an inclusive environment where all voices are heard, and advocating for policies that promote gender equality and address systemic barriers. 

This year, we’re joining the UN’s theme, DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality, asking members of our global Employee Resource Groups to share their paths to careers in tech and how you can break into tech too.

Shikha Bhat
Women at Uber, Asian at Uber
Software Engineering Intern | Bengaluru, India

“Women have paved their way into STEM in inspiring ways. Having seen the impact of the brilliant women in my life, I realized that it is crucial to bring more women into technology, to bring forward their perspectives, and make their voices heard.

The key idea is that a virtuous cycle can be created. More women in tech careers means more mentors, role models, and encouragement for young girls to get into the field.

So I took the initiative to create a Women in Technology platform on GitHub that encourages girls to pursue careers in tech. I built my own community online too and created a strong network of women to support, encourage and uplift one another. 

I was a project maintainer for my GitHub repository for Hacktoberfest 2020 and 2021. It was an amazing experience working with people from different countries, and I learned so much from these extremely talented contributors. I have met some wonderful people and learned a lot about leadership and taking initiative throughout this journey. I hope that I can inspire people and keep contributing to my community in meaningful ways!”

Abinaya Pitchai
Women at Uber
Manager, Engineering | Sunnyvale, United States

“I moved to the United States 11 years ago for graduate school from Southern India. Being an only child, I still remember my initial days of homesickness and the struggles of managing myself alone. In the midst of those thunderstorm days, my family’s support, not just my parents but my immediate circle of family members, were my energy boosters. One day, I took an oath to optimistically face the challenges ahead, and after that, I gradually saw myself growing strong. 

The US East Coast is my second home. The place where I studied, where I got my first job, and where I realized my life goals. The West Coast is my current home, and I am proud to say this is the home that made me a stronger person, career-wise and in personal life. Now, I’m a full time working mom with a busy toddler who keeps me on my toes all the time.

I have been part of Uber for almost 5 years and I am lucky to have great mentors. Their guidance and support has helped me step out of my comfort zone and drive my growth from an Engineer to Engineering Manager. With amazing engineering teams around me, I am enjoying the role everyday and of course with lots of new learnings each day!”   

Nefeli Papaioannou
Pride at Uber, Women at Uber
Greenlight Expert | Long Island, United States

“This is one of the first times in my life where I feel so abundant with my successes and accomplishments. I joined Uber last May, which marked my first full-time job out of academia, and have since been one of the top performers in my Greenlight Hub. When I reached six months, I applied and got accepted to work on a Gig for Uber Learning and Development on our Advertising team, which I am now participating in for six hours a week through the end of March. I have felt a strong sense of community since starting, and the welcoming atmosphere makes me strive to be my best, most authentic self!”

Shreya Metha
Women at Uber, Immigrants at Uber
Sourcer | Seattle, USA

“We walked the uncertain and unexpected roads. If you and I have anything in common – it’s nothing and everything!

The US is a dream country. Culture, work and exposure. Freedom, self-care and self-dependence. Immigrants in the USA will agree with it. When I landed here things were dreamy: new country, new life and also a husband. I wanted downtime and to stay home, as all through the years I had chased numbers, jobs, and promotions. I wanted to explore and envision what I really wanted this new life to look like. 

Surprise, surprise. None of that happened. Fast forward 7 years, getting an MBA, losing 2 jobs, being on 3 different visas and working at 5 different companies, I have realized I am and can be so much more than what I believe.

Life brings in all kinds of challenges for us, but you know what’s the best thing about it? The opportunity to build something all over again and to build upon. It took me time to take charge of my life, and that’s why I will say this. Don’t confuse speed bumps with dead ends. Don’t wait for someone to make decisions for your life. Take that class, prepare for that job, go to that meet-up, smile at that stranger. Give yourself the fortuity that life has showered you with.”

Daniela Rendón
Women at Uber, Pride at Uber
Senior Client Partner | Mexico City, Mexico

“I’m proud to be one of the founding members of our Advertising division at Uber (we officially launched in October last year). The advertising landscape in digital media can be a tough and competitive place, however, we have leveraged the power of Uber’s platform to create long-term partnerships with clients that have a positive impact on their businesses. Our team is growing, and we are creating the foundations for years to come, understanding our partners needs, launching big campaigns and bringing additional revenue for the brands. 

Belonging to a team that cares and fosters gender equality is the thing I’m most proud of, and every step we take towards that direction brings us closer to reducing the gender gap in the advertising world.”

Arundhati Gupta
Women at Uber, Able at Uber
Software Engineering | Hyderabad, India

“Though there have been many steps taken to achieve women’s empowerment by people, governments and organizations, we still witness issues like gender inequality. Even now, there are instances where a woman has to think before pursuing a career she is passionate about, or before being vocal about her own struggles.

Women can face many challenges–struggles with mental health and difficulties in pursuing their passions along with their day-to-day work–and I am no different. But I have always emerged stronger because of the firm faith in my capabilities and abilities. Despite all the challenges and adversities that I had to face, I never gave up and went on to pursue a career in tech as a Software Engineer at Uber. I’m also pursuing other passions, like leading an initiative to create awareness around mental health and spreading smiles by being there for people in need.

I believe it is not the gender that defines you or your capabilities. It is simply your beliefs, passions and your will power that empowers you to break the glass ceiling and be one of your kind!

So, a woman leader or a leader? What do you think?”

Nikita Gupta
Women at Uber
Senior Technical Sourcer | Seattle, United States

“From being a job seeker myself during COVID-19 in 2020, to landing a job at Uber, to helping 1,000+ job seekers land their dream jobs through my content, to building a community of 150K+ followers on social media, I have seen a lot and have emerged more powerful with each passing day. Coming from a non-traditional background, I have fought a lot to be here. Running to Singapore to get my higher education to escape marriage was a big step. 

With my eagerness to help job seekers everyday I landed my role here at Uber. Uber has helped me to grow not only in my career but also in my personal life where I helped with hiring 30+ engineers in the last one year. I have learned a lot.” 

Nadia Rassuli
Women at Uber, Immigrants at Uber
Senior Recruiter | Berlin, Germany

“As a daughter of Kurdish refugees who had to flee Iran in 1990, generational trauma had been instilled in me by default. Growing up in Germany, I had to deal with barriers–racism, discrimination, misogyny and poverty. My parents had dreams and hopes for themselves. Becoming doctors, teachers or lawyers. But the fight for freedom and equality in their own country forced them to sacrifice these aspirations. A good education and the opportunity to step into the Tech industry was not something that was handed to me on a shiny platter made of privileges. We had to fight and work for it with no generational wealth or belongings. While studying and interning, I went through an identity crisis, stuck between my family’s expectations and societal prejudices. On top of that, I was lacking a sense of belonging. I didn’t feel at home here and had no touchpoints to my parents’ former home. 

The barriers that I dealt with as a young marginalized woman and the fear of failing at everything and ending up homeless threatened to suffocate me. I ended up getting fired from my job and the fear of drowning in the big city of Berlin with no land in sight became real. Therapy was not something a daughter of immigrants had mental and physical access to. However, I tried to find my own type of outlet by journaling. While holding down a 9 to 5 job in Tech and fighting against patriarchal structures, I published my first book. In ‘Those who face death’, I worked through my traumas and fears, overcoming the identity crisis that had haunted me since childhood. Today, #DoingTheRightThing, #BuildingWithHeart and the beauty of not thinking alike is what I seek in my day to day and my job.”

Learn more about Women at Uber →