Neha loves to work on technology that empowers users and uplifts the society. She possesses a strong sense of ownership and passion when it comes to her work. She thrives on collaboration, loves to mentor others, excels at communicating and empathizing with folks in different roles. She has successfully led and delivered multiple key projects. She is very passionate about software development and building products tailored towards amazing user experience. She is an advocate of diverse teams.
She was named Top 10 Women in Cloud for 2017. She loves to engage in public speaking and has presented at various conferences including Conference of Engineering Diversity 2017 at San Jose State University where she was a Keynote Speaker.
She is a hackday veteran. She mentors at Holbertron School and has started a blog, PiMothers, to share inspirational stories and experiences of Mothers in Tech and STEM fields. She loves to travel, read books, write poetry and experiment in kitchen.
With groups creating programs to encourage females to consider STEM, what is the biggest barrier to entry that is still prevalent today?
Awareness. There are a lot of programs with the purpose of bringing more women in STEM fields, however these programs are localized reach mostly within Silicon Valley or metropolitan cities. Parents and teachers in rural areas even in US are not aware of these programs.
Apart from general awareness, I think there is unconscious bias in society which penalizes women from growing to their full potential and achieving senior ranks. Sometimes, it's difficult for the women themselves to speak up and ask for that project or role where they can demonstrate their leadership skills. Other times, it's the unconscious bias of their boss or executive team (irrespective of their gender) which prevents the growth of a deserving female employee.
What or who inspires you?
My mother is my source of inspiration. My mother who is disabled, raised me literally single handedly in small town in North India. Since my father passed away when I was barely a year old baby, my mother had to take up a teaching job in order to make ends meet. She sacrificed all her wants and desires, to provide the best education for me. And throughout these struggles, she had optimistic attitude and kept calm. She is the strongest women that I know.
What is your proudest moment/accomplishment?
In the year of 2012, I participated in Yahoo Open Hackday, in Bangalore, India. As a team of four we hacked together a booksharing mobile app. I was a web developer at the time and it was the first time I had picked up mobile development. I had a lot of fun during the hackday - learning new skills. The team asked me to present the idea in front of the judges as well as on stage and that was exciting and scary at the same time. And then our team won the first prize!