Nita Singh Kaushal is the Founder of Miss CEO, a company that offers world-class leadership education, mentorship, and career exploration opportunities to empower students and young women and inspire them to become great leaders. Since 2011, Miss CEO has trained thousands of children, young women, and professionals all over the world. Nita is also a Lecturer in the School of Engineering at Stanford University where she teaches undergraduate and graduate students how to develop leadership skills so they can make meaningful contributions in their careers.
Prior to Miss CEO, Nita held senior management roles at Yahoo! and Intel, served on the Stanford Women’s Community Center Advisory Board, as well as led Yahoo! Women in Tech, a 500+ member organization committed to attracting, developing and retaining more women in technical and executive positions. Nita graduated from Stanford University with a degree in Electrical Engineering and resides in the Bay Area with her husband and three boys.
WITH GROUPS CREATING PROGRAMS TO ENCOURAGE FEMALES TO CONSIDER STEM, WHAT IS THE BIGGEST BARRIER TO ENTRY THAT IS STILL PREVALENT TODAY?
Although there has been significant effort to attract more women to STEM, an astounding 56 percent of women in technology leave the industry within ten years largely due to an inhospitable work culture and lack of support. This is why I feel strongly about empowering young women with a leadership toolkit that helps them engage and contribute meaningfully in their fields as well as achieve long-term professional growth and satisfaction. Specifically, by teaching girls how to cultivate a proactive and authentic leadership style by leveraging their individual strengths, advocating for themselves, and establishing relationships with strategic sponsors, I am hopeful they will one day serve as change-makers and positively influence their overall industry.
WHAT OR WHO INSPIRES YOU?
I greatly admire Dr. Maria Klawe, President of Harvey Mudd College. I first met Maria while serving as Co-President of Yahoo! Women in Tech. She took the time to mentor and offer me invaluable advice at key decision points throughout my career. Not only is she an accomplished leader and computer scientist, Dr. Klawe has had a tremendous impact on increasing diversity in STEM and offers a refreshingly candid and thought-provoking voice to the movement.
WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT/ACCOMPLISHMENT?
I am most proud about living a life where I am able to channel my energy on the people, projects, and things that are most important to me: focusing on my family and health, utilizing Miss CEO as a vehicle to improve education and diversity in tech, and surrounding myself with people who uplift and inspire me.