Commentary & Perspective

#GHCI16 Daily Download: December 7, 2016

Produced by in partnership with the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM), GHCI is India’s largest gathering of women technologists. This year, more than 3,000 women gather to learn, exchange ideas and be inspired. Here’s what happened during GHCI 16 day one…

Inaugural Address:  Telle Whitney and Geetha Kannan

Telle Whitney at GHCI 16

We kicked off GHCI 16 with an inaugural address by Telle Whitney, President and CEO of, and Geetha Kannan, Managing Director of India. “India is at the forefront of technology,” Telle said, pointing out how more and more women are leading change in the tech field.

“At, we believe that women are crucial to building the technology that the world needs,” Geetha said. “Studies prove that gender-diverse teams are more innovative and more profitable. The inclusion and empowerment of women in technology at every level is crucial for sustainable innovation and growth.”

Keynote: Vanitha Narayanan

Vanitha Narayanan at the GHCI 16 KeynoteVanitha Narayanan, Managing Director of IBM India, expanded on Telle and Geetha’s talks in her keynote speech. Vanitha discussed how women are both adapting to and driving change in the tech world. Vanitha then brought on stage two female employees of IBM who dare to take risks, embrace change and transform society.

Here’s how you can drive change:

  • Women need to embrace change by stepping outside their comfort zones.
  • Always improve your skills–it’s essential to growth.
  • Constantly challenge yourself.
  • Innovate, create and move forward.

CXO Panel Discussion

CXO Panel at GHCI 16The conversation continued at the panel Leading in Times of Unprecedented Change where leaders in tech addressed digital technology’s capacity to bring diverse people together.

So how can companies succeed as digital tech becomes more prevalent? Companies should focus on digital security as well as building diverse teams. Diversity leads to the creation of new and innovative ideas, after all.

Here are the top takeaways from the panel:

  • The ability to unlearn is just as important as the the ability to learn.
  • Focusing on STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is important, but it must also incorporate arts to promote creative thinking.
  • Enterprises will need to embrace data as an asset.
  • The collaboration of a company’s CXO, CTO, and CIO will be key to success.

Looking forward to day two of #GHCI16!