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This event happened a while ago, but I thought it was still topical enough to blog about since there aren’t many events that focus on women engineers. The Grace Hopper Conference is one, and the Society of Women Engineers’ annual conference, called WE Local, is another.
Cadence has always been a strong supporter of women’s learning, development and empowerment at the workplace. To that end, Cadence India sponsored the Society of Women Engineers’ WE Local conference that happened in Pune a few months ago. WE Local conferences are held in four locations – two in the US, one in India and one in Europe – and provide a platform for women engineers to network and learn from one another.
Yamini Kaur, Senior Principal Software Engineer in the Digital and Signoff Group, represented Cadence in an exciting plenary panel discussion with the catchy title, “Beyond Robots and Jetpacks: The Next Decade of Engineering”. The panel was moderated by Ria Ghosh from John Deere, who set the context by suggesting that a new IT reality is evolving which is reshaping what constitutes work and what skills we need, to be productive contributors to this future.
Following Ria were four panelists from Cadence, Microsoft, Eaton and Honeywell.
Yamini envisioned a future where robots will be so intelligent that they would learn from their mistakes and correct themselves. While that level of intelligence could make some jobs obsolete, she encouraged the audience to not look at it as a negative but rather as a call to embrace change and step up to take on new challenges, irrespective of what area of specialization one may have.
The other panelists spoke about advanced technology needing skilled manpower; the fact that demand for energy is going to drive the way products are developed; the need to learn about adjacencies to keep relevant in a technology-driven paradigm; and a future where technology would be used for even day-to-day tasks like cooking!
The audience really enjoyed this panel discussion, if the many questions were anything to go by. In fact, questions had to be taken off line as the time ran out.
Other talks at the conference included topics as varied as “Men as Diversity Partners: Being a Champion of Women in Engineering”, “Building Intrapreneurship Through Project Management” and “Tribal Leadership: Building Effective Teams and Organizations”.
There were 13 Cadence India employees who attended the event in Pune. This was not only a great networking opportunity, but also a good learning opportunity to better understand the challenges pertaining to women working in business and technology. I'm looking forward to the Grace Hopper Conference that is happening in Bangalore in November.