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Taking Action During Women’s History Month: Elevating Women in Engineering

Elevating, overcoming adversity, connecting, and inspiring other women through a month-long series of events

June 07, 2023

A show of solidarity amongst Women in Engineering during Okta Vice President Engineering - Developer Experience Monica Bajaj’s[ #Iamremarkable]( session at the Auth0 product unit offsite in Cancun, Mexico during Women’s History Month 2023.

During Women's History Month at Okta, we focused on action over reflection. We wanted to commemorate the trailblazers who came before us, encourage those leading today, and make plans that will inspire and improve the lives of women in the future. We planned a month-long series of events with a different theme each week to bring all of us together on this journey. Our themes were Elevate, Adversity, Connect, and Inspire.

  • Week 1: Elevate: We focused on bringing visibility to the contributions we all make each day. We encouraged everyone to make a specific commitment to elevating themselves or other women, whether it was volunteering to mentor in RISE (Okta’s internal mentorship program), requesting a stretch assignment, speaking up, or bringing their own chair to the table. (For more on what I mean by “elevate,” please check out this LinkedIn post.)
  • Week 2: Adversity: We created a safe space for candid conversation and questions about the adversity our women leaders have faced in the past and the challenges we all face today via a panel discussion. We talked about specific ways to address and overcome these challenges while providing inspiration and encouragement to one another to change those things we see as wrong today.
  • Week 3: Connect: This year, we had the perfect opportunity to meet face-to-face for our first-ever in-person WinE (Women in Engineering) meeting. In addition to celebrating Women's History Month, we also had our first team-wide offsite since 2019. Over 400 Oktanauts attended, and it was a fantastic opportunity to build stronger relationships with colleagues while enjoying the beautiful beaches and soaking up the sun. Our theme was “ASSEMBLE”, which played an important role in fortifying our community, building deeper connections, and making our community of women stronger and more resilient than ever. During this week, I got to do an IAmRemarkable session with Women in Engineering focused on Women Empowerment and focus on our Word of Intent
  • Inspire week: Special guest speaker, Jhillika Kumar founder and CEO of Mentra and TEDx speaker for diversity and neuro-inclusion, joined us. Born from neurotypical and neurodivergent individuals looking to understand each other, Mentra uses AI to help recruiters bridge recruitment gaps. Jhillika shared her experiences and helped us reflect on how we can live our dreams, embrace the unknown, and shake things up.

Jhillika Kumar

Reflecting back on March, my favorite part was getting to meet everyone in person at the offsite, thus creating a sense of community and fostering a shared mission. I had an opportunity to lead the IAmRemarkable session in person, where we focused on self-promotion, empowerment, and inclusion. The stories were powerful, some touched my heart, and I was able to meet so many remarkable people. We also came together to carve the word of intention, where we were able to reflect on our purpose and make it actionable.

March was the kind of month that makes you pinch yourself to check if it was real. Together we got to energize & motivate, educate and align, and, most importantly, recognize and celebrate! And, of course, these connections and foundations are just a part of how we continue to build our incredible WinE community. I’m so excited for what's to come for the Customer Identity Cloud and feel proud that I get to work with so many amazing people every day who are true builders, collaborators, owners, and learners.

Curious about joining Okta or, in particular, Okta’s Customer Identity Cloud? Please reach out.

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