Get ready to sit down with Vinita Ananth, a successful Group PM Manager within the Azure group at Microsoft. She talks about her experience transitioning into the tech space and shares some of the initiatives taking place at Microsoft to recruit and retain diverse talent.
Vinita recognizes the pool of strong diverse candidates is smaller than traditional pools, however, the talent does exist if you seek it out. She points out how Microsoft has started making job descriptions more inclusive by removing genderized language and promoting job postings at forums or events that attract diverse talent. Vinita is supportive of the push to remove CS degree requirements from software roles since industry needs are different than what is taught at universities. She earned her degree in Electrical Engineering but was able to learn programming concepts using her technical background and problem-solving skills. She volunteers to teach in a young entrepreneurial program and is amazed at how quickly high school students pick up new concepts. Similarly, she believes apprenticeship programs would be successful in the tech sector, especially when working with people that are already grounded in science and technology. In regards to retaining diverse talent, Vinita would advise companies to make the workplace more inclusive and build a sense of belonging for diverse talent. She highlights how Microsoft has adapted during the pandemic to help their employees. Additionally, Vinita encourages anyone who is supportive of a diverse workplace to become a visible advocate for DnI.
Vinita Ananth is an entrepreneur, and an accomplished leader in a spectrum of areas from global technology, technology-enabled business services, enterprise cloud, social media to analytics - with 20+ years of rich worldwide experience of living / working across the US, EMEA, and APAC. She is currently the leader of SAP, High-Performance Computing(HPC), Legacy(Mainframe, AiX, Legacy), and Azure VMware Solution(AVS) Customer Engineering at Microsoft Azure. Vinita holds a Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering from India, and an MBA in Marketing & Finance from Santa Clara University, California. In her personal time, she loves hiking, playing tennis; outside of work, the focus is her family.
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