Grace Hopper Celebration 2017: What to Expect from Workday

Lynn Christensen, Workday's VP of product development, discusses what she looks forward to at the upcoming Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference. She also shares what women from Workday will be speaking on at Grace Hopper, ranging from practicing on-the-job mindfulness to speeding up software release cycles.

From October 4-6 in Orlando, Fla., I will join more than 18,000 attendees at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference, the world’s largest gathering of women technologists. This will be my first year attending Grace Hopper, and as I dig into the agenda I’m already blown away by the representation of women from different backgrounds, industries, and experience levels.

I’m also excited about Workday’s significant presence this year. We’re a Diamond-level sponsor and will have more than 130 employee attendees, six of whom will be speaking at the conference. Workday’s increased support of Grace Hopper underscores our commitments to women in technology as well as belonging and diversity.

We have an incredible group of women here at Workday who will be sharing their knowledge and providing useful advice

While at Grace Hopper, I hope to absorb as much information as I can around the advancements women are making and the challenges they face in technology roles. Gaining a deeper understanding will allow me to be a more effective mentor to other women here at Workday who are building their careers.

I’m also hoping to give back while there. For as long as I can remember, my passion has come from helping others reach their full potential—whether this was playing on a basketball team as a kid or leading a team of engineers. I find joy in identifying other people’s strengths and also where they need to improve, and collaborating with them on strategies for success. I’m very fortunate that I’ve been able to apply this passion in my current role leading product development at Workday, and I’m eager to share my knowledge through conversations with other women at the event.

In addition, we have an incredible group of women here at Workday who will be sharing their knowledge and providing useful advice on topics ranging from technology to personal development to well being in the workplace. Here’s a look at where to find some of my Workday colleagues at Grace Hopper:

Jetliners to Drones: Evolving the Release Deployment Model
Speaker: Rachna Mahajan, senior manager of release management at Workday, alongside representatives from Facebook, Google, and Salesforce.
When: Thursday, October 5 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. and 4:30-5:30 p.m. 
This panel will explore what companies must do to ensure software is released quickly, with an increasing scale of distributed target systems including computers, mobile platforms, and connected devices.

Skills That Women Need to Grow Beyond the Middle Management Quagmire
Speaker: Misha Rutman, director of software development engineering at Workday, alongside representatives from BigCommerce, Fanatics, Inc., Glassdoor, and LinkedIn.
When: Thursday, October 5 from 3:00-4:00 p.m. and 4:30-5:30 p.m.
This panel will discuss what core skills are the most crucial for women who choose to grow beyond middle management and advance in their careers.

Communicating, Promoting & Developing Yourself Professionally: A Peer’s How-To Guide
Speaker: Rucha Mukundan, software engineer at Workday.
When: Thursday, October 5 from 3:20-3:40 p.m. and 4:50-5:10 p.m.
In this session, Rucha will discuss key takeaways and lessons learned from her experience joining the technology workforce as a Millennial, and how young professionals can use this information to position themselves for success.

Getting the Glass to Half Full: Managing Your Moods in the Workplace
Speakers: Beth Budwig, senior manager of user experience at Workday; Mamta Suri, senior manager of software development at Workday; and Harika Adivikolanu, financials application developer at Workday.
When: Friday, October 6 from 12:00-1:00 p.m.
In this interactive workshop, attendees will practice mindfulness and learn how to apply techniques from Cognitive and Dialectical Behavior therapy to help manage stress, stay calm, and improve their mood.

Check out the full event schedule including dates, times, and locations for the above sessions here.

Supporting industry events like Grace Hopper is extremely important to us at Workday. It directly aligns with our culture—one that values different views and approaches—and our belief that employees should have the tools and resources they need to support the causes they care about most. Our employee speakers at Grace Hopper are a great example of that, by demonstrating their passion to help women advance in technology. Their sessions promise to be nothing short of inspiring, and I hope you have the chance to see them in action! And if you’re not attending the conference, be sure to follow the conference hashtag on Twitter here.

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