‘We Need To Create A Supportive Environment For Women In Tech’

Posted on September 28, 2016 in Sci-Tech

By YKA Staff:

Editor’s note: Meagen Eisenberg, the current CMO of MongoDB – an open source, document-oriented database. With a career that spans over various technology and management-related jobs, she has gained some valuable insight about women in technology, and how this largely male-dominated space can become more inclusive. In a quick interview with Youth Ki Awaaz, Meagen shares her thoughts on working in India and women in the tech space. 

What brings you to India, and what are your impressions of business and India, in general, here?

I spent about a month in India over a decade ago (Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore) when I worked at IBM in their software division. I absolutely loved the country, the visit and seeing my colleagues, and always hoped to return. MongoDB has an office in Gurgaon and we will be hiring a marketer to join the office soon. I was excited by the opportunity to speak at Webit.India after a great Webit conference in Istanbul last year and to visit our local team and office. I also feel that the customer journey in today’s digital world is more important than ever, and love that I will join the panel to discuss.

We’ve observed that MongoDB as a company, is keen to encourage more women in coding and technology. At the risk of sounding cliched, we’d like to understand why you believe there are fewer women in technology?

The statistics do show fewer women in technology with 30% tech workers being women and less in leadership positions. I am a strong supporter for women in technology – I recently joined Women 2.0 as a founding advisor to improve the stats. And as a mom of three girls, I want every opportunity available to them. As a supporter of Women 2.0, we believe more needs to be done in the area of hiring, founding, investing and leading. We want to educate and build skills in these areas.

What have been your experiences with gender stereotyping, along your own career journey?

I believe the opportunities exist for women, we need to go for them and support others going for them. We need to educate all and create a supportive environment. I was fortunate in that at Cisco Systems, where I was an IT Engineer, our VP of Manufacturing IT was a woman – Rebecca Jacoby (she eventually became the CIO for 10 years) and was an amazing role model for me as a woman. And supported me going back to get my MBA at Yale School of Management. As we support more women leaders, we will have more women role models and more women entering and staying in tech.

While your focus more on the tech companies, marketing can be used in so many contexts – social, political, et al. Any interesting trends you’ve observed for social good? 

I love all of the social good and work being done by our customers in healthcare – Nanopore Technologies, AstraZeneca and Genentech as examples. Nanopore Technologies powers real-time genetic analysis using Docker, MongoDB, and AWS. Earlier this year scientific journal Nature published a paper showing how Ebola researchers in Guinea were able to analyse genetic material in hours, rather than the weeks it had previously taken. This increased speed meant doctors could better understand the spread of the disease. Then quickly develop strategies to stop it.

And I love what Katie Stanton, CMO and ex-Twitter executive, is doing over at Color Genomics. The technology provides us with information and knowledge so that we can live healthier and longer lives.

Meagen Eisenberg will be a part of the Webit.India Summit. Webit is a global event series on digital innovation that enables business opportunities at global scale and ignites further the growth of the local ecosystems, inspires and empowers them and creates a platform for dialogue between policy makers, enterprise and entrepreneurs. Supported by the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology and The Ministry of External Affairs, the event will be held on September 29 in New Delhi.