Women Back to Work - A Special Guest at the Evanta CIO Executive Summit

The purpose of Women Back to Work (WBW) is to create systemic pathways for the re-entry of women into the workplace. 

Last week, in line with our purpose, WBW took a group of returnees to the Evanta CIO Executive Summit at San Francisco. Evanta, a Gartner company, fosters leadership development and collaborative exchange among top C-level executives through their world-class leadership and networking events – CIO Executive Summit being one of them. 

Throughout the day, our returnees got an opportunity to network and a chance to hear and learn from the best tech leaders in the Industry. Our hope was for the returnees to walk away with valuable leads for jobs, informational meetings, and key connections that would help them get closer to finding and landing a great job. 


The event kicked off with Evanta introducing WBW as their partner for the Summit. Our founder, Sonu Ratra, introduced the WBW program and our returnees to the IT leadership in attendance.

The keynote was by Bill Burnett, Executive Designer, Design Program at Stanford University on “Designing Your Life”. Our returnees learned how to look at career and life planning through the lens of design. 

This amazing event was sprinkled with networking breaks after each session. The CIO’s and IT leadership had an opportunity to meet with the returnees and were extremely impressed with the quality/inter personal skills of the group.

The session by Dr. Jonathan Reichental, CIO for the City of Palo Alto, was titled The Fourth Industrial Revolution and was very thought-provoking. It provided a glimpse on what defines the upcoming fourth industrial revolution and how, within a few decades, much of the urbanized world will be transformed in terms of how we live, work, and play. 


The lunch session on Facts vs Myths in Technology Trends had an interesting format. Steve Comcast from CBS and Arvind KC from Palantir Technologies debated the facts and myths of machine learning technology trends with live audience voting. Brilliantly moderated by Uber’s CIO Shobhana Ahluwalia, this session helped our returnees identify skills that they need to be qualified for machine learning roles that will come in the next few years. 

Interestingly, our next event with Google is this Friday, Dec 14th and is aimed at helping our returnees do just that. Google is partnering with WBW on their Artificial Intelligence Residency Program. They have invited 25 WBW women returnees to their Mountain View campus for an overview of their program, to listen to current residents about their work, and to teach the returnees how best to apply. Click here to learn more and sign up. 

Coming back to the Evanta CIO Executive Summit, participating in this event was an incredible experience for our returnees. The CIOs rooted for them and spent time mentoring them. A big shout out to Matt Boyd and his team at Evanta for giving our returnees a chance to attend this event and for making it possible for them to come closer to realizing their goal of returning to work.