Taking risks, being courageous, and stepping out of the comfort zone are bold, yet a regular practice for GHC20 general Co-Chair Vidya Srinivasan.
Raised in a family of tech professionals, Vidya gained interest and set her sights on a path for her own technical career. Today, she has already developed a breadth of work that has led to impactful advances in the field, filing 21 patents for her work at Microsoft, alone.
One of the many highlights in her portfolio is the Ability Eye Gaze project, which initially began as a Microsoft Hackathon in 2014. She and a team of volunteers built a wheelchair that could be controlled by the user’s eyes. Out of thousands of participants, Vidya’s team won, and their project was used for cutting edge products from Microsoft.
With talents and aspirations beyond her nine to five, she created ways to integrate her worlds. Vidya has been highlighted and celebrated by Microsoft and on other various platforms for defining her own unique path to create a multidimensional career. Arriving at her many career successes meant placing one foot in front of the other and moving beyond doubt or hesitation.
“You have to design your own template for success and it may be quite different from your friends and colleagues.”
The start of her tech career was also the birth of her partnership with AnitaB.org. It was eight years ago when she attended her first GHC and volunteered as a note taker. The following year she was invited to serve as a co-chair for the Open Source Day (OSD) planning committee.
“It is an absolute honor to have an organization like AnitaB.org look to me as a thought partner in the world’s largest conference for women technologists.”
Vidya’s contributions to GHC span serving on committees to speaking on the main stage.