What’s the key to real progress for women in Tech? Anu explains.

What’s the key to real progress for women in Tech? Anu explains.

Groupon’s Anu Gali, Director of Engineering & Silicon Valley Biz Journal “Women of Influence” honoree, says getting women interested in the Tech sector is only half the battle.

AnuI was recently honored at the the 2017 “Women of Influence” award ceremony organized by The Silicon Valley Business Journal. Each year the magazine recognizes local business women, community leaders, and philanthropists who have made a difference in their workplace and in the broader Silicon Valley Community. I was one of the honorees this year for a combination of Engineering leadership, entrepreneurship, and volunteer work for various STEM and Women’s Leadership Incubator programs. I am passionate about bringing more women into engineering. I started off working with middle and high school girls through organizations like Girls Who Code and Technovation Challenge.

While these were satisfying, I also realized that the women who get into technology often find it hard to grow into leadership positions without the benefit of good mentorship. I felt that enabling these women to succeed would have a multiplier effect in having them help other women while also acting as role models for girls who want to get into the field. So, I started mentoring career women through organizations such as Grace Hopper and TheClubSV which is an Incubator of Women Leaders. I believe these help me make a bigger impact in the amount of time I have.

The culture at Groupon—based on individual merit and equal opportunity to contribute and grow—is unique in the industry and I feel highly valued here. I cherish the strong, engineering-driven culture where I am able to take initiatives to influence the product direction while working with so many smart people. Women at Groupon as an employee resource group sponsors mentorship, talent development, and other programs geared towards career development. Groupon also sponsors Women Who Code and Grace Hopper through which the employees have access to external meetups, workshops and mentors. As a Director of Engineering, I am currently leading initiatives for voucherless redemption. This is an exciting project where we let customers buy a voucher, link it to their credit card, and enable them to utilize the voucher without any hassle. I strongly believe this will transform the user experience, enable them to use Groupon more often, and be a significant growth driver for our business.

Read more about women in Engineering at Groupon.

Groupon Culture & Inclusivity Brought Sarah Back

Groupon Culture & Inclusivity Brought Sarah Back

Name: Sarah Kim
Title: Software Development Engineer
Start date: July 2015

You were previously an intern here; how did your internship impact your decision to come back to Groupon as a full-time employee? 

I had such a great time at my internship on Pull in Chicago. I think the biggest influence was the people I met during my internship. As a new graduate, I knew I would be able to grow and learn as much as I could anywhere I went, but I wanted to work somewhere I felt comfortable among my coworkers. I also knew I wanted to be in the Bay Area to expose myself to as much tech as possible (and maybe for the weather :P), so I decided to relocate to the Palo Alto office.

Can you talk about your team and team culture?

Layout Service is a core platform team that supports all of Groupon’s front-end teams. When you go on Groupon.com, there’s a header, a footer, and the content is in the middle. We serve the header and the footer; other front-end teams serve the middle. We provide the bread for the Groupon sandwich, if you will. This means we interact with a lot of different people on a daily basis. To top it all off, due to how large our scale is, we support over 20 countries. It’s only fitting that with such a global impact, we have a global team. We have two developers in Palo Alto, CA; a QA in Denver, CO; a developer in Santiago, Chile; two developers in Berlin, Germany; and a project manager in Chicago. This provides for 8 a.m. meetings whenever all of us need to meet for those of us in Pacific time. It can surely be painful to get out of bed, but in the end working with Layout Service is worth it. Our team is expanding soon with another developer to join us in Palo Alto next year, raising our female:male ratio to exactly 50% once she joins.

Are there any notable differences between being an intern and a full-time employee? 

The biggest difference is the time. With 10 weeks during my internship, I only had so much time to learn about the code base and gain experience. However, as a full-time employee I started out doing similar things from my internship, but as I continued working I became more and more knowledgeable about our codebase and am slowly opening myself up to be a face of Layout Service. I feel confident in answering for the team when people aren’t available, and it’s definitely something I don’t think I could have done as an intern.

How have you grown professionally since working here? 

I’ve learned to become more confident in my work. I’ve struggled with impostor syndrome a lot, but the more time I spend on our codebase and our team, the more confident I become with myself as a developer. Also, because I’m on a platform team that interacts with so many other teams, I’ve learned to communicate effectively with so many different people.

As a woman in Computer Science, how do you feel as an employee here? 

I feel really safe working here at Groupon. I’ve heard many harsh comments doubting my skills as a developer throughout college years, and I have yet to hear like that here. For many women in computer science, impostor syndrome hits a lot harder due to many stigmas in the industry. I used this as an opportunity to buckle down and work harder; to show everyone that I am an effective developer. Here at Groupon, I’ve met so many other women in engineering (Hi Melody, Monica, and Jena!), and it’s so encouraging to be in such a safe environment that pushes so hard for equality.

Anything else? 

Outside of work, I enjoy dancing to K-Pop, listening to music, and binge watching TV shows. Oh! and I have a blog where I talk about a lot of things I mentioned here. 

Thanks for reading the People Blog—a blog about people at Groupon. Want to work with Sarah and her global team? Apply here!