The Home Depot depends on technology associates. Whether they’re building innovative solutions to problems or laboring to expand business capabilities, their hard work is a big part of the company’s success.
A career in the field of technology remains out of reach for many. According to the Top Companies for Women Technologists 2021 report, women only represent 26.7% of the Tech Industry – a 2.1% drop since 2020. To support advancing diverse representation, the company has been partnering with Women Who Code (WWC) since 2018. This partnership supports women already in tech and creates accessible opportunities for diverse talent to explore and begin a career in technology.
For Shravani Yelakanti, a senior software engineer supporting Home Depot’s supply chain, having access to WWC allows her to connect with like-minded professionals. “I’ve been a software engineer for a little over five years now,” says Shravani. “I’ve had the opportunity to work on some fun projects, like developing interactive voice response applications and helping improve efficiency in the supply chain pipeline.”
Shravani recently attended the 2021 WWC Connect Conference after hearing about it from her manager. “As an underrepresented minority in the tech industry, it’s not every day that I’m in a room full of women with diverse backgrounds from all around the world,” she says. “Attending the WWC conference was refreshing. There were so many inspiring stories on how to reach high career goals and tackle things like imposter syndrome.”
Karen Reeves, a staff software engineer supporting The Home Depot’s Supply Chain, knew of WWC before joining The Home Depot. She became more involved with the organization through the company’s partnership.
Karen gave her own presentation at The Home Depot’s annual internal WWC Leadership Summit as a speaker during the lightning talks. She won the prize for best technical talk, which included the opportunity to talk at the WWC annual conference on Google Cloud’s Publisher/Subscriber service. “I have never presented at a conference before,” says Karen. “This was a good opportunity to get my feet wet.”
Phylena Houde is a technology enablement project manager who didn’t have a traditional career in technology. In fact, her current tech role is a recent promotion – one she attributes to a WWC event.
“In November 2020, I received an email about the second annual WWC Leadership Summit. We were asked to present a 90-second pitch to a group of surprise guests about our favorite technology to use at work,” says Phylena. “Imagine being surrounded by over 300 women who were actual coders, and I didn’t have a true tech background.”
Today, the same guests Phylena presented to at the WWC Leadership Summit are now the people she works with every day. “I had no idea that the WWC experience would help lead me to the most fulfilling career of my life.”