Celebrating Women and Innovation at Oracle

March 4, 2020 | 5 minute read
Kristen Lee
Marketing Analyst
Text Size 100%:

International Women’s Day is coming up this Sunday, and I can’t help but think of all the amazing women I’ve crossed paths with at Oracle since I joined in 2018. The theme this year is #EachForEqual, or the idea that our individual actions all play a role in building a gender-equal world. More people in the tech industry are looking at having women be #EachforEqual by supporting them as they work on projects that can help millions of people and have tangible, long-lasting impact.

While working in the emerging technologies space, I’ve been impressed by how women are leading and innovating across departments, from product management and product marketing to software development (some of these women have written for our blog!). They use their strengths as individuals to help customers grow their businesses using Oracle technologies. I’ve found a couple things that they share in common: a customer-centric focus, and a desire to learn, collaborate, and grow. They understand how their individual work contributes to the company and its customers as a whole.

Let’s look at some perspectives from some of my female colleagues.   


Always Learning, Always Growing, Always Collaborating

These women truly care about their customers: helping them address business challenges and meet urgent business needs. Emma Hitzke, senior product marketing director for emerging technologies, notes, “Sometimes, living and working in the Silicon Valley, we tend to think all companies are on the look-out for the next cutting-edge technologies. Talking with customers, we actually hear they are looking at first solving concrete business needs, and then at using the right technology to support their priorities.”  She believes that collaborative emerging technologies will help companies improve decision-making and work smarter. “A recent study shows companies are choosing SaaS and prebuilt applications with embedded technologies such as AI and machine learning to accelerate their digital transformation. I’m convinced that adopting innovation-as-a-service will help organizations get a competitive edge.”

These women also show an iterative approach to their work and a desire to grow. Miranda Nash, VP of product strategy for adaptive intelligent apps, credits her hunger for learning and taking risks with helping her lead the product management team for AI-embedded apps. “Growing up, I was driven to constant learning, taking risks to learn, fail and grow. Success in AI requires iterating, measuring success and failure, retraining algorithms and constantly improving the results of predictions over time,” she says. “The learning doesn't come for free, though. We think this is one of the most important things an enterprise AI vendor can do. At Oracle, we bear the tax to automate and accelerate the learning loop.”

To hear more insights from Miranda, check out the following video:

It turns out that success in AI is all too similar to success at work: You need to take an iterative approach. Women thrive in a work environment where they are free to learn, iterate, and take risks, where they can bring their full selves and not be afraid to voice their perspectives. McKinsey’s research emphasizes the importance of inclusiveness, with one of its pillars being openness, or feeling safe to express thoughts, ideas, and concerns. In their study, 42% of women chose not to pursue or accept a position because they thought the company was not an inclusive place to work. Research from a Clayman Institute for Gender Research fellow found that, when job descriptions emphasize learning opportunities for employees, women are more likely to apply for these jobs than when these job descriptions focus on inherent ability. 


Fostering Gender Diversity in the Emerging Tech Space

Oracle provides that iterative, growth-centered environment for women. It champions gender diversity; women’s unique perspectives are welcomed and appreciated.

Mary Hall, director of blockchain product marketing, appreciates the gender diversity in what has been known as a male-dominated space. One of the best parts of working in the Bay Area/Silicon Valley has been to opportunity to work on emerging technologies like Blockchain in a part of the world where much of the development is taking place,” she said. “Although this part of the tech community has often been stereotyped for having a ‘bro culture,’ I have found the environment in the Oracle Cloud Emerging Tech group extremely inclusive. Our group heads realize that in these areas, there is a skill shortage and the skills from all who are qualified are most welcome. This open atmosphere makes it a really exciting time to be a women in tech--especially working in Blockchain." 

Savita Raina, director of product marketing for oracle cloud, is excited to work at a place that both supports women leaders and is at the forefront of digital innovation. “Digitalization is challenging the foundation of every business and, at the same time, fueling opportunities of new growth. With data-driven technologies like artificial intelligence, blockchain, and IoT becoming pervasive, we are seeing more and more of our customers transforming their business environments leveraging the power and agility our cloud has to offer,” she says. “It is quite an exciting time for me personally, as a technologist and a woman business leader, to be at Oracle, which is at a center stage of bringing new cloud and emerging innovations to the forefront of its customers.”

Why is gender diversity important? Diversity, in all forms, allows the company to reach its full potential by having diverse perspectives behind the technology built. The numbers say so, too: Return on Equity in Fortune 500 companies was 53% higher when companies had at least three female directors, and innovation was 19% higher at companies with above-average diversity in their leadership teams, according to research by Boston Consulting Group.

“The full potential of technical innovations will be reached only if we have diversity of people building them, down to the algorithms and up to the corner office,” says Rachel Bennett, director of executive communications. “This is why Oracle is a leader. We have diversity, including gender diversity, throughout the organization, at every level, in every geography, and across function. Our diversity results in valuable business solutions for Oracle customers.”

At Oracle, women can share their perspectives, grow, and both teach and learn from their colleagues. Oracle Women’s Leadership (OWL) is a leadership and professional development program whose mission it is to develop, engage, and empower current and future women leaders to foster an inclusive and innovative workforce. The program hosts workshops, conferences, and networking events where all employees can develop their leadership skills and expand their professional networks. Check out this blog post to learn more about OWL.

I’m inspired by the women delivering innovation at Oracle. They value asking questions, collaborating with people from diverse backgrounds, and always learning. My female colleagues have helped me to be inquisitive at work, and to know that my perspectives as a woman matter.

With International Women’s Day coming up, take some time to think of the women that inspire you – whether it’s your colleagues, friends, or family – and remember that we are #EachforEqual.

Check out some posts on from this blog and the Oracle Blockchain Blog written by our amazing women authors:

New Research Shows How Artificial Intelligence Boosts Growth

Art in the Cloud: AI & Music

What Lies Ahead for Blockchain? Top Five Predictions for 2020

How to Build a Collaborative Data Science Environment

Autonomous: When Database Patch Lifecycle Management meets Machine Learning Model Lifecycle Management

To learn more about cutting-edge technologies like AI/ML, blockchain, and IoT, check out the Oracle Emerging Technologies page.


Kristen Lee

Marketing Analyst

Previous Post

Unlocking Fairness: A Trade-Off Revisited

Michael Wick | 3 min read

Next Post

Robust AI in Financial Services

Swetasudha Panda | 3 min read