One of the Tech Women Celebration 50 - women changing the ratio of the tech workforce
Principal Product Owner at Discover Financial Services, Priyanka Naik is an engineer and passionate about the causes of gender diversity and neurodiversity in the workplace.
"I have ADHD and I am on the neurodiversity spectrum," says Priyanka. "I manage a team of 10 members and my work involves planning the work backlog for my team and prioritizing work based on various factors like business requirements, technology constraints, etc.
"Most people find it surprising that I excel at this role despite my ADHD - which interferes with my prioritization and decision making skills. Yet I do my work well, as I have spent years learning about what works for me and what doesn't and have put in a lot of effort to overcome my pre-dispositions."
That effort extends far outside company boundaries.
Priyanka has been mentoring young professionals, especially women, for several years now and has been associated with organisations like Plato HQ (USA), CFTE (UK), Knowledge officer (UK), Migrant Mentors (UK), ADPList (Global), Hult Prize IIT Bombay (India), NASSCOM (India) and Master's Union (India) for mentoring young female professionals. She advises young women on speaking up in meetings, overcoming imposter syndrome and breaking the proverbial glass ceiling.
In addition to her mentoring, Priyanka is an active DEI proponent in her company and has worked extensively on building true inclusivity for people from all backgrounds via various programs like Employees Resource Groups (ERGs) and the Discover Women in Tech (WiT) network and other groups. She also participated in several of her company's internal focus groups that helped shape neurodiversity inclusion policy.
Over the last year and outside of Discover, Prianka mentored several young professionals and startup founders from marginalized backgrounds (women and non-binary.) She also volunteered at a careers fair for disadvantaged students encouraging them to consider a career in technology, and at an event at the Science Museum encouraging young students to study STEM subjects.