Plenary Panel Topics

WE Local India plenary panels will be lively discussions featuring influential women in engineering and technology sharing best practices on everything from advancement in the workplace to work-life balance

Breaking Boundaries

“Breaking Boundaries” is rooted in the notion that all women engineers, young and old, veterans, those in the early stages of their career, and engineers still pursuing their collegiate degree, are breaking boundaries both personally and for women across the globe. To illustrate the power of this topic, we’ll hear from a distinguished panel of women who have blazed a trail within engineering and broken a few boundaries during their career.


  • Shalawn Jackson, Subsurface Manager, ExxonMobil Bengaluru Technology Center
  • Supriya Jha, Global Head of Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging at Nasdaq
  • Suchitra Rajendra, Vice President & Chief Human Resources Officer, PepsiCo India Region at PepsiCo
  • Suma N, Director – Innovation Leader – Performance Materials & Technology at Honeywell
  • Brian McMurray, Vice President of Engineering and Operations at General Motors Technical Center India

Dōmo arigatō, Mr. Roboto: The Benefits (and Challenges) of Cognitive Technologies

Artificial intelligence (AI) and the use of cognitive technology continues to be a hot topic and will likely be so for years to come. A recent global survey of CEOs by Deloitte showed that 75% respondents believe that AI will substantially transform their companies within the next three years. The survey notes that the greatest challenge identified by these CEOs is the difficulty with integrating cognitive projects with existing processes and systems. Moreover, there continues to be a challenge for organizations when considering the ethics of these new cognitive technologies making decisions on behalf of humans. Our panelists will be asked about the current and future state of artificial intelligence and how it will augment, support, drive, and challenge human intelligence and existing economic models.


  • Seema Chopra, Global Technical Leader at Boeing India
  • Venkatesh Ramachandra, Global Director of Aerospace Tools Technology at Honeywell
  • Sumathi Chutkay, Senior Engineering Manager at Medtronic
  • Amey Divekar, AI Solutions Architect at John Deere

Start Me Up

How do we incubate and encourage more women entrepreneurs? There is a perpetual dearth of women starting their own companies and numbers seemingly never improve. This panel will consider strategies for how to encourage more women to start their own businesses in engineering and technology while also providing insight on on the role of venture capital, large corporations and universities to incubate and support the launch of start-ups by women entrepreneurs. Our panelists will share their stories and discuss the trials and ultimately the successes of launching new business and organizational initiatives.


  • Jamuna Ravi, General Manager, Upstream Business Delivery Lead in IT at Shell
  • Sudeshna Adak, CEO & Director, OmiX Research and Diagnostics Laboratory
  • Mousami Kapoor, Founder & CEO, Continual Engine