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Discussion Panel

Women Leaders in Tech: Shattering Ceilings and Scaling Cliffs

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall

Women Leaders in Tech: Shattering Ceilings and Scaling Cliffs

Women Leaders in Tech: Shattering Ceilings and Scaling Cliffs

A panel of women in senior leadership roles in the technology sector discuss their experiences in an industry that continues to be largely male-dominated.

What are the characteristics of a successful woman leader? Why is it essential to include women at the most critical decision-making levels? Why should men care?

Join us for this hour-long discussion followed by a networking reception.


  • Moderator:
    Pratima Rao Gluckman, Engineering leader, VMware; Author of Nevertheless She Persisted: True Stories of Women Leaders in Tech
  • Amanda Blevins, Senior Director and Chief Technologist, VMware
  • Lily Chang, Vice President, Strategic Transformation, VMware
  • Pam Kostka, CEO of a stealth-mode startup
  • Holly Liu, Co-Founder, Kabam, Visiting Partner, Y Combinator
  • Telle Whitney, Former President and CEO, Anita Borg Institute for Women in Computing



Pratima Rao Gluckman
Engineering Lead, Blockchain, VMware

Pratima Rao Gluckman knew she wanted to be an engineer from a young age. When she took her first programming class, she fell in love and began on her career path. She earned her master’s in computer science from the University of Texas at Arlington, master’s in chemistry, and bachelor’s in instrumentation engineering from BITS, Pilani, India. After a few years working in the industry as a software engineer, she made the decision to move into engineering management. Leadership came naturally to her, and currently, in her field of enterprise software, she is an engineering leader at VMware and manages a team of engineers.

Amanda Blevins
Sr. Director and Chief Technologist
Office of the CTO, VMware

Amanda Blevins leads multiple programs that connect customers and partners to reserch and development to drive business and technology success for all VMware customers and partners. She speaks across the world in customer briefings, industry events, and partner events and leads digital transformation across all industries. Amanda also focuses on driving solutions based on machine learning and other emerging technologies. She has been in the IT field for over 20 years holding roles such as infrastructure administrator, technical architect, enterprise architect, and transformation consultant. Her first role within VMware was senior sytems engineer in the field organization in 2010. Amanda became VMware’s first female principal systems engineer a few years later. As VMware’s first and only female chief technologist, she leverages her experience and network to increase awareness and action in STEM fields for girls and young women.

Lily Chang
VP, Strategic Transformation, and ​SVM-JV Project, VMware

Lily Chang was born and raised in Taiwan. After completing her undergraduate degree from the best university in Taiwan, her mother encouraged her to relocate to the United States. She attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison, graduating with a master’s degree in computer science. Lily started her career as a compiler/tools software developer. She soon moved into engineering leadership roles and has been vice president of engineering at several companies for various industry sectors (embedded systems/electronic design automation (EDA), semiconductors, cloud computing/virtualization). Lily has a strong commitment to helping women succeed in technology. At VMware, she launched four Women Who Code networks, in India, Bulgaria, and China (Beijing and Shanghai). Lily’s confidence and persistence in negotiating and affecting changes have been crucial strengths that contribute to her impressive success as a technology leader.

Pam Kostka
Former CEO, Loop

As a serial entrepreneur, Pam Kostka seeks her highs by working for start-ups. She launched her career with a Harvard MBA, and is now the CEO of a stealth-mode mobile start-up. Prior to that, she was the CEO of Bluebox Security, which she successfully sold. She likes to work in environments that test her limits, taking on complex problems and tenaciously working her way through them.

Holly Liu
Co-Founder, Kabam and Visiting Partner, Y Combinator

Holly Liu is the co-founder of Kabam, Inc., a billion dollar company that brought gaming hits such as Marvel: Contest of Champions, Fast and Furious 6: The Game, and The Hobbit: Kingdoms of Middle Earth. She led the design for Kabam’s award-winning flagship franchise “Kingdoms of Camelot” and was the founding mobile designer for the extension Kingdoms of Camelot: Battle for the North, which was the top grossing app on iOS in 2012. Most recently, Liu served as chief development officer, in charge of developing Kabam internationally through key relationships, starting with China. Prior to that she ran the company’s people organization, growing the employee number over 500% in 3 years. She has significant business strategy and product management expertise from tenures with AOL, Accenture, and Arthur Andersen. Liu holds a BA in communications and East Asian studies from UCLA and a master’s in information management and systems from the UC Berkeley School of Information. Holly received the Technology Entrepreneurship Abie Award at the 20107 Grace Hopper Celebration.

Telle Whitney
Former President and CEO, Anita Borg Institute for Women in Computing

Telle Whitney’s strongest role models have always been women, starting in her youth with astronaut Sally Ride. By happenstance in college, she discovered her affinity for programming, which provided the direction that has guided her from then on. In her early career as a technologist, her mentors and sponsors tended to be men. After meeting fellow computer science professional Anita Borg, her profession took an unexpected turn toward becoming a mentor herself, in a big way, to the many women in tech who have been touched by their creation of the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing and subsequently the Institute for Women in Technology. Telle’s success arose from her intensive pursuit, not just of science, but also of building the skills required to grow this nonprofit from a dream to a powerful and respected technology organization.

Last updated:

May 9, 2019