Beena Ammanath: Breaking the Gender Barrier

Brooke Wall

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Gender gap. Man's world. Glass ceiling. We've heard these terms tossed around, but for women in tech and STEM professions, it's their daily life. Women still have not reached equal pay as men, and men are more than twice as likely to enter a STEM-related profession than women. Many women and men are hard at work to change the way women and minorities are viewed and treated in technology. They have created non-profit organizations to raise awareness and provide support.

Women like Beena Ammanath regularly make progress for future generations with innovative ideas and tenacity. Holding a master's degree in computer science and an MBA in finance, Beena dominated in many fields, and with over twenty years of experience, she is revered as a leading woman in technology.

In her time with GE, as executive director of data science products, she was named by Forbes in the Fortune 500 as one of eight top female analytic experts in 2016. Now as the VP of data, AI, and new tech at Hewlett Packard Enterprise, she puts her knowledge and skills to work, is changing technology, and with it, the world.

Beena is dedicated to women's advancements in stem fields; she speaks at women's conferences several times a year and serves on the board of ChickTech. ChickTech is a company dedicated to supporting women and girls in technology. They provide assistance at all stages from education to career, including the efforts to retain these women in the technology field.

In addition to ChickTech, she served on numerous boards in her efforts to encourage future generations of women in tech. She serves on the board at Cal Poly College of Engineering, a board made of leading industry professionals who make curriculum decisions that best help the graduates once they enter the field.

Beena has received awards and recognition multiple times for her efforts in technology, her mentorship, and her generosity, including her induction into the Hall of Fame in 2017 to recognize her efforts in technology. This year she spoke at the WITI Summit 2018, sharing her knowledge and experience with attendees.

She is the founder and CEO of the nonprofit company, Humans for AI, which is dedicated to AI advancements and AI accessibility for women and minorities. Their mission is simple: "Build a more diverse workforce for the future." They do this with their BOLD approach: Broaden the pipeline of minorities currently in tech careers, Open and inclusive community of people, Leverage AI to release a set of free products, and Demystify AI by providing a basic understanding of the concepts.

Professional women in STEM, like Beena, help us come closer to gender equality. Their dedication to helping others understand technology proves that women can hold their place in a career just as well as anyone.

Beena Ammanath is an award winning senior digital transformation leader with extensive global experience in Artificial Intelligence, big data, data science and IoT. Her knowledge spans across e-commerce, financial, marketing, telecom, retail, software products, and industrial domains with companies such as Hewlett Packard Enterprise, GE, Thomson Reuters, British Telecom, Bank of America, e*trade and a number of Silicon Valley startups. She is currently the Global Vice President for Big data, Artificial Intelligence and Innovation at HPE. Prior to that she was the Vice President of Innovation at GE. She is also the founder and CEO of nonprofit, Humans For AI Inc. She has co-authored the book "AI Transforming Business".

Beena has been honored several times for her contribution to tech and her philanthropic efforts, including the San Francisco Business Times' 2017 Most Influential Women in Bay Area , WITI's Women in Technology Hall of Fame , National Diversity Council's Top 50 Multicultural Leaders in Tech , CIO.com and Drexel University's Analytics 50 innovator, Forbes Top 8 Female Analytics Experts and Women Super Achiever Award from World Women's Leadership Congress. Beena thrives on envisioning and architecting how data, artificial intelligence and technology can make our world a better, easier place to live.

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