Anshika Priyadarshee knows how to make anywhere feel like home. She grew up living in India, Kenya, and Canada before moving to New York for a job with Audible, where she now works as a Senior Software Engineering Manager.
"It's probably the longest I've spent in one place," says Anshika of the six years she's been living in the city and working from Audible's Newark headquarters. "It's been a nice way to get to know what is a pretty beautiful city."
Anshika started her career journey at Audible through their internship program, and she's long been an advocate of educational opportunities for women interested in engineering. At Audible, she participates in their Impact Group for Women in Tech and hosts field trips for organizations like Girls Who Code.
We sat down with Anshika to hear more about her work, why it's important for tech companies to reflect the diversity of their users, and how she works to make that possible.
Making tech for real people
As a software engineer, Anshika enjoys writing code that brings a new feature or product alive. But what she's come to love even more is the opportunity to see how her work impacts Audible users.
"A really big piece of fulfillment for me is seeing customer feedback," she says. "Recently, we launched a new type of product offering, something my team has been super involved in, and it was so exciting to go on Reddit and see the reactions of people who were really excited to use our product."
Anshika knows that in order to create products that work for everyone, tech workforces need to include people from different backgrounds and with different experiences. "Tech is influential. Depending on who's participating, it can shape how the future generations see things," she explains. "It's important to have that representation because if you don't, you have a whole segment of the population that gets left behind. You want to address the needs of each group," she says, highlighting how employee resource groups, called Impact Groups at Audible, such as Women in Tech, which she's a member of, as well as others like AudiblePRIDE, Unidos@Audible, Women@Audible, Moms@Audible, and the Black Employee Network provide vital perspective on Audible projects.
Bringing in the next generation
When Anshika first started her career, she had a preconception that computer science was something dry. "Once I got into it, I recognized there's actually so much more you can do with it. There's an element of creativity that wasn't necessarily conveyed," she says.
That's part of what inspired Anshika to get so involved with Audible Cares, her company's community giving efforts, and to lead specific projects through the Women in Tech Impact Group like field trips with Girls Who Code. "I'm hopefully changing the dialogue on what CS means to everyone else," she says.
As part of those community service initiatives, Anshika and other engineers at Audible mentor young women interested in tech, encourage their studies, provide advice, and give them a glimpse into different career paths. Anshika and her team participate in panels, where they talk about topics like building a spirit of resiliency, recognizing the power of failure, and building careers that work for them. "It's pretty impactful, especially meeting students who are a bit closer to making their decisions for which careers they want and being able to take part in their journey," says Anshika. They also host workshops for students to experience hands on code writing in a terminal while working from a set of prompts.
In pre-pandemic times, the field trips also included a tour of the Audible Studios where the magic happens. "It's pretty exciting for them to see how we actually go from book to voice experience," says Anshika, whose personal favorite listen is When Breath Becomes Air by Dr. Paul Kalanithi.
But despite the pandemic, Anshika continues to make connections with the next generation and encourage their dreams. "A different type of barrier has gone down because we don't need that physical presence, so it opens up the door for a lot of other people to participate," she says. She's hosted virtual workshops and partnered with college students as they consider careers in tech. "Ideally, [we'd] give everyone exposure to it," she says.
"Giving back is good for the future of tech," says Anshika, and it's also good for Audible as a company and its employee satisfaction and retention. She really appreciates how the opportunities she's had to participate in community involvement and community service have enhanced her career. "It's been a great way to meet people [at Audible] I wouldn't have normally connected with if I just stayed within the scope of my team," she says. "Whether it's meeting with principal engineers in Seattle to get their ideas on effective workshops or working with our executive sponsors to get input on our direction, it's been very impactful career-wise, and a different way of understanding how people learn and work at Audible."
Combining her engineering work with her community work has empowered Anshika to ensure that the future of tech is a diverse, representative, and inclusive one. If you're interested in doing the same, check out Audible's open roles here.
Below is an article originally written by Sarah Foulke at PowerToFly Partner Optoro, and published on June 14, 2018. Go to Optoro's page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
Not only do Optoro employees receive generous PTO, but we're also encouraged to take VTO (Volunteer Time Off)! We recognize that volunteer opportunities enrich and inspire the lives of our employees and as a company, we're tracking towards a goal of giving 1% of our time. This equates to 20 hours a year per employee.
We support many local and international organizations, including City Blossoms, a nonprofit dedicated to fostering healthy communities by developing creative, kid-driven green spaces. City Blossoms focuses on implementing urban gardens in low-income communities where children may not otherwise have access to green space. The organization works to teach healthy living habits, community development, environmental education, and artistic expression.
This week the Sales and Marketing teams traveled to Seaton Elementary School in Northwest DC to help City Blossoms clear out an overgrown garden.
We trimmed overgrown weeds and plants, cleared out trash, and helped build a garden. It was a great way to give back to our local community as well as bond as a team!
Want to join us? Check out our open positions!
This is the fifth year L3 Technologies has served as the lead sponsor of the annual Walk/Run/Roll 5K at I/ITSEC located in Orlando, Florida. The race benefits the I/ITSEC STEM Initiative and Camaraderie Foundation.
Are you interested in joining the team at such a charitable company?
If yes, then click here to see all available opportunities at L3, and don't forget to press 'Follow' to receive custom job matches, event invitations and more!
PAX Labs Celebrates Veterans Month With $100K Pledge To The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)
PAX Labs Partners with Veteran-Owned LEVEL Blends, Gold Leaf SF to Benefit the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)
Below is an article originally written by PowerToFly Partner PAX Labs, and published on November 11, 2018. Go to PAX Labs' page on PowerToFly to see their open positions and learn more.
PAX Labs, Inc., a leading consumer technology brand in cannabis, today announced a pledge supporting our nation's heroes, through a sponsorship commitment of $100,000 to the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).
Throughout the month of November, PAX will spotlight cannabis as a force for good, partnering with veteran-owned companies LEVEL Blends and Gold Seal SF, as well as the Cannabition Museum in Las Vegas, to support the veterans' community.
PAX is helping shape the conversation about cannabis as a positive resource for veterans -- showcasing the importance of programs that educate and provide resources for veterans and veteran-owned businesses. Advocating for greater accessibility to cannabis, creating jobs within the industry and supporting veteran-owned businesses are amongst the company's top priorities.
"We have tremendous respect for those who serve their country, and we acknowledge the responsibility we have to promote the happiness, economic success and overall well-being of our veterans." said Bharat Vasan, CEO, PAX. "We especially want to thank our partners, LEVEL Blends and Gold Seal SF, both veteran-owned businesses, for joining us and caring so deeply about this cause."
"Veterans have consistently and passionately communicated that cannabis helps them address a variety of issues," commented Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and Executive Director of IAVA. "Bringing the conversation about cannabis out of the shadows and getting veterans the access they deserve is vital. PAX has shown strong support for our mission, and we are thankful for their efforts. We look forward to continuing our work with PAX and to improving the dialogue with state and federal governments and get veterans the access they need to cannabis."
Pay It Forward
PAX, alongside partners LEVEL Blends and Gold Seal SF, is making a donation to IAVA through a limited-edition "Pay it Forward" pod release. These two veteran-owned-and-operated companies share in PAX's belief that veterans deserve better access to cannabis than is currently available to them. Paring LEVEL Blends' development of unique and rare cannabinoids to create custom cannabis experiences, Gold Leaf SF's boutique and locally-driven cultivator understanding, and PAX's advanced technology with temperature controls for the perfect vaporization experience and flavor profiles, the "Pay it Forward" pod will offer a 1:1 CBD/THC ratio formulated with the needs of the veterans' community in mind. The "Pay it Forward" pod retails at $40.00, with all proceeds benefiting IAVA, and is available wherever LEVEL Blends pods are sold.
PAX Labs Giving Tree at Cannabition Museum in Las Vegas
Consumers can also join PAX in supporting IAVA by pledging their donation via The Giving Tree at the Cannabition Museum in Las Vegas, which gives consumers an immersive experience into the world of cannabis through art and culture. To engage the cannabis community in a way that directly supports veterans, PAX is matching all Giving Tree donations during November.
November 8 IAVA Heroes Gala in New York City
Rounding out the program, PAX joined IAVA at the 12th Annual IAVA Heroes Gala, an event where cannabis and veteran issues were front and center. This kick-off event commenced a partnership that will drive awareness for cannabis and veteran education by developing resource programs, aiding in research surrounding cannabis as a viable source of relief for veterans, and advocating for policy change surrounding the availability of cannabis for veterans.