Sangeetha Rai

Financial management services and life insurance company Northwestern Mutual is taking a new approach to attract more women technologists.

In December, the company held its inaugural Women in Technology conference, which was done virtually due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The conference featured more than 50 speakers representing 25 companies, among them Hilton, Verizon Media, Hewlett-Packard Co., Major League Baseball and Capital One.

Over 96% of the speakers were women, including former boxer and fitness expert Laila Ali, the daughter of boxing great Muhammad Ali, “which is unique if you go to industry conferences,” said Sangeetha Rai, vice president of technology and customer success at Northwestern Mutual in Milwaukee.

Topics included leadership, career moves, cloud computing and using technology to improve humanity.

Company leaders are hoping the conference will help build a tech talent pipeline, not only for the company, but for metropolitan Milwaukee.

“The more we can connect our women in tech community in Milwaukee and beyond, and the greater awareness we can create about this awesome tech career opportunity, will help to build that talent pipeline,” Rai said.

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