Speaker Spotlight: Q&A with Rehana Nanji

Rehana Nanji | Programme Manager in London

Rehana Nanji speaks to us about her role in the technology sector and shares her thoughts on London’s Women of Silicon Roundabout Event, taking place 25-26th June 2019.

Rehana leads the London Engagement Team which provides London-based employees with access to learning and volunteering opportunities, as well as building out a sense of community, a place where people enjoy working and feel heard and valued. Rehana partners across all brands, levels, geographies and Business Resource Groups to drive culture change, working towards an inclusive and exceptional workplace for Expedians worldwide alongside Expedia’s Global Inclusion forum. Expedia Group is guided by a purpose that is inherently inclusive: to bring the world within reach. As the world’s travel platform, it’s extensive brand portfolio includes some of the world’s most trusted online travel brands.

Having partnered with Tech leads on the set-up of the latest Expedia Group engineering office in Amman (the first gender-balanced EG Tech office globally), Rehana enjoys traveling to different Expedia offices to learn about cultural differences across locations. As well as travel, dance is one of Rehana’s biggest passions and she has competed at 10 dance Latin and Ballroom National competitions.

Please tell us a little about yourself and how you got into the field of Engagement? 

Throughout my life, I have tried different types of career: from studying biochemistry to teaching Latin and Ballroom dancing, from being a Teaching Assistant in a Secondary school to Recruiting Occupational Therapists for the NHS.  Now I find myself at Expedia Group working in Engagement across Technology, Inclusion, Corporate Social Responsibility and Internal Communications.  Each of my experiences have been developing different skills in preparation for this role and I love what I do!  

What’s a typical day like for you? 

No two days are the same. The team run events across all the areas above which keeps us busy, we also run trainings and at the moment are gearing up for Pride month (June).  I usually have to context switch a lot which keeps things exciting (and somewhat confusing at times 🙂)

Who is your female tech inspiration? What have they done and why do they inspire you? 

Lori Hofmann is my manager and my inspiration.  Lori believes in Life Long Learning and is currently getting a PhD in Leadership and Change.  Lori continues to challenge me and help me improve in everything I do.

Are you working on anything exciting at the moment that you’d like to share with our readers? 

The Inclusion Learning Series is an example of a globally aligned and locally relevant programme being rolled out at Expedia.  It has had great success across many locations and in London we are working on engaging everyone across Expedia Group in conversations around Privilege, Identity and Inclusive Language.  Having an inclusive culture is important but you must bring all your employees on the journey with you.  We are excited to see where this will take us!

What is your Women of Silicon Roundabout talk about?

Chris and I will be talking through the journey of Inclusion at Expedia Group through Allyship.  The key stages to changing and creating an inclusive environment.  We hope the people at the conference will take away some simple actions to create positive change and an inclusive environment around them.   

What advice would you give to women who want to pursue a career in tech?

The phrase Women in Tech does not refer to just one or two professions anymore.  Technology is being woven into everything we do, embrace it and be proud of who you are and what you bring to the table.  Keep an open mind, keep learning and remember to take people with you on your journey.

You can catch Rehana’s speech at the Women of Silicon Roundabout event on Tuesday 25th June from 10 am – 10:30 am.