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June 17, 2016
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My Summer At Hortonworks – Part 2: WiBD Be Assertive. Be Innovative. Take Risks.

Hadoop Summit San Jose (#HS16SJ), is rapidly approaching and is less than 2 weeks away! The Hortonworks office is perfecting every detail of Summit, from keynotes to special events.  One particular event that I am eager to attend at Summit is the Women in Big Data (WiBD) Lunch and Panel. On Tuesday, June 28th from 1-2pm on the lower level of the San Jose Convention Center, Hortonworks will be serving up much more than lunch! The WiBD event hosted on the first day of #HS16SJ features a forum  with panelists from Intel, Pivotal, Interana and Hortonworks to discuss women’s role in the technology field. Hortonworks Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), Ingrid Burton will be moderating, and I’m really excited to see what insights she has on the subject.

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Ingrid has more than 25 years of marketing experience, she has a BA in Math with a concentration in Computer Science from San Jose State University.  Throughout her 25 years, Ingrid has made her way through companies including SAP, Silver Spring Networks and Plantronics. At Hortonworks, Ingrid oversees the entire marketing organization – technical marketing, product marketing, partner marketing, communications, the Hortonworks community, and customer marketing.

To prep for the upcoming forum, I thought of 5 questions that other young women in the technology field may have for Ingrid.  I was able to sit down with her earlier today to discuss different roles women have in the technology field.

Over your career what progress has been made for women in the technology field?

“Not enough” Ingrid says.  In the 30+ years of her career, she feels as if we keep having the same conversation about women in technology…there should be more.  When she graduated college there were many more women graduating with a degree in something related to technology, but things have changed since then.  “It’s hard, because I’m not sure how we should solve for this.”

 How did you know you wanted to dive into Big Data?

While pursuing a math at San Jose State University, Ingrid thought she was going to be a math teacher.  Never did she think she was going to work in Big Data.  “I stumbled upon everything in my career!”  It all started with software engineering and then product marketing, which has lead her to where she is today.  “I love technology, I love marketing technology.” When she saw that Hortonworks was transforming the technology industry with open source data, she knew she wanted to be apart of it.

Why should women join this field?

“I think we need diversity everywhere, we need different viewpoints: big data is about all data and all data is diverse.” She believes, we need diverse minds working on data; we need the whole spectrum of people working to solve problems.  If we can achieve this, she says, “we should be able to cure diseases.”  Ingrid is certain that with the power of data and the diversity of people we are trying to achieve working together, we are nothing short of achieving greatness.

What is your #1 tip for women trying to break into tech?

Ingrid is a firm believer in teaching young children about technology.  Starting children in math and sciences, teaching them code is all part of diversity in the technology field. Later in life, when they are in college and it seems difficult, don’t give up.  She wants people to get excited about it – about technology in particular.

 What are your hopes for WiBD in the next 5 years?

Our hope is that women leave a bigger footprint in all areas of technology.  We hope that we will create new startups and change the game of Fortune 500 companies.  To direct the course of technology and infiltrate every part of a company is what we are striving for.  The application for data is limitless . We [women] have the passion to do anything. The hope is to see that passion in everything we do.  “Be assertive.  Be innovative.  Take risks.”

Please join CMO, Ingrid Burton and Hortonworks on Tuesday June 28th from 1-2 in the lower level of the San Jose Convention Center for Women in Big Data lunch. 


Exhibiting panelists include:

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Ashutosh Jha says:

I am sure that will be awesome. Looking forward for more info on that.


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