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On this weeks Women Talk Tech Podcast, we spoke to Rani Pendse who is a Senior Partner Development Manager at Microsoft Canada about the key to diversity. Rani is originally from India and began her career in science and research after attending the University of Sydney and The Michener Institute. Rani struggled with a lot of adversity geographically and challenges in having career changes from an industry vertical perspective. She slowly started to fall in love with tech when she realized it was just like science and she could make a huge impact.

Rani does a lot of work with start-ups, and start-ups are sometimes perceived to be the domain of young and mostly male environment. Throughout the podcast, Rani speaks about her observations around diversity in the start-up world and offers advice for start-ups.

Rani also offers listeners three key pieces of advice to “be your own hero”:

  1. Take action: There are days when we wish someone or something could magically make our troubles disappear. Instead of waiting for some hero to come along, we need to use adversity to motivate us into taking action. For example, once Rani was told she was too qualified for a junior role and won’t get the senior role because she was a female.
  2. Persevere: Know your yourself (strengths/weakness) and your champions/detractors. Trust that you have the power to learn from every outcome, take action, persevere and keep getting better. For example, “I take on new challenges because I know I will do everything I can to do a good job of it.”
  3. Do good: Choose to help others because it is the right thing to do and we all win when we work together. This also creates the network that will counter really big challenges. For example, “I mentor others, share knowledge and help where I can, even if there’s no return on investment.”

Don’t forget to check out the Women Talk Tech 2020 Action Plan Report to help develop a program in your organization to advance women in tech.

Available on iTunes, Spotify and Google Play Music.


Rani is a Partner Development Manager at Microsoft Canada, helping tech start-ups stay relevant and accelerate growth sustainably. From product marketing, product management to partnership development, Rani has garnered a myriad of experiences to look at challenges through different lenses. She is a graduate of the University of Sydney and can still be found with a book in her hand every day. You can follow Rani here on LinkedIn.