Tesco Bengaluru Participates in Women-Only Hackathon

Vidya Laxman

Tesco Technology

The empowerment of women is always close to my heart and I never miss an opportunity to do my bit towards it. I am fascinated by the wonderful gender diversity at Tesco Bengaluru (at 36 %) and encourage my team to participate in various industry forums. As part of its company culture,Tesco Bengaluru supports women colleagues with an ecosystem that is supportive of their personal and career aspirations. Initiatives include women’s networking forums, women in business, an initiative to nurture entrepreneurship skills among women colleagues, interactions with senior women leaders across the company/industry, and crèche facilities for working parents. The focus has ensured that women’s representation is maintained across all the levels and the Tesco value of “Treat People How You Like To be Treated” sits at the heart of the business. 


I have been associated with the Anita Borg Institute from the time it was initiated in India five years ago – as a panellist, committee member, member of the advisory board, and this year as Co-Programme Chair.

One of the events we host every year, which sees a lot of participation and is very popular, is the Women-Only Hackathon. This year, there were about 14 teams from different companies such as Cisco, Dell, Microsoft, IBM, PayPal, and Intuit, of which 6 teams were from Tesco Bengaluru.


Themed ‘Tech for Good’, this hackathon was only for women professionals, and gave them an opportunity to interact with other women programmers, designers, and analysts to collaborate and build applications and solutions to people’s problems. The technology solutions ranged from developing a wearable device for women’s safety, to an application that would send alerts to women on their phones reminding them of vaccination schedulesThere were many other great ideas from Tesco Bengaluru’s women teams. 


It was a proud moment when I reached the venue as all my industry peers from Yahoo, AllScripts, and Cisco surrounded me and wanted to know where these talented women were hiding all these days! Everyone was impressed with our Tesco Bengaluru teams as our women colleagues truly lived the values; their unique and innovative ideas caught everyone’s attention.


None of this would not have happened without support from the Directors, most importantly, the support from the Head of Engineering and Technology. They were also as enthused as the teams. Though they were not present at the hackathon, I am sure they were there in spirit, checking on the progress!


This women-only hackathon is taking place across Chennai, Pune, Bangalore, and Hyderabad and the finals will conclude on 19th November. The leading business daily The Hindu Business Line has also covered this story.