A Tech VP Shares How She Found Her Voice

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Rina Thakker

Image Courtesy of WWE.


Rina Thakker has been at WWE for 14 years and is currently the VP of Technology Strategy and Operations at WWE. We recently spoke with her about how she ended up in a tech career and how she’s grown in her industry.  Early in Rina Thakker’s career and before her start at WWE, she struggled with the dynamic of frequently being the only woman in the room. But as she advanced, she found her voice by following her instincts and relying on her skills. 

Tell us a bit about your job.

I lead WWE’s Technology Strategy organization, which is responsible for managing our most strategic initiatives such as our mobile app development, replatforming our e-commerce site, etc., as well as introducing emerging technology at WWE.  This includes industry research, analyzing trends, companies, evaluating technologies and creating live proof of concepts.  I’ve been in this role for nearly three years.

What first got you interested in pursuing a career in tech? 

Growing up in Mumbai, India, engineering and sciences were always a focus in my community.  I grew up in a family where we had a number of engineers, so when I went to school, pursuing a degree in software engineering seemed like a natural fit. 

My first job out of school was with Avon as a database administrator, and I enjoyed the problem-solving that came with it. But it wasn’t until a little later in my career when I realized how impactful technology could be (if we let it) and how much I enjoyed the challenge of making that a reality. 

What projects or programs are you currently working on?

Like many organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic had an impact on WWE.  While it put some projects on-hold, it opened up other opportunities that I truly enjoyed being part of. 

I had the opportunity to partner with our TV production team to work on our award-winning virtual fan experience, WWE ThunderDome, which enabled nearly 1,000 fans to virtually attend our events.

We also launched our first live-event mobile app for WrestleMania, coinciding with our first live-event featuring fans in a limited capacity. The app provided ways for fans to purchase and access their tickets, pre-order merchandise and access the COVID-19 safety protocols and guidelines.  I’m proud of the speed and scale with which we were able to get that up and running within this very fluid and challenging environment and a very tight timeline. 

The most exciting part of my role is the creativity, the flexibility and innovation I am able to bring to my job every day. 

What’s been the biggest challenge or obstacle you’ve faced working as a woman in tech?

Early in my career, it was not uncommon for me to find myself in a Technology meeting where I was the only woman. I struggled with this dynamic at times and it took me a little while to get comfortable in my own skin and find my voice. Later in my career and as s I progressed into a leadership role at WWE,  it became about building the confidence in myself to follow my instinct and skills and remind myself that I was there because of the skills and expertise I brought to the table. 

Does your company provide any resources or programs to support women in your field?

I’m an active member of WWE’s Women’s Affinity Group, whose mission is to connect, support, and empower employees to achieve their personal and professional success.  . This group has been a great resource in my continued development and focus on fine-tuning my communication skills and ability to flex any muscle available to me. 

What is your favorite aspect of the culture at WWE?

The pace of innovation. We’re always looking for creative ways to bring smiles to our fans’ faces. 

What is the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve received?

Speak up and ask that question you’re not sure about (in the appropriate forum, of course!). If you’re thinking about it, chances are there are a few other people in that room or meeting with the same question but are hesitant to ask.

I cannot count how many times people have come up to me after a meeting and thanked me for asking that question because they didn't understand something. Sometimes questions lead to other questions that spark ideas no one had thought about.

What advice do you have for other women who are beginning a career in tech?

Read up! Budget 30 minutes in your daily life to read up about technology. It doesn't always have to be relevant to your specific career—it can be about data or web protocols or the newest service released by Amazon Web Services. The only way to stay current in technology is to keep up with the latest trends and advancements. Also, update your elevator pitch monthly with something new and exciting in the industry! 


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