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Pledge 1
Community Manager
Community Manager

Pledge 1%'s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are paving the way for the next generation. While our featured leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, they are united in their efforts to promote equality for all women in the workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their journey to success, as well as lessons they’ve learned along the way. 


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Neeti Mehta Shukla 

Co-founder & Social Impact Officer, Automation Anywhere

San Jose, CA, USA


What is your current role? Briefly describe in 1-2 sentences.


I am a co-founder at Automation Anywhere and a category creator for the robotic process automation industry. I currently lead our Tech for Good efforts in a dedicated Social Impact Office in three focused areas: empowering non-profits with the advantages of automation for better productivity, technology upskilling and reskilling for marginalized socio-economic groups with little opportunity to learn a “future of work” technology; community investment through volunteer hours and funding. I head uplift efforts for the women in our company.


This year's International Women's Day theme is "Embrace Equity." What does this mean to you? How can we build workplaces that are more equitable and inclusive?


Much of what we do as a company, whether it’s our business side or our social impact side, is making RPA, a key AI-based business automation tool, and associated training and certification, equally accessible to everyone, regardless of where they are in the world or their socio-economic circumstances. The power of the kind of intelligent automation that people with no or little coding experience can use is that it levels the playing field for future job search.

95% of people will work with a bot in the not-so-distant future, so why not upskill now? Our efforts focus on those NGOs in economically challenged global regions who offer uplift to groups often excluded from opportunities to learn fast-developing technologies and skills essential for future income security.

Organizations and leaders should integrate key performance indicators to include strides made to become more inclusive, more equitable and more empathetic in all they do. The leadership team is also tasked with seeing how better to use this moment in time, where AI-based automation has developed, to work towards a more equitable society. We can help bridge the skills and individual wealth gaps that will be created by future technology jobs.

Our Women’s Empowerment Circle aims to support women in a very competitive, innovative and hypergrowth culture by providing support, exposure, development and learning to foster leadership and career growth, and unconscious bias awareness training to help our company embrace equity.


Do you have any mentors or role models who have helped you on your personal journey?


On the one hand, I certainly had mentors who supported and empowered me and stretched my abilities to take on challenges, which was so important. On the other hand, I wish I had additional role models who were more like me as I progressed into executive levels. Both circumstances definitely guided my personal journey.

Growing up in an entrepreneurial household in Chennai, India, I was surrounded by people who believed in me. My parents brought me up to believe I could do anything.

My husband Mihir—with whom I co-founded Automation Anywhere and work together with every day—is both my mentor and my hardest taskmaster. He can often spot the potential in me before I can. Let me share an anecdote. As both a tech-lover and a consumer-behavior expert, I enjoy creating unusual and compelling experiences for our customers. At a tech event once, Mihir looked at me and asked, “Wouldn’t it be great if we could have customers understand automation on the floor of an event within 20 minutes?” He knew I would accept the challenge and thrive at it. I created a curated use-case experience and a platform of delivery for prospects from any industry or any department–even for those with no degree or experience in coding—to get a taste of automation and its easy accessibility in 20 minutes. To date, it is one of the most unique and talked about in-person, digital experiences in our industry.

Earlier in my career, and even now, women leaders in executive positions or in the C-suite are uncommon. Men have a large selection of C-level executives to model themselves after or learn from, whether from a management, leadership, family or industry perspective. As a woman entrepreneur in the tech space, an immigrant and brown, and who wanted or had multiple children, it was hard to find a woman mentor in a similar position. There weren’t many I could look at and say, “I want to be just like her, because she’s just like me.”

I aspire to change this by empowering women professionals and colleagues and being a mentor myself. The more of us there are, the greater the chances a young girl somewhere will find inspiration and courage to be like one of us—and hopefully much more, to find a mentor she feels connected with, and knows she is not alone. Having said that, I have so many women, too many to name, who have helped me over the years—mentored, advised and motivated me—but most importantly gave me so much of their time and wisdom.


What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?


“Well-behaved women rarely make history.” - Eleanor Roosevelt


The past few years have brought many new and unprecedented challenges. What keeps you motivated or inspires you to stay optimistic?


What inspires me is we were able to help both our customers and social impact partners create extraordinary and innovative responses to the unexpected chaos in the last few years. What has emerged on the other side of these efforts is a re-imagined future that is much better for their businesses, their industry and the world than what they had several years ago. Some examples follow.

Automation Anywhere became the pandemic-era ally of the UK’s NHS with a breakthrough technology, the Oxygen Bot, that monitored oxygen flow to ventilators. Overburdened workers and hospitals of the NHS welcomed this technology as a frontline partner that not only helped them work faster and smarter during the pandemic but saved hundreds of lives and returned thousands of hours for higher level work. This first bot gave the NHS the courage to trial other automations across dozens of NHS entities the following year. By 2023, automations will repurpose 1 million hours to allow staff more time with patients, much less time on administration, and deliver even better care.

More recently, the nonprofit Center for Humanitarian Technology and Automation Anywhere built a bot that gives overburdened volunteers at Ukrainian agency Step with Hope more time for their highest priority—face-to-face human relief efforts with hundreds of people who have been forced to flee their homes due to violent conflict. Ensuring the completion, accuracy and speed of online relief request processing, the bot processed 17,500 requests for relief aid from 14,000+ Ukrainians in its first 10 weeks. The bot saved staff 400 hours of processing time in the first six weeks of its operation, allowing them that much more time to spend addressing the complex challenges of the displaced that only another human can help resolve.

What motivates me is knowing that there is so much more we can do and seeing the impact our technology can make for non-profits and society as a whole.


Pledge 1% helps companies of all sizes and stages leverage their assets for social good. Why do you think it's important that companies prioritize social impact? Do you have any specific stories or examples from your work or colleagues you can share?


We have always believed that social impact is core to our mission, strategy and creates external and internal value for our company. Most importantly it is the right thing to do.

It has always been a part of our sense of purpose and speaks to our external stakeholders (our customers and our governments for example) about how Automation Anywhere acts as a world citizen. Our Social Impact Office is only a year old (granted our social impact efforts extend back to our Day 1) but when I consider the communities and social impact partners we’ve touched and list what we’ve done beyond making money, it is powerful: Save lives; raise people’s standard of living (thereby boosting local economies); preserve community culture and family structure; find meaningful and gainful employment; break generational cycles of poverty and help others survive displacement in war zones. That list goes beyond showing good intentions and demonstrates that we have the vision and capabilities to face challenges both business and social impact-related and maintain strong performance in both.

Internally, we noticed an immediate uptick in positive employee feedback literally minutes after we announced our Volunteer Time Off program at the Company All Hands and since then, any time after we produce giveback events. Don’t we all want our employees to feel “satisfied” “humbled” “honored” and “blessed” after they volunteer?

Pledge 1% has been instrumental in driving both the intent and the blueprints to affect this change in organizations. When companies integrate social impact into their culture and way of doing business it is a win-win for all.

Shareable stories: Our impact work is intentional and focused on reskilling endeavors and increasing NGO productivity.

Here is an example of how we impact individuals. We launched an RPA curriculum at a PeopleShores Center of Excellence (COE) in Clarksdale, Mississippi, where more than one-third of the citizens live in poverty. PeopleShores is a Public Benefit Corporation (PBC) that brings tech reskilling and jobs to economically challenged U.S. communities. Clarksdale resident Sharlett Keaton says her life changed after she became certified in Automation Anywhere and was named the lead of the PeopleShores RPA team, overseeing bot development for local and national businesses clients. One of Sharlett’s bots helped the state of Mississippi file over 20,000 unemployment claims daily, keeping payments flowing to needy families during the pandemic. Our training “paid it forward” to Sharlett, who continues to advance her career in this field. Sharlett, in turn, has already made a huge impact, by helping thousands of people in her own community stay economically afloat during COVID.

And stories of our impact on a larger scale.

Take, an Intelligent Automation solutions and service provider with a skills development arm. With an aspirational goal to train a million African women in RPA skills, remotely trained 700 women from across South Africa, Kenya, and Nigeria in Automation Anywhere RPA. Post-training, more than 400 women quickly found new or better work, many as RPA developers at major banks or private companies​.

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) organization RuralShores hires and trains educated youth from impoverished farming backgrounds in rural Indian states. “40-45% of rural Indian youth migrate to large cities and spend all their earnings on living expenses while becoming disconnected from their families,” says Colonel Ravi Gupta, CEO, RuralShores. “So far, we have skilled more than 26,000 and employed 16,000 at their doorsteps in rural India, preserving the village ecosystem and prompting greater family savings. Automation technology is saving us from becoming obsolete.”

We and the NHS continue to share a deep commitment to care that the pandemic first inspired. Our Social Impact Office has recently spearheaded a joint whitepaper series with the Northampton General Hospital (NGH) NHS Trust Automation Accelerator Programme (the NHS hub for automation information and knowledge) to openly share the NHS’ automation journey with the world. The series is a blueprint for healthcare systems and public sectors planetwide, including those of less affluent nations, on how they can enter the 21st century in days rather than years, with intelligent automation. We focus specifically on the kinds of operations that will help hospitals and staff adapt to challenges faster and save more lives post-COVID.


If you could describe yourself in one word what would that be and why?


“Woman,” because I wear many hats: founder, impact officer, mom, sister, wife, leader, citizen, mentor and friend. I love all of them.


Do you have any unique or useful life hacks to help get through your day?


“Women can, must and will” and “Do it well and do it right.”


Do you have any go-to apps or tools use love to use?


I love Excel!!! Chocolate and Excel are some of the greatest inventions of human-kind!


What are you looking forward to this year? Are there any goals (personal or professional), activities, or experiences you are excited about?


Our work on big challenges has yielded notable impact in 2022. We are already working on our engagement with the World Economic Forum and scalability challenges for 2023. I’m excited about upcoming upskilling/reskilling programs for Ukrainian refugees and also one closer to home, for youth from East Palo Alto. We are working on many such partnerships, and I also hope to impact other large scale health systems like the NHS.

On a personal note, I missed traveling during the Pandemic and so hope to see more of the world in 2023. I hope to visit Tanzania for the first time this year.