Girls Who Code Expands Board of Directors with the addition of Procter & Gamble’s Javier Polit and Salesforce’s Leyla Seka
Javier Polit, Chief Information Officer at Procter & Gamble, and Leyla Seka, Former Executive Vice President at Salesforce join organization leading the effort to close the gender gap in tech
June 20, 2019 (New York, NY) — Girls Who Code, the international nonprofit organization working to close the gender gap in technology, today announced the appointment of Javier Polit and Leyla Seka to the organization’s U.S. Board of Directors. Polit is the Chief Information Officer at Procter & Gamble, and Seka was an Executive Vice President at Salesforce for 11 years.
“Both Javier and Leyla walk the walk when it comes to fighting for equality in tech, and will be invaluable to Girls Who Code in their new roles on our Board of Directors,” said founder and CEO Reshma Saujani. “During her remarkable 11-year tenure at Salesforce, Leyla championed a multi-million dollar initiative to achieve pay equity within the company. And Javier has spent a lifetime dedicated to creating opportunities and addressing issues affecting the Latinx community through political and social involvement. Our growing organization, and our girls, are fortunate to have the expertise and leadership as we expand our presence and programs.”
Polit is Chief Information Officer at Procter & Gamble, which serves consumers around the world with one of the strongest portfolios of trusted, quality, leadership brands such as Pampers, Tide and Always. As CIO at P&G, Javier is focused on leveraging artificial intelligence and data & analytics to drive sales and bottom-line growth. Before joining P&G in 2017, he was a C-suite executive where he led technology for the Bottling Investments Group, a $30 billion+ multi-geographical business, and The Coca Cola Company – North America. He serves as co-chair of the Ronald McDonald House and is former chairman of the Southeast Chapter of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where he remains an active member. He is proudly Ecuadorian, and passionate about diversity and inclusion and gender equality and is motivated to contribute, develop and level the playing field for female leadership and diversity.
“Girls Who Code is changing the face of tech, bringing more girls and, specifically, girls from historically underrepresented groups into a field sorely lacking in diversity at every level,” said Polit. “Five, ten, fifteen years from now when those girls are leading the industry at companies like P&G, it will be a privilege and an honor to have been a part of their journey as a member on the Girls Who Code Board of Directors.”
Seka, former executive vice president of the Salesforce AppExchange, held a variety of positions across product management, product marketing and business operations during her 11 year tenure at Salesforce. Beyond her day-to-day role, Leyla spearheaded the equal pay initiative at Salesforce and was also the executive sponsor of BOLDforce, Salesforce’s organization for expanding and empowering the black community at Salesforce. Before joining Salesforce, Leyla worked in product management and marketing organizations at Primavera Systems (acquired by Oracle), Evolve Software, Vivant and Eutron SPA. Leyla also spent two years in Mali, West Africa, as a Peace Corps officer. Leyla holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Davis, and a master’s degree from the Masagung School of Management at the University of San Francisco. She is active in women in technology and equal-pay issues, and was named a “Next-Gen Innovator” by Forbes, among other honors.
“It’s an honor to join the Board of Directors at Girls Who Code, and to play a part in their remarkable work closing the gender gap in tech, empowering girls, and changing culture,” said Seka. “This organization, led and run by women on behalf of girls, has been a central part of the renewed energy and commitment to equity in the tech industry and beyond. I look forward to continuing my own work for girls and women, fighting and righting pay gaps, as a member of the Board.”
Girls Who Code also announced the departure of longtime Board members Trina DasGupta and Evan Korth, who completed their six-year terms in June. The Girls Who Code Board of Directors now includes 13 members:
- Paul Daugherty, Chief Technology & Innovation Officer, Accenture
- Tiffany Dufu, Chief Leadership Officer, Levo
- Alexis Maybank, Founder of Gilt Groupe
- Craig Newmark, Founder of craigslist and The Craig Newmark Foundation
- Javier Polit, Chief Information Officer at Procter & Gamble
- Juan Sabater, Partner with Valor Equity Partners
- Bozoma Saint John, Chief Marketing Officer at Endeavor
- Reshma Saujani, Founder & CEO at Girls Who Code
- Leyla Seka, Former Executive Vice President at Salesforce
- Phil Shawe, President & CEO at Transperfect
- Marissa Shorenstein, President, Northeast Region, AT&T
- Jason Spero, Vice President of Performance Media at Google
- Kara Sprague, Senior VP and General Manager of ADC, F5 Networks
ABOUT GIRLS WHO CODE
Girls Who Code is an international non-profit organization working to close the gender gap in technology and change the image of what a programmer looks like and does. With their 7-week Summer Immersion Program, a 2-week specialized Campus Program, after school Clubs, and College Loops program, they are leading the movement to inspire, educate, and equip young women with the computing skills to pursue 21st-century opportunities. Girls Who Code has reached 185,000 girls to date through its programs and 100 million people through campaigns, advocacy work, and New York Times best-selling series. To join the movement or learn more, visit girlswhocode.com. Follow the organization on social media @GirlsWhoCode.