Motivated to Make a Difference
Three women in technology roles share their stories about what drives them.
Diversity and inclusion (D&I) is central to everything we do at State Farm®. It’s evident across the marketplace by how we interact with our customers and suppliers, in the community through charitable giving and service, and in our workplace where all associates are treated with respect and dignity. To celebrate International Women’s Day, we asked three State Farm employees what drives them and how they use that motivation to help others. We asked them to share their experiences as women working in the field of technology, and we’re proud to share their stories with you.
‘How does this thing work?’
Ranjita Sahu loves a challenge. You may even think of her as a detective – working behind the scenes testing auto insurance products before they’re released to the customer. A first generation immigrant to the United States, Ranjita’s zest for adventure combined with her can-do attitude means she’s well equipped to solve problems and uncover solutions each day.
“Seeing the code come to life on my screen is magical,” said Ranjita. “I’m looking into complex issues, figuring out how to break things, and then make those things even better for the public to use.”
For example, when prospective customers visit statefarm.com to get an auto quote, they’re interacting with the code Ranjita produced.
As for being a woman in tech?
“I’ve specialized in technical roles throughout my career,” she said. “While some may look at State Farm and say, ‘Oh that’s an insurance company,’ it’s way more than that. State Farm is an industry level tech company that’s working to deliver personalized customer experiences.”
“I’d love to see more women in engineering roles,” she said. “It’s about growing confidence, asking questions and believing in your abilities. I’m grateful to the women and men who encouraged me to reach higher. We’re better together.”
‘How can this add value?’
While attending a college job fair, Angela Simpson spotted the State Farm Insurance booth. It was there she learned State Farm offered many more opportunities than “just insurance.”
“I started in Auto Underwriting and eventually came to one of the largest departments at State Farm – Enterprise Technology. Today, I’m a technology manager, supporting business intelligence tools that help employees make business decisions, analyze information and develop reports,” Angela explained.
Angela has been a State Farm employee for nearly 30 years and loves collaborating, relationship building and brainstorming with team members.
“As we continue to examine technology that will move us into the next frontier, I always ask, ‘Why is this tool, process or product important? How can it help people?’ At the end of the day, it’s about providing value to others.”
Born in Kingston, Jamaica, Angela moved to the United States at the age of 10. When it comes to personal and professional life, Angela shares a piece of advice she learned at a young age, and continues to apply today:
“Don’t box yourself in. Be open to new opportunities. Often, it’s that opportunity you never imagined that leads to success. Take chances. The sky is the limit.”
‘What can I do to make a difference in this world?’
Liz Pulver is passionate about people, cars and public safety. A Senior Experience Researcher, she studies how humans interact with vehicle technology to improve auto and transportation safety.
“It’s about acceptance and trust,” said Liz. “We’re examining how people of all ages respond to automated technologies. From cruise control, to parking assist, to full-fledged self-driving cars – as vehicles evolve, we’re evolving with them to advance safely into the future.”
Liz’s work also involves collaborating with universities to conduct studies and share findings. Her research serves as a voice for the public, helps educate communities and guides business decisions.
“I’ve grown and shifted a lot in my career. When I started at State Farm in 2010 I was the only woman in a room full of men. But I didn’t let that intimidate me. I tapped into my inquisitive side: observing the process, asking questions and leveraging new information to build relationships. Soon, I was the one leading meetings and mentoring employees. By discovering my voice, I’ve become a voice for others.”