eBay’s Raji Arasu Named to Prestigious Women of Influence List
By: eBay Inc. Staff
The Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal has recognized her remarkable achievements.
At eBay, Raji Arasu, a Vice President of Technology in the Marketplaces division, is an enormously creative leader who oversees many core aspects of the company’s technology platform, and on March 18, the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal named her to its prestigious 2011 Women of Influence list. Nominated by her peers, and recognized by the publication’s Women of Influence committee, she received an award, and is included in a special publication honoring notable women in Silicon Valley.
A 10-year veteran of eBay, Raji was born and raised in India, and rose through a series of ecommerce-focused positions to become one of the company’s most valued leaders. Raji also mentors other women at eBay, and sits on the board of the eBay Women in Technology group. We caught up with her for a discussion about her latest award, and her advice for women in the technology field.
Can you tell us about your role at eBay?
At eBay, I am currently a technology Vice President. As part of that, I am responsible for the engineering team, which has a global presence in San Jose, India, and Shanghai. It’s my responsibility to work with technologists and our product team, and to deliver on our business goals. I’ve been with the company for 10 years.
Please tell us about your background.
I have an Internet and ecommerce background. I worked with U.S. Web/CKS, also known as marchFIRST. We used to build ecommerce solutions for our clients. It involved wearing a suit, meeting with clients, finding out their requirements, building a site, and handing it over to them.
When I came to eBay, it involved being on the other side. It involves working on a site that scales up to millions of transactions. I used to work on the engineering teams behind Motors, Sotheby’s, Live Auctions, real estate and more. It has been a long ride to where I am today, and I can tell you it’s been an exciting one. eBay offers tons of opportunity for folks to grow, and being part of the core application team means that what I do has a direct impact on consumers.
What does the award from the Silicon Valley/San Jose Business Journal mean to you?
I’m very humbled. I think a lot of great people behind me helped me get this award — a lot of people who support me on a daily basis. I also feel that it symbolizes that any woman within eBay is capable of growing, and winning awards. It’s exciting to be recognized.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced at eBay?
Our challenges have always involved pursuing innovation and delivering for our customers. We always have to strike a balance between how fast we innovate and the appetite that our customers have for change. We try to bring in people who can innovate, and at the same time provide consistency.
On the personal side, the challenge is making things work. I have two kids — in kindergarten and middle school — and they have different needs. I’m also active in women’s organizations outside of eBay, and I like to run. I participate in half marathons, which is fun and helps relieve stress.
I have a full life, and what makes work fun is that I enjoy the people I work with. We’re like a big happy family, and figure out how to solve problems together.
What advice would you give women in technology?
I participate in the eBay Women in Technology group, and when we founded that group, we found that many women needed to understand how to network, how to depend on each other, and seek colleagues out. We found that women in technology were sometimes shy, were sometimes focused solely on work and not reaching out to others who could help them grow. In our group, we focus on mentoring, and bring in industry role models for women to focus on. All of this helps women function at the highest levels.
As we try to attract more women in technology, we run into the fact that the available pool is small. That can and will change.
See and hear more from Raji in an interview on the eBay Ink Blog.