Arka Raina

Arka is a Digital Consultant at IBM. She has worked across the full product development lifecycle to deliver digital transformation for a clients from a variety of industries.

An avid and versatile learner, Arka has continuously upskilled cross-functionally to innovate and optimise her clients’ digital transformation journeys and platforms. She has led and managed teams, and her project contributions have resulted in revenue and new client opportunities for IBM. Currently, she is working as a Cloud Engineer to deliver Proof of Concepts for clients to show the value of Cloud technologies!

Passionate about Tech for Good, outside of her day job she is a Design & Delivery Lead for the IBM Call For Code Racial Justice Challenge, leading a global team to design a solution starter that addresses systemic racism for diverse representation, to be deployed externally. She is also a core team member of IBM’s BAME employee network, delivering various initiatives for increased diversity, equity and inclusion at IBM, its clients and wider society. In particular, she has facilitated 4 client roundtables to discuss DE&I strategy, organised a social media campaign to show Black STEM role models for Black History month to 30k+ followers, and has organised a mentoring scheme to match 46 BAME early professionals with 32 senior mentors.

Outside of work, Arka volunteers for ‘Tech for Good’ hackathons and initiatives to equitably improve underrepresented communities. She volunteers as a web development instructor for Code First: Girls to upskill ~20 female university students and increase gender parity in the technology industry. She has also been a Design Lead for 2 CFG hackathons: in April 2020, she led a 4-person team over 4 weeks to research, design and build a media solution for people impacted by the pandemic. In March 2021, Arka was also selected as 1 of 20 participants from 124 applications to design a chatbot solution to identify women undergoing financial abuse for the Financial Conduct Authority’s Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Conference. Moreover, Arka is a design mentor at ADPList.org, where she has mentored 25 junior designers/career changers from underrepresented backgrounds across 5 continents, reviewing their CVs and portfolios. She was recently invited to be a judge at a creative bootcamp event run by Foundervine, a startup community for aspiring entrepreneurs from underrepresented backgrounds.

Arka is recognised for her strong and inclusive leadership skills. This year, she was named a McKinsey Next Generation Woman Leader, and received an IBM Services International Women’s Day Leader Award for leading by example to demonstrate inclusion and allyship, and to develop others. She was also a finalist for the Asian Women of Achievement Awards in the Technology & Digital category, and for the Great British Businesswomen Awards as ‘Technology Businesswoman of the Year’. She achieved a place on 2 leadership programmes run by the Aleto Foundation, a social mobility charity that develops future leaders from underrepresented backgrounds, and won the team challenge in both of them.

Most recently, Arka has taken on the role of Social Mobility Marketing/Comms Lead for LMFNetwork, a non-profit that upskills 35,000+ womxn and minority groups into tech, business and entrepreneurship. She is co-organising a skills development conference for students and early professionals from low-income backgrounds. This conference will equip participants with workplace skills to bridge the social mobility gap and break the class ceiling!