+00:00 GMT

Self-advocacy & how to coach your team to be better self-advocates

with Shailvi Wakhlu

October 31, 2023


Shailvi Wakhlu is a data leader, International Keynote Speaker, and author of Self Advocacy: Your Guide to Getting What You Deserve at Work. She is the former Head of Data & Analytics at Strava and Komodo Health. Her sixteen-year data and engineering career has included companies such as Salesforce, Fitbit, and a software startup she co-founded. Shailvi’s self-advocacy expertise comes from being a practitioner at tech startups and large companies across three continents.

Annually, Wakhlu speaks at twenty-five or more global conferences and corporate events hosted by Fortune 500 companies on Self-Advocacy and Data. She also teaches online courses on these subjects to a global audience.

Wakhlu offers individual and group coaching. She has helped hundreds of people grow their self-advocacy skills and reach important career milestones faster. She is also an investor and advisor to several high-growth startups.

Wakhlu grew up in India and studied Computer Engineering at Illinois Tech in Chicago. She loves to travel and has visited thirty-two countries. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, Govind, and their sixty plants.

"I believe that advocating for yourself is also advocating for the needs of the people that you care about. So if you consider yourself as part of a team, part of a community, part of a group, and if you know their happiness matters to you, if their comfort matters to you, advocating for them is advocating for yourself because if they're happier, you're happier. So I feel that for leaders who want their teams to be successful, this is something you do for yourself too because you want them to be successful.

- Shailvi Wakhlu   

We’re hosting the first ELC Annual Watch Party on 11/8!

We’re livestreaming the most popular sessions from the ELC Annual 2023 conference + hosting virtual roundtable discussions to connect you with eng leaders around the globe AND in your city.

Our first topic covers Generative AI & engineering leadership with Wade Chambers… no this isn’t about the tech - it’s about the leadership skills and competencies you need to evolve and adapt to lead in this next generation!

We have different events for Europe, East Coast & West Coast! To RSVP, find your location HERE:


West Coast & MidWest

East Coast


  • How Shailvi became passionate about self-advocacy as a data leader (2:21)
  • The inspiration that ignited Shailvi’s need for a self-advocacy talk (4:36)
  • Advice for reflecting on experiences & sharing your story in a meaningful way (7:25)
  • Defining self-advocacy in an eng leadership context (9:12)
  • Examples of proactive & reactive self-advocacy in the workplace (11:15)
  • Why self-advocacy can be so hard for people (13:52)
  • Strategies for identifying opportunities for self-advocacy (15:42)
  • Frameworks for changing your self-talk / perception of self (18:13)
  • How to encourage eng leaders to proactively share their stories / experiences (21:26)
  • Practices to help embrace opportunities for self-advocacy (23:11)
  • Why eng leaders need to help their teams cultivate self-advocacy skills (27:00)
  • The benefit of recognizing & embracing what you’re most proud of (30:34)
  • What successful self-advocacy within the job promotion conversation (32:37)
  • Self-advocating while negotiating a job offer (36:57)
  • The importance of prioritizing happiness along with self-advocacy (39:35)
  • Rapid fire questions (43:49)


  • Self-Advocacy - Shailvi’s book that presents a practical guide that anyone can use to master self-advocacy and equips leaders with tools to train others effectively.
  • More from Shailvi on self-advocacy!
  • The Speaker Author: Sell More Books and Book More Speeches - Lois Creamer and Cathy Fyock have teamed to help you become a Speaker Author and ramp up your impact to build your business. Whether you are a coach, consultant, or other expert who benefits by positioning your intellectual property, you will benefit from this idea-packed book.
  • TickTick - a to-do list app for freelancers or small businesses that want to stay on top of tasks.

This episode wouldn’t have been possible without the help of our incredible production team:

Patrick Gallagher - Producer & Co-Host

Jerry Li - Co-Host

Noah Olberding - Associate Producer, Audio & Video Editor https://www.linkedin.com/in/noah-olberding/

Dan Overheim - Audio Engineer, Dan’s also an avid 3D printer - https://www.bnd3d.com/

Ellie Coggins Angus - Copywriter, Check out her other work at https://elliecoggins.com/about/

Dive in
Culture & self-compassion
Jun 7th, 2022 Views 1.3K
Culture & self-compassion
Jun 7th, 2022 Views 1.3K
How to Create Sustainable Velocity in Your Team
By Tim Laboy-Coparropa • Jan 27th, 2023 Views 359
The Craftsmanship of Building Your Team
By Tim Laboy-Coparropa • Jan 27th, 2023 Views 383