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“The Third Act” & exploring career paths beyond operational roles

with Nidhi Gupta

April 2, 2024
“The Third Act” & exploring career paths beyond operational roles
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Nidhi (@NidhiGuptaSF) is the CEO and Co-Founder of SheTO, a private community for women and non-binary engineers and engineering leaders. Less than 9% of engineering executive roles are held by women. SheTO is working on changing that.

Prior to founding SheTO, Nidhi was an accomplished engineering and product executive who has built, scaled, and transformed companies. She has extensive expertise in strategy, R&D, business development, and operations. She has led various Marketplaces and SaaS businesses. As an Engineering and Product leader, she is passionate about building and growing thriving operational organizations that deliver world-class products at scale.

Prior to founding SheTO, Nidhi was the Chief Technology & Product Officer at Hired, Upwork and Ning.

"If you had all the free time on the planet and didn't have to worry about anything, what do you think you would do? Every single night I would go to bed and the next morning I woke up more excited solving for this 9% number than I was about my job and that told me that that's really something that I'm more passionate about so literally after I came back from vacation, I went and talked to my CEO and I quit my job.”

<cite>- Nidhi Gupta    </cite>

We now have 10 local communities of engineering leaders hosting in-person meetups all over the world!

Local communities are led by eng leaders just like you, who wanted to create a place to connect, share insights & tackle critical challenges in the job.

New York City, Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, London, Amsterdam, and Toronto in-person events are happening now!

We’re launching local events all the time - get involved at elc.community!


  • Defining “the third act” & exploring career paths beyond operational roles (3:24)
  • What it was like for Nidhi to open herself up to new opportunities (6:09)
  • How Nidhi’s passions influenced her to start SheTO (8:01)
  • Additional consideration for & recommendations to inspire self-discovery (11:21)
  • Why it’s important to take a break & pursue additional interests (13:06)
  • Things that kept Nidhi honest with herself through the discovery process (14:51)
  • Potential pathways to nontraditional eng leader roles (19:04)
  • Ruling out particular pathways after the discovery phase (20:47)
  • How Nidhi identified her happiness & transitioned into her role with SheTO (23:10)
  • Strategies validating your assumptions & the journey of SheTO (25:43)
  • SheTO’s pivot during COVID (28:39)
  • What it looks like to give yourself permission to explore (31:05)
  • Set goalposts & measurements for yourself (34:43)
  • Rapid fire questions (35:16)


  • Third Act with Liz Tinkham - Your first act is school, your second act is work, but have you thought about what you’re going to do in your third act? Join host Liz Tinkham, a former Accenture Senior Managing Director, as she talks to guests who are happily “pretired” – using their time, treasure, and talent to pursue their purpose and passion in the third act of their life.
  • The Alex Cross series - A crime, mystery, and thriller novel series written by James Patterson. The protagonist of the series is Alex Cross, an African-American Metropolitan Police Department detective and father who counters threats to his family and the city of Washington, D.C.

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/

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