How GitLab Offers a Space That Inspires Women to Shape The Future

An exec at the company describes how she approaches her role as both a leader and champion for other women.

Written by Olivia McClure
Published on Sep. 08, 2023
How GitLab Offers a Space That Inspires Women to Shape The Future
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Nabitha Rao knows what it’s like to empower others on her team at GitLab — and on a global stage. 

Earlier this year, Rao was a guest speaker at the European Women in Technology conference in Amsterdam, where she spoke about trends and lessons she’s learned alongside other women from across the industry. To help women explore the “next frontier” in tech, the annual conference offers attendees the chance to take part in workshops, expand their professional network and explore emerging technologies. 

“It’s an incredible opportunity to actually meet the GitLab team in person and be able to passionately speak about IT and our incredible product on stage,” said Rao, the vice president of IT enterprise applications for GitLab. “It has been amazing.” 


Nabitha Rao speaking on stage at the European Women in Technology conference in Amsterdam.


Rao may not see her peers in person all the time, but the work they do from a distance brings them together every day, regardless of where they live. 

While her experience at the women in tech conference was memorable, she considers the work she does on a daily basis just as exciting, as it gives her the chance to cultivate a workplace grounded in engagement and positivity. 

Below, Rao shares her experience leading “the backbone of the company” and her approach to leadership and building team culture. 



GitLab’s AI-powered platform supports teams throughout the software delivery lifecycle. The platform is designed to improve cycle time from weeks to minutes, reduce development costs, increase time to market and deliver more secure and compliant applications.


Tell us about your experience as a woman in the tech industry.

Nabitha Rao
Vice President of IT Enterprise Applications • GitLab

I’ve been very fortunate to work for some incredible individuals, both men and women. The common theme for me has been having the autonomy to solve problems. Being in IT, every situation is unique, and every day has a new challenge. I’m constantly learning to work at the intersection of business and technology. 


What’s your vision for leading your team?

I believe IT is the backbone of running a company successfully. Fostering a culture of continuous learning, professional growth and building a diverse and inclusive team is an imperative. My vision for the team is to be a trusted business partner providing world-class value and solutions. 



GitLab strives to empower its women in many ways, including through its GitLab Women team member resource group. By participating in this TMRG, women can advance their skills and leadership potential through peer-to-peer connection and encouragement. The group also offers a five-month mentorship program, which enables women across the company to receive one-on-one support and access career growth resources.




How do you build team culture? 

Culture is people and the values they share. At GitLab, we share six core values:

• Collaboration
• Results
• Efficiency
• Diversity, inclusion and belonging
• Iteration
• Transparency

Together, they spell the “CREDIT” we give each other by assuming good intent. As a leader, building culture means embracing these values and making sure they are visible and understood by everyone. A positive team culture is essential for creating a motivated, engaged and high-performing team. It contributes to a healthier work environment, improved teamwork and increased organizational success.


Responses have been edited for length and clarity. Images provided by GitLab Inc.

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