“I was often the only woman in the room for much of my career. I fixed it by making it a point to hire women and minorities as often as possible. “
Tell us a little bit about what a typical day looks like for you.
I’m at a start-up funded by the federal government to provide funding to projects that advance the state of robotics in manufacturing. Every day I work with my team to fulfill this mission by identifying and communicating about innovative technologies and workforce strategies.
How do you stay passionate in your career?
I love technology and the benefits it brings to companies and to our daily lives. I love the fast pace of change and the creative challenges is solving problems with technology. I’m just a nerd, and have been for over 30 years.
Did you have a traditional path into tech (i.e.: CS/IT degree transitioned into tech job)?
I was one of the first women at IUP to get a degree in management information systems. I’ve always been in tech, although my roles have varied. I’ve been a programmer, a technical trainer, a product manager, a relationship manager and a strategist. I’ve been an executive as a COO/President at several technology start-ups to a general manager of a $240M division at an international software company. I’ve personally been responsible for over 50 technology products that generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue. And I managed partnerships with very large companies like IBM and HP and participated in over 20 technology mergers and acquisitions.
Are there any apps, software, or tools you cannot live without?
My phone, Evernote, Wunderlist and texting and Facetime – (I have a husband, 6 kids and 2 grandkids.)
It’s common knowledge that women and femmes often face obstacles in the tech industry based on their gender. Have you ever had to deal with this type of experience and if so how did you handle it?
I was often the only woman in the room for much of my career. I fixed it by making it a point to hire women and minorities as often as possible.
What’s your favorite thing about being a part of the #womenintech community?
Spending time with other women who love being smart, creative, and a little bit nerdy.
If applicable, how have you given back to the WIT community?
While not working directly with WIT, I have championed women in technology for my entire career. I have mentored and promoted countless women. I have presented at seminars and conferences about my experience in teach. I have encouraged young girls to pursue careers in tech
What is a piece of advice you would give to others wanting to or currently pursuing a career in tech?
Too many girls and women think that there is only one tech career path – that of a programmer, and they are put off media images, such as hoodie Gus in the TV show Silicon Valley (a show I adore by the way!). But programming jobs are such a small portion of what’s available in tech. In my 30+ years in tech, I was a programmer for only one year! I was also a product manager, help desk manager, ran customer support, did technical sales support, was a business analyst, did market research, managed business partnerships, wrote marketing collateral and built websites in addition to my executive roles. So my advice is that you CAN find something that you can do and LOVE in tech. You have many, many more choices than programming.
Tell us about a time you felt extremely accomplished in the past year.
Launching our new company (ARM) has been incredibly rewarding. In the past year, we funded over 20 projects and built our collaborative membership to close to 200 companies. It’s been a whirlwind ride as we establish ourselves as the leading U.S.organization to advance the state of robotics in manufacturing.
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On April 12th, Robert Morris will be hosting a one-day symposium open to the public to learn about the impact of technology on your organization and how it can empower women. Registration is open now and includes attendance + lunch – and a special discount for students! Act fast!
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