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Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology



April/May 2010

Diversity/Careers April/May 2010 Issue

Women of color
Insurance IT
Aerospace & defense
Civil engineers
Fisher of CECOM
Black Engineer of the Year
MinneWIC conference

Veteran-owned suppliers
News & Views
NMBC gala
WBENC: ready to connect
Regional roundup
Supplier diversity

Diversity in action
News & Views

Ford Boston Scientific
National Radio Astronomy Observatory Rockwell Collins
Bonneville Power

News and Views

ITSMF & HITEC come together to talk green and present awards

ITSMF award winners, from left: Andre Hughes of Accenture; Ben Berry of the Oregon DOT and AirShip Technologies Group; Dr Sandra DeLoatch, Norfolk State University; Enrique Salem, Symantec; and Tom Hempfield, TSG Americas Federal Business Organization.Atlanta, GA – Members of the Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) and
the Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC) came together in February to learn about greening IT at their firms, and to present a wide range
of annual awards.

“Green IT: sustaining people, planet and profits,” prepared diverse IT execs to make their departments more ecologically viable. Symposium topics included “how new connectivity approaches can improve productivity and bring new levels of mobility and flexibility to organizations” and “how to speak ‘green IT’ to your CEO: strategies for presenting the business value of green IT to organizational leadership.”

HITEC president David Olivencia addresses the meeting.Speakers included Marisa Chancellor of Cisco’s IT communication and collaboration division. Michael Chaney, senior director of Cisco IT vendor management services, outlined ways to leverage the opportunities that sustainability offers to businesses. Chris Hynes, Cisco’s senior director of network and data center services, discussed virtualization as a key strategy for significant financial savings in data center ops.

“There is little doubt about the value of going green, from reducing energy-related costs and shrinking IT operating expenses to meeting regulatory mandates,” says Viola Thompson, ITSMF executive director. “Our symposium was designed to help IT execs discover how to leverage green technologies, services and solutions.”

Larry Quinlan of Deloitte, left, presents an ITSMF appreciation award to Michael D. Robinson of Microsoft. Microsoft was a platinum sponsor of the event.Cisco and HP were major sponsors for the evening gala that celebrated IT excellence and the power of diversity in business. The event honors industry leaders who have made great contributions to advancing IT while demonstrating leadership in advancing diversity.

This year’s honorees are Ben Berry, CIO, Oregon DOT and CEO, AirShip Technologies Group; Dr Sandra DeLoatch, dean of the School of Science and Technology, Norfolk State University; Tom Hempfield, VP TSG Americas Federal Business Organization, HP; Janice Bryant Howroyd, founder, chair and CEO, Act 1 Group; Andre Hughes, global managing director, Accenture Cisco Business Group, Accenture; Enrique Salem, president and CEO, Symantec.

Corporate sponsor of the year awards went to Deloitte for its support of ITSMF, and the Walt Disney Co for its support of HITEC. Additional corporate sponsors of the conference included Microsoft, PepsiCo, Procter & Gamble, UBS, Wells Fargo and more.

Pat Williams of Siemens PLM Software gets honors and AIA appointment

Siemens PLM Software’s Pat Williams.Plano, TX – Pat Williams, a director for aerospace and defense industry marketing at Siemens PLM Software, was named a 2009 All-Star last fall at the Women of Color in Technology conference in Baltimore, MD. All Stars are women who’ve been “top performers in their positions,” according to the conference organizers.

Williams was also recently asked to join the Aerospace Industry Association’s international “S” series specifications project. This is a joint effort of the U.S. and the European Union, with the goal of standardizing support and service management requirements for the U.S. Department of Defense and the EU’s Ministry of Defence. “S” series specs will apply to both commercial and military aerospace systems.

Williams has spent nearly thirty years working on aircraft, missiles and space programs in
a variety of roles, among them program manager for engineering solution implementations. She has implemented several major project lifecycle management systems for large OEMs in the aerospace industry: the F-35 program at Lockheed Martin, the space shuttle program and several U.S. Air Force programs.

Teens prep for FIRST at U-M Detroit

Getting ready to enter FIRST.Detroit, MI – More than a hundred high school students from across the city had a chance to build and test robots in the University of Michigan (U-M) Detroit Center. At the Michigan Engineering Zone students found work space, a metal shop, and engineering mentors to help them as they prepared for the FIRST Robotics 2010 national competition; for 2010 robots must play three-on-three soccer.

Fourteen teams used the space. Mentors from the college, U-M and MIT alumni associations, Ford and SAE International were there to help. The 5,200-sq ft facility includes a practice playing field where students can test their machines.

See and for more information.

2010 Catalyst awards honor woman-advancing initiatives

New York, NY – Initiatives from Campbell Soup Co, Deloitte, Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) and Telstra Corp received 2010 Catalyst awards, which honor initiatives from companies that support and advance women in business.

Winning initiatives are evaluated in a year-long process, against criteria like business rationale, senior leadership support, accountability, communication, replicability, originality and measurable results. The award-winning initiatives reflect best practices of diversity, inclusion and advancement of women to leadership roles and positions of influence.

Campbell Soup’s initiative, “Winning in the marketplace, winning in the workplace, winning with women,” achieved strong results: from 2005 to 2009, women in executive roles increased from 21 to 25 percent. In manufacturing roles the percentage of women and women of color as plant directors and managers increased from 14 to 21 percent and from 1 percent to 3 percent respectively.

Deloitte’s “The women’s initiative: living the lattice” resulted in an increase of women’s representation as partners, principals and directors from 6 percent in 1995 to 22 percent in 2009. The percentage of women senior managers increased from 23 to 36 percent in the same period. In 2009 Deloitte surpassed the 1,000 mark for U.S. women partners, principals and directors.

RBC’s initiative, “Client-first transformation,” saw the number of women in roles like executive VP, senior VP and VP increase from 35 to 39 percent from 2005 to 2009; women’s representation as corporate officers, senior VP level and above, grew from 27 to more than 30 percent during the same time. Women in the high-potential talent pool increased from 31 to 43 percent, with 21 percent being visible minority women.

Telstra is an Australian telecom and information services company. Its “Next generation gender diversity” initiative delivered solid increases for women leaders. For women in the pipeline, general managers, area managers and managers, the total share of promotions grew steadily from 29 percent in 2006 to 41 percent in 2009. Representation of women on the CEO leadership team increased from 6 to 31 percent, and the number of women corporate officers has grown from 31 to 35 percent during that same time period.

Ilene H. Lang, president and CEO of Catalyst, declares that “These initiatives exemplify our Catalyst vision of ‘Changing workplaces, changing lives.’ They impact the lives of employees, families and communities by transforming organizations, and serve as models that inspire and encourage others to embrace inclusive workplaces that benefit women, men, and business.”

This March the award-winning companies presented in-depth discussions on their initiatives at the 2010 Catalyst awards conference. The conference, sponsored by the Coca-Cola Co and Walmart, featured keynote speaker Anne Mulcahy, chair of Xerox Corp. The 2010 Catalyst awards dinner, sponsored by PepsiCo and Shell Oil, was chaired by Jim Skinner, McDonald’s Corp CEO.

Techies with disabilities hold first meeting at AAAS conference

Vint Cerf of Google, who has a hearing loss, gives the keynote address. Washington, DC – More than fifty scientists and engineers with disabilities were the focus of the December 2009 meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS, The idea was to create a roadmap for engineers with disabilities to advance in the workplace.

“No one has ever had a meeting with all engineers with disabilities; usually they’re just token speakers at technical meetings,” says Virginia Stern, who organized the AAAS meeting. Stern directs EntryPoint!, an internship program for engineers with disabilities, and is a long-time advocate for technical pros with disabilities.

The meeting, called “Problem solvers: education and career paths of engineers with disabilities,” was funded by the National Science Foundation. Scientists and engineers all along the pipeline were there, from undergrads through tenured faculty and senior industry positions. They came from academia, industry, federal agencies and professional societies.

The meeting included lectures, small group sessions and a “show and tell” exhibit of new assistive technologies members have found helpful.

Vint Cerf, often called “father of the Internet” and now VP and chief Internet evangelist at Google, gave the keynote address. Cerf, who has a hearing loss, noted that email, since its advent in 1971, has been a “remarkable” assistive tool. Online chat tools have also helped him. And now Google Wave, combining blogging, emailing and instant messaging, could become another popular assistive tool, he said.

Cerf emphasized that as the Internet evolves and cyber-security strengthens, the openness of the World Wide Web must be preserved. Many assistive tools are invented out of necessity and the creators “just put them up and let people try them.” This form of “permissionless innovation” is an important quality to retain in the Internet; without it, innovation would be stifled.

The AAAS annual meeting held in Boston in 1976 is thought to be the first scientific meeting that made special plans to accommodate attendees in wheelchairs and those with hearing or vision disabilities.

NSPE presents Federal Engineer of the Year awards

NSPE president Samuel Grossman, gives Dr Lisa Fotherby the top award.Alexandria, VA – Lisa M. Fotherby, PhD and PE, has been named 2010 federal engineer of the year by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). Fotherby is a project leader and hydraulic engineer in the sedimentation and river hydraulics group of the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Reclamation (Denver, CO). She has notable achievements in river research and development, engineering design, leading collaborative interdisciplinary teams and adaptive management.

Fotherby has a BSCE from Michigan Technological University, and MS and PhD degrees in CE from Colorado State University.

Dale E. Klein, commissioner of the U.S. NRC, left, with Yu-Tai Lee.Of 96,000 federally employed engineers identified by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, only twenty-eight were nominated, and one of an eventual ten finalists won the award. Other finalists included LCDR Isabelle E. Detter, CEC, USN, PE, of the U.S. Department
of the Navy, Naval Facilities Engineering Command; Capt Cheryl F. Estill, PE, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, CDC/National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health; and Yu-Tai Lee, PhD, PE, U.S. Department of the Navy, Naval Surface Warfare Center, Carderock Division.

For more on the awards visit


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