Diversity/Careers in Engineering & Information Technology



October/November 2013

Diversity/Careers October/November 2013

Top women speak out
Tech pros with disabilities
Transportation jobs
Energy careers
Financial IT & BI jobs
Asian Americans
Society News: BDPA
MentorNet: new direction

MBEs: flexibility & value
News & Views
Regional roundup
Supplier diversity

Diversity in action
News & Views
Veterans in action NEW!

Philadelphia Gas Works National Radio Astronomy Observatory

News and Views

Freddie Mac’s interns jumpstart their careers at “Year Up”

McLean, VA – If you’ve been working for years, participation in meetings is probably second nature, and business acronyms make sense. But both are new experiences for many of the interns who started work at Freddie Mac in September, through a partnership with the nonprofit Year Up (www.yearup.org).

The organization’s year-long training program helps urban youth aged eighteen to twenty-four increase their earning potential by providing professional and personal workforce development. Since 2006, Freddie Mac has partnered with Year Up to offer internships in desktop support/IT help or mortgage-servicing operations.

Freddie Mac has hired fourteen fulltime employees and twenty contingent workers after their paid internships ended. Of the fourteen employees, eight are still with the company.

To date, Freddie Mac has provided 179 Year Up internships. This year’s cohort has fourteen apprentices, including eight in IT and five in single family mortgage operations. Freddie Mac is one of a number of companies nationwide that partner with Year Up to provide internships to young people.

“The program enables us to invest in and learn from the next generation of IT professionals. And it provides smart, ambitious young people with valuable career opportunities to achieve things they never thought possible,” says Freddie Mac CIO and SVP of information technology Rob Lux.

Ericka Kelly apprenticed at Freddie Mac in software distribution six years ago. She was offered a fulltime position and has been a fulltime Freddie Mac employee for five years.

“The internship at Freddie Mac was my first technical internship,” says Kelly. She was a dance major in college before starting her internship. “Without this program, I’m not sure I would have been offered a fulltime job at Freddie Mac. I now have my BS in computer information systems and I’m working on my masters in information systems management.”

Tiffany Harris graduated from the Year Up program last January. After her six-month internship at Freddie Mac ended, she began working full time in the testing department, where she tests software applications used by Freddie Mac customers. “This was my first time working in the IT field,” says Harris. “I’m beginning classes at Georgetown School of Business this fall. My career goal is to become a project manager in the IT field and get my masters in project management.”

“Through the Year Up program, Freddie Mac can give back to the community by giving real-world business experience and training to young adults who otherwise might not have this opportunity,” says Dreama Hemingway, Freddie Mac manager of new hire programs. “At the same time, it gives us another avenue for recruiting entry-level talent.”

Participants graduate from the program with the training and corporate experience necessary to start their careers and move toward economic self-sufficiency, or to enter college. A program spokesperson says 84 percent of graduates are employed or attending college full time within four months of completing the program. Graduates who are working earn an average of $18 per hour, the equivalent of $36,000 per year.

Established by Congress in 1970, Freddie Mac provides liquidity, stability and affordability to U.S. residential mortgage markets by providing mortgage capital to lenders.

Ingersoll Rand hosts employee resource group summit

Davidson, NC – Ingersoll Rand hosted its first North Carolina Employee Resource Groups (ERG) summit at its Ingersoll Rand headquarters campus in August.

The theme at this year’s inaugural event was “together everyone achieves more” (TEAM). The all-day event provided an opportunity for employee and business resource group leaders and their supporters to come together and celebrate successes, connect with external and internal leaders, and plan for the future.

More than 140 participants networked and shared best practices, developed skills to better serve their ERG membership, learned about tools and resources to make their ERGs more successful, and built their strategies for 2018.

Candi Castleberry-Singleton, chief inclusion and diversity officer at UPMC, a $10 billion, twenty-hospital global nonprofit health enterprise, was the keynote speaker. The summit was sponsored by Ingersoll Rand’s diversity and inclusion office in partnership with Carolinas Healthcare, the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, Compass Group USA, Ernst & Young, Duke Energy, Lowe’s Home Improvement, TIAA-CREF, Wells Fargo, Spectrum Knowledge, Snyder’s-Lance and Vision Spring Consulting.

Pitney Bowes Foundation invests in IT-Ready Labs to help underrepresented populations find IT work

Downers Grove, IL – The Pitney Bowes Foundation recently made a $15,000 literacy and education grant to the IT-Ready Labs program that helps populations underrepresented in information technology pursue successful careers in the field.

IT-Ready Labs, an initiative of the Creating IT Futures Foundation, develops, tests, incubates and launches innovative nonprofit programs tailored for the IT sector. The programs help women, ethnic minorities and displaced or underemployed individuals find sustainable work.

“Through this grant, the Pitney Bowes Foundation is giving people in need of an opportunity the pathway to a life-changing career, as well as the chance for a family-supportive, middle-class life,” said Charles Eaton, CEO of the Creating IT Futures Foundation.

One of the programs to emerge from IT-Ready Labs is the IT-Ready Apprentice Program, which provides eight to fifteen weeks of intensive, classroom-based education and training free of charge. Participants learn technical skills like building a computer, installing software, troubleshooting problems and setting up and managing networks. And they learn softer skills like communication and customer service.

After training and a successful certification exam, IT-Ready Apprentice Program graduates qualify for six-month paid apprenticeships with local participating companies.

The Creating IT Futures Foundation recently issued a white paper examining the inaugural year efforts of the IT-Ready Apprentice Program. The paper reveals that four months after completing the program, 72 percent of graduates were employed fulltime in information technology-related positions.

The Creating IT Futures Foundation is the philanthropic arm of CompTIA, a nonprofit trade organization representing the interests of IT professionals and companies.

The IT-Ready Apprentice Program is offered in Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN and Cincinnati and Columbus, OH, in partnership with the nonprofit organization Per Scholas.

To learn more about the foundation, go to www.creatingITfutures.org.

Pride Network joins Siemens employee resource groups

Alpharetta, GA – Employees of Siemens Industry Inc (SII) throughout the U.S. participated in the virtual kickoff event of the company’s newest employee resource group (ERG) in July.

“Siemens engineers and professionals from eighteen states across the U.S. have joined the Siemens Industry Pride Network ERG,” says Joe Breen, IT project manager and Pride Network lead.

The Pride ERG joins other groups that serve the company’s diverse workforce, among them ERGs for African Americans, women, Hispanics, Asians, employees with disabilities, and veterans.

The Pride Network was established to develop a community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) employees and supporters. Group members will work together to foster an environment of awareness for LGBT employees and their families. The group will also work to raise awareness and understanding among the employees about the importance of the group to the future success of the company.

Guest speakers for the event included Matt Meade, SII HR business partner for the Pride Network, Joe Breen, employee sponsor for the SII Pride Network, and Lindsay Krahauer, the national cross-section Pride chair.

Denice Kronau, SII chief diversity officer, recently announced two new projects, the Diversity Networks Handbook and the online Diversi-Tree. The handbook offers practical advice on how to launch and manage an ERG. According to Kronau, Diversi-Tree “provides an online matchmaking service for Siemens diversity networks across the world. It helps employees identify other networks and network leads and share network experience, expertise and information. Employees can sort diversity networks across Siemens by name of the group or its leaders, or diversity topic like gender, generational diversity, ethnicity, disabilities, sexual orientation and more.”

Siemens’ diversity councils work to ensure that the company continues to fully engage and support a diverse workforce.

Siemens is a global diversified industrial company; SII was recognized as a 2013 Best Diversity Company by the readers of Diversity/Careers. Siemens reported U.S. revenue of $22 billion in fiscal 2012 and employs approximately 60,000 people throughout all fifty states and Puerto Rico.

Army Corps, Texas A&M; partner to enhance opportunities for minority students

Corpus Christi, TX – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Galveston District has signed a cooperation agreement with Texas A&M; University at Corpus Christi, a Hispanic-serving institution. The agreement commits the organizations to work together to enhance opportunities throughout the Corps for minority students.

“This partnership will help the USACE Galveston District recruit from a diverse pool of high-performing individuals with talents and strengths that are critical to providing excellent services to all Corps customers,” said Col Richard Pannell, district commander, at the August signing.

Pannell notes that the agreement has a focus on preparing engineering students for responsible positions in environmental and civil engineering programs. “Achieving more diversity in the workplace is one of the goals of this partnership,” said Dr Rose Caballero, EEO officer and coordinator of the Advancing Minorities’ Interest in Engineering (AMIE) program for the USACE Galveston District. “This partnering agreement encourages engineering students to consider a career with the Corps upon graduation and helps us create a workplace that is reflective of the communities in which we serve.”

AMIE is a coalition of fourteen historically black colleges and universities, and has a longstanding partnership with the Corps. Similar agreements are in place with most of the AMIE schools.

As part of the agreement, Corps staff will work to enlighten engineering students about the Corps, its missions, unique capabilities and opportunities through student career experience programs, internships and career development programs. They’ll also provide guest lecturers and help sponsor student professional organizations. They’ll help establish Texas A&M-Corpus; Christi as a center of excellence for environmental programs, and participate in campus career fairs.

“I believe the USACE Galveston District’s internship and partnership programs with Texas A&M; University will directly contribute to the recruitment, mentorship, development, advancement and retention of Hispanics in the Corps and other federal agencies,” said Pannell. “We are proud of our efforts to eliminate barriers that may hinder equal opportunity for Hispanics in the Corps, and will continue to focus on enhancing and promoting programs that result in equal employment opportunities.”

The agreement was signed by Pannell; Dr Flavius C. Killebrew, the university’s president; Dr Frank Pezold, the dean of the College of Science and Engineering, and the USACE Southwestern Division’s Commander Brigadier General Thomas Kula.

For information regarding university partnership opportunities, contact Dr Rose Caballero at 409-766-3920 or email rose.m.caballero@usace.army.mil.

Jackson of Sandia Labs selected as 2013 American Chemical Society Fellow

Albuquerque, NM – Nancy Jackson, a chemical engineer at Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, NM), was recognized as a 2013 American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellow at an induction ceremony during ACS’s 246th annual meeting. The event was held in Indianapolis, IN in September.

The ACS fellowships honor scientists who have demonstrated outstanding accomplishments in chemistry and have made important contributions to ACS.

Jackson is the manager of Sandia’s international chemical threat reduction program, and her work has led to crucial programs to help laboratories in some of the world’s most volatile regions manage their chemical inventories and secure their chemicals, as well as train future chemists and laboratory trainers in safe handling techniques. The programs teach chemists and chemical engineers the importance of personal protective equipment, maintaining working chemical hoods, chemical management and physical security.

The Sandia program’s goal is to educate professors and those who will be training others in safety and security measures. Jackson’s team partners with chemistry labs around the world to ensure chemicals are handled safely and securely.

“Being named a Fellow of ACS means the world to me. So much of my professional life has included and benefitted from my involvement in this outstanding organization,” Jackson says. “This is a tremendous honor.”

In 2007, Nancy Jackson helped the U.S. Department of State create the Chemical Security Engagement program, and works closely with scientists worldwide, particularly in developing countries, to promote safe use of chemicals and keep them from falling into the wrong hands.

Jackson has been involved with the ACS for more than thirty-four years and served as its president in 2011. The ACS board of directors selected Jackson as a Fellow for her work in developing and contributing to international scientist-to-scientist programs sharing chemical safety and security with academia, industry and government in developing countries.

Jackson is also a Fellow in the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), which awarded her the 2012 AAAS Award for Science Diplomacy.

Sandia National Laboratories is a multi-program laboratory operated by Sandia Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lockheed Martin company, for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration. With main facilities in Albuquerque, NM and Livermore, CA, Sandia has major R&D; responsibilities in national security, energy and environmental technologies and economic competitiveness.

Michigan Tech’s Women in Computer Science program encourages tech teens

Houghton, MI – Michigan Technological University hosted nineteen women high school students for a week in July to explore the fast-moving field of computer science.

Girls from as far away as Delaware won scholarships to participate in Michigan Tech’s Women in Computer Science summer program, sponsored by Jackson National Life Insurance Company. The students learned about programming, artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, visualization, networks and security. They had hands-on and classroom experiences, and developed their own mobile apps.

During the week, they interacted with current Michigan Tech students, alumni and other women role models to find out firsthand about computer science education and computing careers. They also learned about the wide range of opportunities in computing across a variety of industries.

The young women went to the Portage Lake District Library to see the weekly “On line at the Library” help sessions that volunteers from Michigan Tech provide for senior citizens and other computer novices. Then they visited sponsor Jackson’s offices in the University’s Lakeshore Center business incubator. Jackson employs Michigan Tech computer science students in its Houghton satellite office.

The girls conducted demonstrations of their mobile app projects for representatives from companies that hire computer science students.

The Women in Computer Science workshop is one of many initiatives at Michigan Tech to increase women’s participation in computing disciplines.

Earlier this year, the university was selected as one of twenty universities and fourteen companies nationwide to participate in a National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) Pacesetters program. NCWIT Pacesetters is a two-year program in which senior leaders from companies and universities publicly commit to increasing the number of women in the U.S. computing and technology workforce. The program is sponsored by the National Science Foundation, Google and Qualcomm. According to NCWIT, women currently earn just 18 percent of computing and information sciences degrees granted by U.S universities, and hold only 25 percent of all computing-related jobs in the U.S.

Pacesetters at Michigan Tech is a collaborative effort of the College of Sciences and Arts, the department of computer science, and the admissions and alumni offices. The university plans to partner with young alumnae who are willing to share their experiences with prospective students to provide examples of opportunities at Michigan Tech for undergraduate research, co-ops and internships, networking and future careers.

“For many years I have been interested in finding ways to encourage young women to pursue computing as a career,” said Linda Ott, professor and former chair of computer science and head of the Pacesetters program at Michigan Tech. “There are so many career opportunities for those in computing.”

Michigan Technological University (www.mtu.edu) is a public research university that offers more than 130 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


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