Advancement Of Women In STEM Programs - Challenges & Opportunities

In corporate America, studies have shown women start to fall behind on day 1 and keep losing ground with every step. There continues to be a need for us to do more - as individuals and as organizations. We need commitments to more than just programs on gender and diversity. We need an awareness of the underlying causes and as importantly what steps can be taken to get us to the place where all women are equally represented.

At WITI our mission is to empower women to achieve unimagined possibilities and transformations through technology, leadership and economic prosperity. As part of an ongoing partnership, WITI, IDC and Randstad Technologies have joined together to conduct a survey on how gender viewpoints differ in the workplace. The survey touches on a variety of topics to better understand what factors have helped shape employees' careers and what challenges they face in the workplace. To better understand where gender might result in different points of view, the survey was fielded to both women and men.

Come join WITI and Randstad Technologies as we present a panel of insightful, influential women to discuss the challenges and opportunities that exist in STEM fields. Some of the topics our panelists will cover: job security, influence of mentors, career advancement and Inhibitors, building your personal brand, navigating different points of view and lessons learned.

Featured Speaker(s)

Theresa Hennesy is a visionary business leader with 30+ years of experience driving technology advancements in the communications and cable industry. She is an effective leader, building and optimizing organizations, leading and managing technical operations for applications, data, internet, and voice platforms. Her unwavering customer focus and her expertise in streamlining operations, developing high performance teams, and applying cyber security policies and practices have informed all her work.

Theresa is currently serving as an Independent Board Member on Somos, Inc. In her previous role she was the SVP, Group Technical Advisor for Comcast Cable from 2011 to 2017, and Interim Chief Information Security Officer from 2015 to 2016. She reported to the Chief Network Officer, where she facilitated his vision in close collaboration with members of the leadership team and led strategic initiatives for the Engineering executive team. As CISO, she led the Comcast Cable information and infrastructure security strategy and operations, and focused on customer data protection, managing and mitigating risk. She also provided the business with trusted advisors by aligning cyber security engineering to business verticals.

In 2016, Theresa was honored with the cable industry award for “2016 Women in Technology” and named by Cablefax Magazine as one of the 2016 Most Powerful Women in Cable. In 2015, she was honored by Multichannel magazine as the national MSO Multichannel News Women in Technology and WICT Philadelphia Educator award for her work in mentorship for young women. She was recognized in 2014 as one of the “100 Diverse Corporate Leaders” by STEMConnector.

Theresa is passionate about STEM and mentoring women in technology, and is an active member of WICT, SCTE, WIT, WITI and FIRST Robotic. She lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband.

Sarah Naqvi is Executive Vice President and Chief Information Officer of HMSHost Corporation, a world leader in creating dining for travel venues. HMSHost operates in nearly 120 airports around the globe (including the 20 busiest in North America) and in 99 travel plazas on motorways throughout the U.S. and Canada. With over $3.1 billion in sales in 2016, the Company has 39,500 associates worldwide. Sarah is responsible for managing all IT resource planning, budgeting and operational initiatives.

Sarah has been with HMSHost since 2000 in various IT roles, and is a technology professional with more than two decades of experience managing Software Development, Network Management, Information Security, Business Intelligence, Point of Sale, ERP Solution, Strategic Initiatives and Social Presence. In 2004,

Sarah was promoted to the role of Vice President of IT, overseeing all IT development including expansion into Asia. In 2013, she became CVP & Chief Information Officer, aligning HMSHost's IT organization with the business, driving innovation and business transformation through technology, and minimizing risk.

Sarah was selected as one of Computerworld's Premier 100 Technology Leaders for 2017 and named a finalist in 2014 for “Chief Information Officer/Chief Technology Officer of the Year” by Tech Council of Maryland. Her leadership also led HMSHost to be awarded “Technology Accelerator of the Year in 2015” by FSTech. Sarah has been an active speaker across forums and her key interests are in the areas of business transformation, technology innovation, and technology / business alignment. She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from University of Maryland University College.

Tujuanna B. Williams is the founder and Principal of Tujuanna Williams Consulting LLC, a multi-faceted management consulting and coaching firm specializing in Diversity and Inclusion Strategy, Talent Optimization and Executive Leadership Coaching. Ms. Williams is committed to helping corporations, professionals and entrepreneurs maximize talent and achieve enhanced business results by building more inclusive workplaces.

Ms. Williams capitalizes on her successful corporate career, by being at the forefront of initiatives that support talent acquisition, employee retention, equity and education. She is the former Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer for Fannie Mae where she was responsible for leading the development, implementation, management, and evaluation of Fannie Mae’s corporate diversity and inclusion strategy, policies, and programs.

Ms. Williams is recognized as a highly accomplished leader, strategist, facilitator and sought after speaker, with more than twenty-five years in executive positions with Fortune 100 companies like Freddie Mac, Verizon and USAirways. Under her guidance, a culture of inclusion was established leveraging partnerships with Women in Technology (WIT), Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) and Hispanic IT Executive Council (HITEC). These partnerships yielded increased representation of women, African Americans and Hispanics in leadership positions. As a result, Ms. Williams created mentoring programs and hosted Hack-a-thons focused on STEM participants.

Jill Porubovic is the Vice President of Global Support and End User Technologies at Discovery Inc. With over 80 offices in 33 countries, Jill and her team support all internal resource needs including customer support, hardware, procurement, asset management, unified communications/messaging, desktop engineering, identity, SOX controls, AV/events, ITSM, telephony, mobility, M&A activities, Global Outage Operations, and IT facilities execution/management.

For nearly 10 years Jill has been at Discovery in various IT leadership roles. Prior to Discovery she spent 15+ years supporting IT product management and implementation in the telephony industry during the advent of cellphones and VOIP services. She's been through countless corporate mergers and acquisitions as well as bankruptcy which have taught her to be resilient, innovative, risk tolerant, and to never give up or settle.

Jill is dedicated to a diverse and philanthropic workforce always challenging her team to pilot new ideas. The team won an Innovation Award for their implementation of Discovery TechKnow Bars globally which delivers face-to-face service for customers. This effort resulted in better quality service, an 80% reduction of calls into the support team, and expanded career opportunities. The team has won awards from Per Scholas and Broad Futures for their efforts in supporting programs leveraging workforce diversity. Additionally, they've created programs for employees to purchase gently used gear, nominate non-profits for equipment donations, and helped launch a program to engage employees in beta testing new technology which have all been extremely successful. The team coordinated donations to Amnesty International, Maryland Public Schools, Shepherds Table and Say Yes To The Prom. After the devastation of hurricane Irma they partnered to bring equipment to the island of Barbuda, aiding in the rebuilding of schools.

Elma Levy built Dovel Technologies from a two- person company into a mature organization with significant business offerings to the Federal Government. She established the corporate processes needed to provide the company with a solid foundation for organic growth and stability in all corporate governance areas including accounting and finance, contracting, HR, BD, and QA. She established the Dovel advisory board and managed relationships with outside accounting and legal teams. She successfully transitioned from her role as CEO to her current role as Chair of the Board, where she oversees the well-being of the organization from a Board level.

In addition to her work at Dovel, Ms. Levy is involved with several philanthropic organizations. At Montgomery Hospice, in addition to her work as a patient volunteer, she serves on the Board of Directors as well as on several committees. She served as a certified mentor for SCORE where she supported and advised new and aspiring entrepreneurs and she currently is a Mentor in Residence for the GW School of Innovation and Entrepreneurship; she serves as a member of the National Advisory Council of the GW School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Levy completed her undergraduate degree at George Mason University, and she has a Master's Degree in Health Care from Marymount University. She holds certifications as a Leadership Coach and LifeSkills Coach.

Alisia Genzler holds the position of President and Chief Client Officer for Randstad Technologies. In this role she oversees all sales teams, manages sales performance across strategic, major, and emerging account segments. With over two decades of industry experience Alisia brings a wealth of knowledge in strategic planning and execution. Serving in many key roles throughout the organization, Alisia's entrepreneurial drive and strong business acumen have led to increased revenues, gross profit growth and improved ROI. Along with a proven track record of building high performing teams, she is recognized for conceptualizing many key sales and operational innovations within Randstad Technologies that have streamlined efficiencies and positioned the organization as a leader in the industry.

Alisia started her career with SFN Group as an Account Executive and was promoted into a regional management position in 2006. After the acquisition of Technisource she held many key leadership roles within the organization, and continued her success as a strategic leader when the company integrated with Randstad Technologies. Offices under Alisia's leadership have excelled; repeatedly winning quarterly and annual production awards. Alisia has garnered the Pinnacle Award, the SFN Group's highest performance recognition award.

Alisia graduated from Marquette University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance, as well as a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) in Finance and Financial Management Services. She is also a member of several industry associations and serves as an advocate and spokesperson for Randstad Technologies championing issues including diversity and inclusion, STEM programs for the next generation and empowering women in technology.

Schedule of Events

Schedule of Events
5:30 pm Check-in and networking
6:15 pm WITI Welcome & Introductions
6:30 pm Panel Presentation & Questions
8:00 pm WITI Raffles
8:15 pm Wrap up