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)

Graig Paglieri, President of Randstad Technologies and Engineering

As president of Randstad Technologies and Engineering, Graig Paglieri is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations and strategic direction of the Randstad Technologies and Engineering brands. In addition, Graig leads Randstad's central delivery team, whose charge is to develop disruptive and industry-leading delivery capabilities and technology-enabled business models. Previous to his current role, Graig served as Randstad's chief innovation officer and was committed to driving continuous transformation into an increasingly digital and technology-driven organization. While his start in the staffing industry was over a decade ago, Graig's first career was with the U.S. Marine Corps, which provided him with the unique ability to develop leadership capabilities and enhance decision-making skills and dexterity �" all of which he applies today. Graig holds a bachelor's degree from Boston College and an MBA from Wake Forest University.

Karen Gispanski, VP, Global Cyber Security Operations at Nielsen
Karen Gispanski joined Nielsen's Global Cyber Security Team November 2016. Karen is responsible for Cyber Security Operations, including Security Operations, Threat Intelligence, and Incident response. Karen has held several security strategic leadership roles and her experience ranges across multiple industries including managed security, financial, medical, manufacturing, and security consulting. She has built global security operations and computer security incident response teams that included, specialists, administrators, analysts and engineers. Karen also led corporate security programs which have achieved PCI, ISO 27001, and SOC 2 certifications.

Amy Gleason
Co-founder, Chief Strategy Officer/Chief of Staff at CareSync

Amy Gleason began her career in the emergency room but quickly found that she loved technology. Because she is a believer that technology can improve healthcare, she spent years implementing and building Electronic Medical Record and Practice Management applications. After her daughter was diagnosed with a rare disease in 2010, she cofounded CareSync, a technology enabled care coordination service. She is currently doing strategic consulting projects for small and large companies, many of whom are launching new technology platforms or looking to improve the ones they have. Amy also proudly volunteers on the Board of Directors for the Cure JM Foundation, where she uses her clinical and technology experience to help the growing non-profit fund research toward a cure of Juvenile Myositis.

Joanne Persinger
Senior Vice President, Information Technology, Americas at Tech Data

Joanne has served as a Tech Data Information Technology Executive since 2000. Joanne joined Tech Data in 1989 and has held various leadership positions including Marketing Manager, Director of Customer Relations, Director of Business Analysis and Vice President of Logistics systems. As part of Tech Data's global IT organization, Joanne is responsible for Enterprise Delivery, the IT function that provides SAP build and run services which supports Tech Data's $36B in annual revenue.

Joanne is active with Tech Data's Corporate Diversity Council and is the Executive Sponsor of the company's Elevate employee resource group, an inclusive ERG offering workshops, networking, round tables, lunch sessions and other events to all employees. As a women's ERG, Elevate uses these various forums to educate men and women on how to build equity at Tech Data. Most importantly, Elevate supports the development and career-pathing of Tech Data's female employees. Joanne also serves as a board member for Tampa Bay Tech (TBT), Florida's largest technology council, and serves as their co-chair for the Executive Council. Joanne holds a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from the University of West Florida and a Masters of Business Administration from Florida State University.

Samantha Barowski
Director, IT Customer Service Operations at Bloomin' Brands, Inc.

Samantha has been working for Bloomin' Brands for the last 16 years with 11 of those years within the IT department. She has worked in all levels of the support organization from Tier 1 to now Director. In her role she currently oversees the Support and Operations functions for Bloomin Brands IT. In her current role as Director of IT Support and Operations, she oversees all levels of support, 24x7 monitoring, new restaurant openings, imaging, patching, and change and release management.

In 2007 Samantha transitioned to the corporate office of Outback Steakhouse in Tampa, Florida as a Tier 1 help desk technician, after working as a server at Outback Steakhouse. She brought an operational perspective to the support team and within the first year was beginning to oversee the training program for all new support technicians. As the years progressed so did the roles and responsibilities. Outside of work Samantha is a wife and mother and enjoys spending time with her family.