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 Speakers

Kesha Williams is an award-winning software engineering manager with over 20 years' experience specializing in full-stack web development. She's passionate about emerging technologies, speaking, teaching, and mentoring. She's trained thousands of software engineers in the US, Europe, and Asia while teaching at the university level. She routinely leads innovation teams in proving out emerging technologies and shares her learnings at technical conferences around the globe. She recently won the Ada Lovelace Award in Computer Engineering from Look Far and the Think Different Innovation Award from Chick-fil-A for her work with Artificial Intelligence (AI). She was recently featured in Amazon's "Alexa Women of Voice" campaign and named an "Alexa Champion". In her spare time, she leads the Georgia chapter of Technovation, writes news for InfoQ, authors video courses, mentors women in tech, and conducts free coding workshops for children at her local library.

Allana Cummings is Chief Information Officer of Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Prior to her role with Children's, Cummings served as CIO at Northeast Georgia Health System, where she oversaw the information technology, clinical informatics, and telecommunications departments. She also previously served as Vice-president/ CIO of Children's Healthcare Services of Omaha.

Throughout her career, the teams Cummings has worked with have received robust national recognition for efforts in implementing electronic medical records and other technologies to advance the safety of patient care, most recently including HIMSS EMRAM Ambulatory Stage 7, HIMSS EMRAM Stage 6 and Information Week 500 award. Cummings has also been recognized among the "100 Hospital and Health System CIOs to Know" in Becker's Hospital Review and Health Care's Most -Wired Board.

She served as chair of the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Worldwide Board and as a member of the HIMSS Analytics Board and Most Wired Advisory Board. She was also appointed by Governor Nathan Deal to the Department of Community Health Board (2013 to present) and serves on the DCH Policy Committee and DCH Care Management Committee.

Allana attended Mercer University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Organization Leadership and completed her Executive MBA from the Ken Blanchard College of Business at Grand Canyon University. In addition, Cummings is a certified professional in healthcare information and management systems (CPHIMS), Certified Healthcare Chief Information Officer (CHCIO) and has also earned her project management professional (PMP) certification and FHIMSS (HIMSS Fellow).

Shannon Johnston serves as Senior Vice President, Software Engineering at Global Payments Inc, one of the world's leading payment processors and a Fortune 1000 company. Global Payments has been recognized by as one of the "Platinum 400- Best Big Companies."

Prior to this, Shannon has had select C level roles: as CIO at Mspark, a results-oriented advertising and marketing services company, COO at ShopVisible, a SaaS eCommerce software company for B2B and B2C eCommerce, and CTO at Points of Light, a national non-profit organization focused on volunteerism and civic engagement.

Shannon has been in technology and the financial services industry for 15 plus years, having held roles at TSYS and CompuCredit, including Vice President, Information Technology - Global Infrastructure Services, where she was responsible for worldwide IT operations.

Shannon holds a bachelor's degree from Armstrong State University, Savannah, Ga. She is a 2011 Stevie award finalist for Coach and Mentor of the Year, a contributing author to the 2010 book, CLIMB: Leading Women in Technology Share Their Journeys to Success, a former board member of Tech Birmingham, and former director and board member of Women in Technology (WIT) and the recipient of its WIT 2009 Women of the Year in Technology award for mid-market businesses.

Nicole Monroe is the Chief Information Officer for Parker, Hudson, Rainer and Dobbs (PHRD). She directs the firm's Information Technology department, overseeing and managing all aspects of the firm's strategic and operational technology-related initiatives. She works closely with firm executives and practice leadership to ensure technology effectively supports the firm's client service and business objectives.

With more than 15 years of experience in the technology field, Nicole has worked within a number of industries including legal, health care, and government. Her experience spans a wide range of IT-related specialties including networking, security, end user computing and applications. She is a skilled communicator and leader, having managed a number of highly-productive IT teams. Before joining PHRD, she served as the Director of IT for the VA Attorney General's office, one of the largest law firms in VA. She was responsible for all IT strategic planning and played a lead role in the Attorney General's technology initiative to reform and modernize the office.

Nicole received her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Spelman College and her Master of Science degree in Management Information Systems from Strayer University. She served on the Advisory Board for the 2016 Virginia Governing Leadership Forum and is an active member of the International Legal Technology Association(ILTA), Women in Technology and Atlanta Association of Legal Administrators (AALA).

Sarah Moore has focused on bridging the gap between IT and the rest of the business for over 18 years. Sarah is currently Vice President, IT Applications at Randstad USA where she is a founding member of WIRED (Women in Randstad Empowering Development). While serving in a broad range of industries and technical leadership roles, the common theme throughout Sarah's career is technical project management concentrating on improving technology performance, profitability, and user experience.

With expertise in IT Project Management, Business Analysis, Operations, Governance, Support and Application Development she is passionate about mentoring, leading teams, resolving conflict and developing business relationships.

Sarah received her B.S. in Computer Science from Georgia Tech. In addition to mentoring women at Randstad through WIRED, Sarah is a Mentor Jacket, coaching female students at Georgia Tech as they plan to enter the workforce. Sarah is also proud to serve as a Navigator in Randstad's Hire Hope program, which provides underserved and at-risk women with career readiness training and job opportunities. Sarah and her husband Mark are also very active in the Sandy Springs community, including Sandy Springs Conservancy and Heritage Sandy Springs.