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, 451 Research and Randstad Technologies have joined together to conduct a survey on how gender viewpoints differ in the workplace. The survey, conducted in June and July 2017 and completed by 1,901 respondents currently working in a science, technology, engineering or math (STEM)-related field, touched 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, the Seidenberg School at Pace University 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 based on our findings in this year's research: job security, influence of mentors, career advancement and Inhibitors, navigating different points of view and lessons learned.

At Pace University, the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems advances women in technology as one of its core commitments. In recent years, the School has recruited and sustained 28% or higher enrollment of female students in its computing programs, surpassing the national average of 18%.

Featured Speakers

Melissa Isaacs - VP of IT, Moody's Corporation

Melissa Isaacs is a Vice President within the Information Technology team at Moody's Corporation. She has been at Moody's since 2001 and has held various roles in the Infrastructure Services group, which provides technology services across all Moody's business lines. Currently, she is the Global Head of End User Support, responsible for employee technical needs and relationship management. As part of this role, Melissa directly manages the Service Desk and leads a global team in 50+ locations, who act as the face of IT.

Melissa has vast experience in IT Service Management across multiple areas, including operations, delivery, design and strategy. She has managed both programs and projects within Infrastructure, IT Risk and Security, and collaborated broadly across the organization with different teams to deliver significant IT solutions. Prior to joining Moody's, Melissa worked at IBM, Bank of New York, JPMorgan Chase, Perot Systems, and Dell Services.

Melissa has a Master in Business Administration from Stevens Institute of Technology and a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering Technology from New York Institute of Technology.

Leilani Farol - Executive Director, JPMC

Leilani is an Executive Director within Global Technology at JPMorgan Chase. She has been with the firm since 2015 and over the last 18 years has had various technology roles within a wide range of industries.

Leilani is a technology project and program management professional with experience in all aspects of digital project management, business development, business/technical analysis, application development, infrastructure management and system implementation within the Finance, Healthcare, Consulting, E-commerce and fashion industries in the U.S. and Internationally.

Leilani holds a Masters in Information Systems Management from Stevens Institute of Technology and a Bachelors from Manhattan College.

Kristy Wallace - Director, Ellevate Network (CEO, Ellevate Network)

Kristy Wallace is the CEO of Ellevate Network, and is responsible for executing Ellevate Network's mission to close the gender achievement gap in business by providing professional women with a global community to lean on and learn from. She directs the Network's staff, is responsible for business growth and strategy, and works closely with Ellevate's Chapter Leaders, Business Partners, and Champions to further Ellevate's impact.

Kristy is host of the Ellevate Podcast: Conversations with Women Changing the Face of Business and is also a regular speaker and thought leader on Driving Business Change Through Leadership Engagement, Impact of Diversity in Business, Social Entrepreneurship, Networking, Developing a Personal Brand, Entrepreneurialism, and Work/Life Balance. Most recently, Kristy was recognized as a Woman of Influence by the New York Business Journal.

Kristy obtained her BA in English/Sociology from Villanova University and began her career as a financial analyst at KeyBank. In her "free time," she serves as Co-Chair of the Leadership Advisory Board for the Girl Scout Council of Greater New York and is a Board Member for Workforce Professionals Training Institute (WPTI). Kristy is a member of Pipeline Angels, a network of new and seasoned women investors changing the face of angel investing and creating capital for women and non-binary femme social entrepreneurs. Kristy is also on the Advisory Committee for the 92Y Women inPower fellowship program.

A passionate runner, reader and world traveler, Kristy lives in Greenpoint, Brooklyn with her husband and three wonderful children.

Monica C. Smith - Founder and CEO of Marketsmith, Inc.

Monica founded Marketsmith, Inc. in 1999, which has become one of the nation's fastest-growing, woman-owned integrated-marketing agencies in the U.S. An independent, full-service agency that specializes in analytics, Marketsmith handles over $200M a year in billings and partners with local, national and global clients to deliver effective strategies for media and creative content that lift ROI by 30%.

Recognizing that her agency and its clients needed a faster, more efficient way to churn and analyze vast amounts of data, Monica created i.Predictus in 2011. The predictive analytics-based platform can predict sales with 93% accuracy. With the company's unique I.P.Q. Approach, clients are viewed as partners - designed to learn, build trust, and enrich relationships with transparency - with an average client tenure of over 7 years.

Named to the NJ Power 100 list three years in a row, with Marketsmith recognized as one of the Inc. 5000, Monica's impact goes one step further in global citizenship. Monica believes strongly that those of us who have found success owe it to this word to make it a better place. One of her causes is the Bring Dinner Home Fund, which supports the children and families of the Camden Street Elementary School in Newark, NJ. Over the past 6 years, providing support for food, diapers, coats, books, and a STEAM early enrichment learning room, has increased student scores an average 6%, reduced student absenteeism to 15%, and increased teacher retention to 95%. This year, Monica and Marketsmith were recognized for their philanthropic efforts with the prestigious NJ State Governor's Jefferson Award for Corporate Leadership.

Monica has a B.S. in Communication and Media Studies from the College of Mount Saint Vincent. She is a member of Executive Women of New Jersey, and is a board member of the New Jersey Tech Council.

Robin Leibow - Director of Project Management, KPMG

Robin Leibow is Director of Project Management within Technology Engineering. She manages the Project and Operations Portfolios of work which is responsible for new technology and upgrade of existing technology for the KPMG US firm. Robin began her career with KPMG in January 1997 as a Project Manager and has moved through various positions within Information Technology while increasing responsibilities over time.

Prior to KPMG, Robin helped launch Winged Keel Group, a firm created to provide financial security management to high net worth individuals and executive benefits to corporations. She spearheaded the installation and maintenance of the company's first Local Area Network and developed automated systems, processes and procedures to enroll and administer benefit policies.

Robin started as a college intern at Local Area Telecommunications, Inc. where she helped automate the firms' accounting system. She worked there for three years during which she developed several programs to manage Customer Relationships, Invoice processing and pricing.

Robin is a Graduate of the State University of New York at Albany with a B.A. in Communications, a concentration in Telecommunications and a Minor in Business Administration. She maintains certifications as a Project Management Professional (PMP) and ScrumMaster (CSM).

Robin is a wife and Mother of 2 College Students, an avid skier, former Softball player and coach, outdoor, travel and fitness enthusiast.

Schedule of Events

8:30 am - Registration, Networking, and light breakfast
9:00 am - Welcome, WITI Overview and Panel Introduction
9:15 am - Panel and Discussion
10:00 am - Raffle Prizes and Wrap Up
10:15 am - Networking & Informal Recruiting Sessions on Career Advice and Resumes with Randstad Technologies
11:00 am - Adjourn