As vice president of ADP’s Enterprise Architecture Center of Excellence, Isabel Espina-Carvajal is responsible for defining the standards around technology, data, processes, security, and infrastructure for the Global Product and Technology ADP organization.

She has spent the past six years as chief data architect of ADP’s Innovation Lab. It serves as an incubator for automated, intelligent and predictive human capital management solutions and places emphasis on analytics, search, mobile, social media and user experience. In that role, Espina-Carvajal led the creation of ADP’s first standard interface for a seamless mobile application experience.

The technology contextualizes content in any geopolitical environment. The concept was transformational for the company, allowing ADP to expose and integrate its data in the market, launching the ADP Marketplace.

Her passion for seeing diversity growth in the technology industry has inspired her to mentor others. She knows how it feels to be the only girl in the room and felt isolated back in the years when she was studying electrical engineering and computer science. That certainly didn’t deter her from pursuing a career in technology and channeling those feelings into giving back.

In the words of Isabel Espina-Carvajal:

Where do you see women in STEM in five years?
“We are at a turning point for STEM. Tere are programs being rolled out in schools, there is more awareness in the world, tech is pervasive in everyone’s life. Companies understand that they have a huge need to fill tech jobs and we have a huge untapped population.”

How can the world increase diversity in STEM fields?
“Ensuring that STEM is part of all programs in public and private education from an early age. It needs to be a culture shift. Educating parents on how they can make it fun for kids, encouraging kids to be creative without following traditional gender lines. Educating parents how these skills can provide a lot of opportunities for kids, in the future in a non-tech way but more in a how you can change the world.”

What barriers are in the way to closing the gender gap in STEM?
“STEM still has an image that most girls don’t identify with. Peer pressure to fit in for adolescents drives girls away from daring to be different.”

What can be done to move women forward in STEM?
“Presenting STEM as beyond coding. STEM enables people to think of coming up with tangible solutions to problems. Women do that every day. Enabling a solution with STEM requires the entire process concept, ideation, incubation, execution, evangelizing, selling. If we can better articulate to people in general that a team can come up with a great idea and create a solution it may encourage more involvement.” PDJ