As a senior female executive in a male-dominated industry, Teena Piccione understands the barriers that exist for women in STEM fields. She works tirelessly helping bring down those barriers, dedicating over 500 hours each year toward STEM efforts in schools, hosting hackathons, girl geek events and initiatives at colleges across the country.

She is a visionary in the field of technology who seeks out change rather than letting change come to her. Throughout her career, she has encouraged others to do the same. Her career path crossed from telecommunications to financial services, where she’s senior vice president of information technology at Fidelity Investments. She gives back to the community to inspire girls to step into a STEM role.

Piccione is a firm believer that it is an exciting world where we are only bound by our imagination, and she encourages others in having a similar approach through one-on-one mentoring and her leadership in numerous STEM programs. She believes to have diverse thought-leadership you must put diversity in the room to make the decisions.

In the words of Teena Piccione:

How is the world changing with respect to STEM?
“The world sees there is a greater need for STEM yet the world is not focusing on how to address the gap in talent. There are connected devices added daily, apps added in seconds and technology continually changing in all fields. With technology changing daily, we need to train the next generation to understand it and be passionate about being involved in STEM.”

What can be done to move women forward in STEM?
“We have to think differently and act differently to move women forward in STEM. We have to start earlier reaching women in middle school and continue to inspire women throughout high school and into college. Together we can pave a path for a woman to excel in STEM.”

Where do you see women in STEM in five years?
“I hope that in five years more women are attending technical conferences. I would love for an equal number of men and women in boardrooms and executive leadership positions. I would love to see corporations and individuals invest in women so that in five years they are surrounded by the best in the industry.”

What barriers are in the way to closing the gender gap in STEM?
“We have to make this field exciting to girls and encourage them to excel in it. Together, we have to make this a priority to show the unlimited opportunities and possibilities. Students have passion and we need to show them possibilities and STEM opportunities that outline a path to an exciting career. We have to invest in our future!”