The Changing STEM World
Many school systems now place an increased emphasis on STEM, and children are immersed in STEM-related topics at an early age. The coding classes available to young students with little to no previous exposure will build the muscle required to navigate a long-term sustainable career. For example, my son was able to take a robotics class at the age of 10, which introduced him to the coding world.
Increasing Diversity in STEM
One of the best ways to increase diversity in STEM is for companies and trade journals to highlight and showcase diverse individuals in various STEM positions across a myriad of industries and companies. The current perception of what it means to be committed to STEM does not lend itself to creating and supporting diversity in the workplace.
Closing the STEM Gender Gap
To close the gender gap in STEM fields, we must 1) include a greater number of diverse candidates during the interview process for new STEM opportunities; 2) promote more women to leadership positions throughout organizations; and 3) recognize that there are many career paths open to STEM professionals and many ways to contribute.
My Own STEM Experience
I have had an amazing 32-year STEM career, which began at a large data processing company, where I participated in a training program and acquired the skills I needed to succeed as a mainframe programmer. During my 18-year tenure there, I rose from programmer trainee to senior client account management. I then transitioned to the pharmaceutical industry, joining the teams at Pfizer and Zoetis.
Four years ago I was introduced to an amazing opportunity at New York Life—business relationship manager in charge of internal & external communications. I am honored to have been recently promoted to vice president responsible for the corporate technology portfolio.
It is important to note that over the past 15 years of my career I have had the opportunity to move into a different role almost every two years, which allowed me to learn new platforms and processes, and grow my personal brand. The ability to build and sustain strong technology and business relationships in a short time is the cornerstone of my success.