13 females shatter the glass ceiling for women in technology

Compiled by Rebecca Lee
Northwest Asian Weekly

According to the Association for Women in Science, women make up less than 25 percent of engineering and computer science majors in four-year colleges and universities. This year, at the Women of Color Empowered luncheon, we are honoring 13 women of power in technology who have made themselves exceptions to the rule.

On Friday, Jan. 28, at New Hong Kong Restaurant, these individuals will be celebrated for their accomplishments in their career as well as their involvement with the community.

Melanie Caoile is the director of Global Strategy and Solutions for the Global Creative Solutions team within Microsoft, which builds innovative advertising solutions for advertisers on MSN, Xbox, and Windows Live. Prior to this, she was the business manager to the corporate vice president for Consumer & Online, an organization focused on marketing Microsoft’s consumer assets and driving sales of online advertising. She earned her Masters of Business Administration from the Simon Graduate School of Business at the University of Rochester.

Mala Chandra is the chief executive officer and founder of MyMobiLife LLC, which develops innovative applications for mobile phones. She creates system architectures, products, and enterprise execution strategies. She has held senior executive management positions at the Microsoft Corporation, Telcordia Technologies, Inc., Motorola USA, Sun Microsystems Inc., and Tandem Computers Inc. She earned her business degree from the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business at the University of Pittsburgh.

Trish Dziko is the cofounder and executive director for Technology Access Foundation (TAF). Prior to working at TAF, she spent 15 years as a developer, designer, and manager in the high-tech industry. She started at Microsoft  as a contractor, but soon earned a position promoting diversity for the human resources division. In 1996, she founded TAF, which provides opportunities for underrepresented minority students, who lack the access to technology training in their public schools. Dziko earned her doctorate from Seattle University.

Venetia Espinoza is the director of product development at T-Mobile USA, Inc. She has served as the senior director of business development for Nextel Wireless Internet Services and started her career with GTE International, which helped launch wireless services in Venezuela. Espinoza earned her Masters of Business Administration from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas.

Cam Herzog is currently the information technology associate director and senior consultant at Group Health. She has been with Group Health for more than 26 years. She was chosen for the IT Services Advisory Committee of Premier Healthcare Alliance, which negotiates volume pricing and shares best practices among many hospitals and other healthcare sites. Cam earned her Masters of Information Technology Management at the University of Phoenix.

Kathryn Hinsch is the board president of Women’s Bioethics Project, which she founded in June 2004. The Women’s Bioethics Project  (WBP) promotes the application of biotechnology to improve the lives of women. Prior to WBP, she worked at Microsoft  for 12 years. She was the senior director of Worldwide Marketing Windows Compact Embedded, which was the platform for a new generation of handheld devices. Hinsch earned her Masters of Science from Alden March Bioethics Institute at Albany Medical College.

Charlotte Lin is currently a consultant at Paladin Investments. Prior to Paladin, Lin worked at Boeing for 24 years, retiring in 2007. She has held an executive position for Airborne Warning and Control System, Airborne Surveillance Testbed, and Airborne Early Warning and Control Wedgetail.  She also did research and development for Schlumberger in Connecticut and Hitachi in Japan. She earned her doctorate at Cornell University.

Natala Menezes is the senior product manager at Amazon Mechanical Turk. Prior to Amazon, she was the director of product development at Teach Street, which is a focused search engine connecting teachers with new students. Her position involved taking new products to market, defining a customer-centric product strategy, and overall search experience.  She earned her Bachelors of Arts from the University of Minnesota.

Gina Northover-Moore is the editor of IndianRodeoNews.com. Prior to working as an editor, she worked for Microsoft as a contractor. She did e-commerce website marketing  for start-up companies like Point.com and Conversational Computing. Eventually, Northover-Moore wanted to produce up-to-date Rodeo News, which promotes American Indian rodeos and recognize native youth competing in any rodeo, as well as supporting future Indian Rodeo Queens. She earned her associate’s degree from the Art Institute of Seattle.

Viji Murali is the vice president for Information Services and chief information officer at Washington State University (WSU). She is responsible for academic and administrative computing, convergent technologies, distance learning technologies, and strategic planning and policy development for the IT enterprise. Prior to WSU, she was vice president for information technology and chief information officer at Western Michigan University for 8 years. She earned many degrees, including her Masters of Science degrees from India, as well as her Master of Science from the University of Arizona.

Sonja Outlaw is the manager of Infrastructure Operations in the information technology department for the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. She has been with the company since 1994. She oversees the operations of telephony, networking, e-mail, storage, and data protection services, as well as the application and database support. She earned her Masters of Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Keiko Pitter is the chief technology officer at Whitman College in Walla Walla. She has also worked for Willamette University as the executive director in the Technology Services Department. Prior to that, she taught at Truckee Meadows Community College, in Reno, Nev. She has published more than 30 technology books, which have been translated into many languages. She earned a Masters of Arts from the University of Nevada.

Rebecca Sanchez is currently the senior manager at Accenture, a company she bas been with for more than 14 years. She works both domestically and internationally within the industry to provide project delivery and quality assurance. She serves as Accenture’s Executive Sponsor for Seattle’s Cultural Awareness and Inclusion Network, Accenture’s Seattle Hispanic American Initiatives Champion, and she is active in Accenture’s women’s career development and networking initiatives. She earned her undergraduate degree from Rhodes College in Memphis.

The master of ceremonies

Sharon Pian Chan is a technology reporter for The Seattle Times and vice president of UNITY Journalists of Color. Prior to working in Seattle, she was the managing editor of Orange Coast, a regional lifestyle magazine based in Orange County, Calif. She earned her degree in literature from Pomona College.  ♦

For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.womenofcolorempowered.com or read the ad on page 7.

Rebecca Lee can be reached at info@nwasianweekly.com.

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2 Responses to “13 females shatter the glass ceiling for women in technology”

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