As women increasingly become the focus of tech recruiting efforts – particularly in mobile/wireless tech roles across a wide variety of industries, the Mobile Technology Association of Michigan (MTAM) has identified a need for a statewide resource that can pull together the various stakeholders and resources focused on this issue. As a result, the statewide non-profit trade association has started the ‘Women in Mobile Tech’ Advisory Council, with its launch event being held on Monday, June 22nd from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m. at the Iroquois Club located in Bloomfield Hills. Those interested in attending the launch event can register at http://www.MessageBlocks.com/MTAMWomenInMobileTech. Registration discounts are available for MTAM members, and members/staff of our event sponsors and partners.
The ‘Women in Mobile Tech’ launch event will feature a panel of women leaders in the mobile/wireless tech space from a cross-section of industries involved in providing or using mobile/wireless tech, including:
Jenny Deason-Copeland, Network Project Manager for AT&T Mobility, a writer and historian currently writing a book discussing why women don’t stay in STEM careers, and a long-time veteran in telecommunications engineering and network roles
Suzanne Chartier, VP/Director of Engineering Services for EyeWyre Software Studios and a veteran of the tech industry with previous roles including Chief Technologist for Americas Application Management and US Manufacturing, Energy, and Life Sciences Industry Chief Architect for HP Enterprise Services, as well as Apps Modernization Chief Technologist and Systems Architect for Electronic Data Systems
Meredith Phillips, Chief Privacy & Information Security Officer for Henry Ford Health System, as well as Vice-chairperson of the Michigan Healthcare Security Council, Board Vice-president of the Medical Identity Fraud Alliance, and Co-chairperson for the Detroit CISO Executive Summit
Kimberly Green-Kerr, Regional Vice-president for Sprint Business for the West Region, which is comprised of 25 states, six Directors, and over 500 team members, and previous service as Area Vice-president of the Michigan/Northwest Ohio market.
Linda Marshall, a telecommunications industry consultant, and formerly President of the OnStar division of General Motors, COO of Revel Wireless, and VP Corporate Strategy for Sprint/Nextel.
Krischa Winright, CIO at Priority Health and VP of Information Systems at Spectrum Health; combining 25 years of experience in IT with 20 years in healthcare to lead consumer experience improvements and transparency initiatives.
Significant numbers of studies and articles are driving home the lack of women available to fill existing and upcoming positions utilizing mobile/wireless technologies – in every industry and at every level, and the many reasons cited for this issue. The event panel is expected to address this topic, as well as to discuss their own journey to achieving success in the field. MTAM’s Executive Director, Linda Daichendt states, “We are so honored to have these ground-breaking women participating in our event, and agreeing share their advice and personal journeys with our audience. Women focused on mobile/wireless tech can learn much from them, and we believe this can be the beginning of a significant drive for women in Michigan to utilize these technologies for career/business growth.”
Partners and sponsors for this event will soon be announced. Those organizations interested in being involved should contact MTAM at info@GoMobileMichigan.org.
WHY THE NEED FOR A ‘WOMEN IN MOBILE TECH’ ADVISORY COUNCIL
The mission of the statewide ‘Women in Mobile Tech’ advisory council is ‘to support women through access to educational forums, networking, mentoring, technical training, resources, scholarships, and more. Our primary focus is professional women currently working with, or interested in working with, these technologies in any industry.’
Given the large number of mobile/wireless tech job openings nationally, and the tremendous shortage of people to fill these openings – of any gender – the problem is continuing to gain increased attention. Michigan is no exception to the problem, particularly as more and more firms find Michigan to have a very effective cost structure for starting and growing a business. According to Ann Arbor SPARK CEO Paul Krutko in a recent mLive article, “The cost structure here is a third less than on the coast.”
However, much of the growth enabled by the cost-effective structure in Michigan is as hamstrung here as it is in other parts of the country due to the inequities of supply and demand when it comes to the availability of tech talent. There is just not enough mobile/wireless tech trained talent available, and our universities can’t turn out trained graduates fast enough to meet the demands of Michigan-based firms and branches of national and international firms located here. It’s an area of focus by a wide variety of regional employer groups, educational institutions, economic development organizations, and non-profits, with many of them identifying the need to engage more women in the space as a potential solution to this staffing shortage.
However, while many see the need to begin the focus on girls by exposing them to tech experiences and education at the grade school level, this ‘Women in Mobile Tech’ Advisory Council is instead focused on making talent available now and in the immediate future. According to MTAM’s Executive Director, Linda Daichendt, “We agree that there is a need for a long-term plan to bring young girls into tech fields, and we address that thru the work of our ‘Mobile in Education’ Council and other community efforts in which MTAM participates, however, we believe that Michigan businesses, and the economic development needs of the state, require a more immediate solution to meeting the mobile/wireless tech staffing needs of our firms and that there are many women in Michigan who could be that potential solution. This Council seeks to bring together partners from other non-profits, and from the education, business, and government communities to help find more immediate solutions. We’re actively seeking partners who want to work with us on solving this problem in Michigan because we believe solving it here gives Michigan an advantage in driving companies to relocate, launch and grow here.”