Women in Technology Roundtable
Fostering Strong Innovative Female Leadership in Technology

VIP Theater

Starts: June 7, 2023 1:00 pm
Ends: 2:00 pm
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Why do we need to bother about Diversity and Inclusion (D&I)? Is there value in taking the critical steps to evolve into a more diverse culture? Research has found that D&I 1) helps foster and contribute to enriched innovation, collaboration, and creativity; 2) broadens the talent pool and attracts enhanced skill sets. 3) Improves market reputation and trust therefore increasing customer base. 4) Improves investor and regulatory relationships and much more.

This panel of distinguished Women will share their experience and insight on the following topics:

  1. Overcoming gender bias and discrimination in the tech industry
  2. Strategies for increasing the number of women in tech and closing the gender gap
  3. The importance of mentorship and support networks for women in tech
  4. Balancing work and family responsibilities as a woman in the tech industry
  5. The benefits and challenges of diversity in tech teams
  6. Emerging trends and opportunities for women in technology
  7. Encouraging young girls to pursue careers in technology
  8. Highlighting the achievements and contributions of women in technology
  9. Addressing the pay gap and negotiating salaries as a woman in tech
  10. Building inclusive workplace cultures that support and value women in technology.
Diedra Hollins - Technology Expert

Diedra Hollins

Deputy Chief Information Officer/Chief Operating Officer, Idaho National Labaratory

Mrs. Hollins has over 20 years’ experience in technical servant leadership in the Information Technology industry. She has achieved a Master of Science in Information and Telecommunications Systems Management, and has proven her ability to effectively lead manage and drive IT environments. During her career, she has successfully been employed in both the private and public sectors, where she has set major benchmarks, showing both technical and managerial leadership. Mrs. Hollins has expert experience in Digital Transformation, managing/leveraging vendor partnerships, and improving IT operational environments. As an effective Information Technology Leader, Mrs. Hollins is known for evolving IT environments to meet and exceed Industry Best Practices, organizational goals, and provide superior service. Service excellence and team accountability are Mrs. Hollins driving forces

Leah McLean - Technology Expert

Leah McLean

VP, Cybersecurity Specialist, Mastercard

Leah McLean is Vice President, Cybersecurity Specialist at Mastercard. She is focused on evolving cybersecurity risk management approaches and methodology, and cybersecurity awareness and training. She actively contributes to community working groups to advance cybersecurity risk management, cyber risk quantification, and third-party risk. Leah is a co-founder at Whole Cyber Human Initiative, a non-profit focused on redefining how we identify, train, equip, advance knowledge, and build workforce development within IT and Cybersecurity. She also volunteers for Cyber Future Foundation, a non-profit driving workforce development initiatives and private and public sector collaboration. Leah is also a mentor to candidates breaking into cybersecurity careers and collaborates with employers to rethink their workforce and hiring strategies. Previously Leah held senior level roles as a cybersecurity practitioner at Armor, a cloud security company, Apstra (acquired by Juniper Networks), A10 Networks and Cisco Systems. Leah serves on the Board of Advisors for Cloud Defense, Inc., a cloud data security startup and is on the board for the Cloud Security Alliance North Texas Chapter. She serves as Chair of the Texas Elevate Xchange, hosting tabletops with CISOs, CIOs and CTOs. Leah holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, with an emphasis in International Relations from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is an active outdoor junkie always chasing adventure.

Melissa Kraft - Technology Expert

Melissa Kraft

Chief Information Office - City of Frisco

Kraft is the Chief Information Officer at Dallas County, the ninth largest County in the United States, she oversees the Information Technology (IT) systems for approximately 7,400 County employees and the electronic records for over 2.6 million residents. Before coming to Dallas County, she was the Chief Technology Officer at the City of Denton, a full-service city that includes; electric, water, solid waste, and an airport. At the City of Denton, Kraft led the technology and infrastructure transformation, including a data center consolidation, a data academy, a consolidated 911 dispatch center with the Town of Little Elm, public Wi-Fi, an open data portal, and assisted in launching the city’s first co-working space for technology startups. Before working in Denton, she served in various leadership roles both in public and private companies for over 20 years. Kraft has dedicated her career to public service, serving the United States Army for almost 9 years including directing the network operations center in Baghdad, Iraq. Kraft holds a Master of Business Administration degree from Sam Houston State University and a Bachelor of Science from Troy University.

Erin Liao - Technology Expert

Erin Liao

VP, Head of E2E 5g Systems, Ericsson

Twenty years of global R&D leadership and program management expertise in mobile communication industry. Passionate about accelerating 5G innovation with strategic vision and flawless execution.

Pratibha Aphale - Technology Expert

Pratibha Aphale

VP & Business Information Security Officer, Goldman Sachs

With 20+ years of experience as a leader in Global Information Technology, I have integral expertise in cybersecurity, cloud infrastructure, ERP evaluation, application support, Global Service desk, as well as data analytics. By forming and leading IT steering committees from the ground up, I have been a trusted leader within the business.