Diversity, equality, and inclusion is more than just a goal for the technology world — it’s a necessity. That’s why Mission Critical hosts the annual Women in Technology contest. As the demands for data generation, consumption, sharing, storage, processing, and more continue to grow and cybercriminals become increasingly more threatening, it’s clear that the industry needs more people to collaborative on innovative solutions to consumer needs, sustainable connectivity, and cyber safe infrastructure.
Women from all over the world in a wide range of technology sectors, including data centers, health care, and food processing, were nominated for their admirable contributions to the industry and the people who rely on it.
As Rebecca Ellis, president of Questions & Solutions Engineering Inc. and one of this year’s winners, so matter-of-factly put it, “If technology is to benefit all people, then all people need to be represented in the development and application of that technology.”
And, with that, Mission Critical is excited to introduce you to the 2022 Top 25 Women in Technology.
Title: Executive of Business Development
Company: Envirotrol, an EAS company
Education: Bachelor's degree in business administration
Organizational Affiliations: 7x24 Exchange Intl., 7x24 Exchange Carolina’s Chapter, iMasons, National Women in Construction (NAWIC), NAIOP, CoreNet, the International Society of Philosophical Enquiry (ISPE), and the North Carolina Hospital Engineers Association (NCHEA).
Achievements/Awards: Named the first female vice president at Envirotrol, served as executive director of the 7x24 Exchange Carolina’s Chapter for the past 12 years, and is a current board member of the NAWIC Triad.
What made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in technology?
This career in technology chose me. I entered the building automation industry just as technology shifts and growth were occurring — a very exciting time!
What inspires you to do what you do?
Helping people! The consistent and rapid changes and shifts in technology keep me energized to continue this career path.
What role does sustainability play in your life?
Sustainability is the cornerstone of what we achieve in managing buildings with automation. Carbon reduction through energy savings, plus developing new means and methods for optimization, are always in the forefront of our efforts.
Affiliate organizations I’m engaged in also support sustainability efforts in our industry.
What is the most fascinating thing you have learned while working in this industry?
Where technology lives — it has tangible infrastructure that requires people to develop and maintain. This industry needs youth considering their career paths to pursue their careers with us!
What’s something unique about you personally?
I am an artist at heart who loves to create beautiful things by painting, sewing and upcycling clothing, and playing the piano.
What’s something unique about you professionally?
I was an entrepreneur in the early decades of my career and, at the age of 40, worked for someone else for the first time instead of running the show. Whew, it was a transition!
What’s your most admirable quality?
Integrity. My aspiration is to hold attributes of integrity as core values in my life every day. That means being honest, trustworthy, helpful, hardworking, and respectful — a good and compassionate human.
Why is diversity, equality, and inclusion important to you?
Our workforce needs a strong trust and commitment to the organizations they are a part of to maintain relevance and success. I envision a workforce landscape for my granddaughter that is neutralized of gender bias and provides a closure of the digital divide that prevents many from having the same opportunities to not only achieve their goals and dreams but understand them in a way they may have never considered before.
What aspect of the industry do you think has the most potential for growth, and, on the other hand, which aspect do you think needs the most improvement?
Workforce development. We are at a pivotal point of history that requires us to get creative and reach the upcoming generations in unique ways, so we have the bright young minds needed to maintain and propel the technology and digital infrastructure of our world.
When you imagine the future of the technology industry, what does it look like?
The future of the technology industry will of course be full of IT, AI, machine learning, and new applications that we haven’t even conceived in thought yet. Rapid advances cause me to take pause to this question. My only response could be that whatever I imagine it to be, it will certainly be so much more! But please, may I have a car that I can hop in and say, “Take me home (or wherever I want to go)," knowing I will arrive there safely?