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: Senior Epidemiology Analyst
Company: Virginia Health Information
Education: Bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, master's degree in public health from Eastern Virginia Medical School
Professional Credentials/Accreditations: Tableau Desktop Specialist, Tableau Desktop Certified Associate
Achievements/Awards: Schroeder Center-Brock Institute Summer Fellow (2015)
What made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in technology?
I’ve always known that I wanted to pursue a career that would help people. Initially, I wanted to be a nurse and follow the footsteps of my mom. However, I quickly learned I am too squeamish for direct patient contact. Since high school, I’ve been fascinated by the visual display of data and the many ways it can be analyzed and interpreted. So, once I learned about public health and was introduced to epidemiologic data as an undergrad, I realized there were other ways to help people on a larger scale. Merging my interests of health improvement and data analytics just seemed to make sense.
What inspires you to do what you do?
Knowing the work I do is helping people make informed health care decisions.
What role does sustainability play in your life?
Sustainability influences many of the choices I make and has taught me to “do more with less” and be appreciative of what I have.
What is the most fascinating thing you have learned while working in this industry?
I’ve always known that data analytics has the power to spark conversations, influence decision-making, and impact the quality of care and overall health of the population, but being able to witness it firsthand has been an inspiring experience.
What’s something unique about you personally?
I’m a very empathetic person and dedicate 110% effort to anything I put my mind to. My parents taught me to always have two things: a kind heart and a strong work ethic.
What’s something unique about you professionally?
I’ve always had a customer-focused attitude. I always want to do right and will go the extra mile for all of our customers and stakeholders.
What’s your most admirable quality?
Many people have said I’m a responsible and dependable person, so I’ve tried my best to uphold this reputation. You can always count on me to get things done.
Why is diversity, equality, and inclusion important to you?
As a Filipino-American born and raised in the Tidewater area of Virginia, a community heavily influenced by military culture, I’ve always been surrounded by people with diverse backgrounds. Being immersed in an environment that promotes diversity, equality, and inclusion is important, as it encourages conversation and brings new ideas and perspectives to the table. We all have our own unique stories to tell and can all learn from each other.
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?
There’s potential for growth when it comes to access to information on alternative ways of paying for health care beyond traditional volume-based or “fee for service.” As the world shifts more and more toward value-based reimbursements, collecting and reporting this information is vital to knowing the true cost of health care services.
As for improvement, data on social determinants of health has really lagged historically despite its clearly huge impact on overall population health outcomes. The urge to change IT and data collection systems to pull in this information has significantly intensified over the past couple of years.
When you imagine the future of the technology industry, what does it look like?
Specifically, within health care technology, I believe the future will bring forth greater reliance on the real-time exchange of data, an expanded focus on social determinants of health data, and increased calls for publicly available and transparent data sets.