Mission Critical is excited to introduce you to the 2024 Top 25 Women in Technology. Meet Cyre Mercedes Denny.

Title: Sr. Global Program Director

Company: Schneider Electric

Age: 35

Education: Bachelor’s degree in international affairs

Organizational affiliations: Infrastructure Masons, Hispanics in Technology Executive Council

Achievements/awards: Data Center Dynamics – Data Center Woman of The Year 2023; HITEC 100 – 2023; HITEC 100 – 2022; iMasons Top 100 Builders of the Digital Age – 2022; HITEC Emerging Executives Graduate; McKenzie Management Accelerator Graduate; Dare to Disrupt recognition: Awarded for establishing the first cross-state diversity and inclusion network in the DC, MD, & VA region; Life is on Award for Excellence in project execution in 2016

What made you realize you wanted to pursue a career in technology?

At the time, I was looking for a very dynamic and exciting opportunity that would allow me to learn new things every day and enable a global career. I had no idea what a data center was or how it worked, but when I was presented with an opportunity to work for a data center design / build firm, I decided to go for something new because this had the potential to make my desires become reality. Essentially, I fell into the industry serendipitously but once I learned what a data center was and how so much of our everyday lives are impacted by them, I realized this was where I wanted to be.

What inspires you to do what you do?

Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of help and were often ashamed to ask for it. Today one of the biggest things I value is helping others and inspiring people to pay it forward. With that said, my kids are my biggest inspirations. They remind me to look at life through childlike lenses, keeping things simple and achievable, which has always led to bigger and better accomplishments. They inspire me to be an example of the strength in vulnerability and how being honest about not knowing things or needing help opens the biggest doors to learning, growth, and ultimately success. Witnessing their journeys reinforces my dedication to helping others reach their full potential and fostering positive change in the world.

What role does sustainability play in your life?

Sustainability plays a vital role in my life, as it guides my actions and decisions towards creating a positive impact on the environment and society. I strive to minimize waste, conserve resources, and build more diverse and inclusive environments in both personal and professional spheres. Embracing sustainability means being mindful of the long-term effects of my choices and being intentional about my commitment to a healthier planet and a better future for generations to come.

What is the most fascinating thing you have learned while working in this industry?

The most fascinating thing I've learned is the incredible potential of artificial intelligence and its impact across various industries. From revolutionizing healthcare with personalized treatments to optimizing energy management for a sustainable future, AI's ability to analyze complex data and derive meaningful insights continues to astound me. Its potential to drive innovation, enhance efficiency, and solve longstanding challenges is truly remarkable and I am proud to work to provide the infrastructure and foundation for all of this.

What’s something unique about you personally?

I love superheroes! I have always been fascinated by how they embody extraordinary abilities, fight for justice, and inspire hope. Their compelling stories, moral values, and epic battles capture our imagination and offer a sense of escapism. Additionally, their flaws and struggles make them relatable, showcasing the human experience in a larger-than-life context.

What’s something unique about you professionally?

I am very inquisitive and always hungry to learn more. I feel being that inquisitive sets the stage for exploration, discovery, and continuous learning. It fuels creativity, problem solving and innovation. Embracing curiosity allows us to gain new perspectives, uncover hidden opportunities and push the boundaries of what we think we know.

What’s your most admirable quality?

When my dad got out of jail and changed his life, he found a mantra that we live by today; the depth of your struggle will determine the height of your success. My most admirable qualities are perseverance and optimism. I have often been in very difficult situations personally and professionally that tested my resilience, however my determination in the face of obstacles and setbacks as well as the belief in something better have always been the key to getting me ahead.

Why is diversity, equality, and inclusion important to you?

I am Puerto Rican and was raised in the Bronx, NYC in a single-family home impacted by drug use and incarceration. I have often been the only woman in meetings and / or the only Hispanic or person of color in a room. This used to make me feel very nervous and even undeserving of being included – like I didn’t belong there nor was I being engaged to contribute. This wasn’t anyone’s fault – it’s primarily caused by companies and people lacking a set of skills that need to be developed. Inclusion creates a sense of belonging and empowerment that every team member deserves to feel. Creating environments that allow for different backgrounds and experiences to contribute is extremely crucial to innovation, creativity, and a broader range of perspectives. You don’t know what you don’t know – enabling DE&I shortens learning curves and leads to more effective problem-solving and decision-making. Additionally, equality ensures fair treatment and opportunities for all individuals and contributes to a positive work environment. Ultimately, prioritizing these values not only strengthens organizations but also the world as a whole.

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?

The aspect of the technology industry with the most potential for growth is artificial intelligence and machine learning. These technologies have vast applications across various sectors, from healthcare to finance, and will continue to drive innovation and efficiency.

On the other hand, cybersecurity is an area that needs the most improvement. As technology advances, the threat landscape becomes more complex, requiring stronger security measures to protect data and systems from cyber-attacks. Additionally, I feel we need improvement on privacy and ethical use of technology as well as teaching technology boundaries to ensure authentic connections to the environment and people. With these innovations, we can anticipate a more connected, efficient, and sustainable world.

When you imagine the future of the technology industry, what does it look like?

The future of the technology industry is incredibly exciting! I imagine the future will be much more diverse and inclusive, and technology companies will enable people to bring their best selves forward and inspire impactful change across the world. I also imagine there being continued advancements in artificial intelligence, quantum computing, sustainable energy solutions, and the widespread integration of Internet of Things (IoT) devices.

back to main page button