On International Women’s Day 2020, I’ve been contemplating the influence of some amazing women, all that I am lucky and proud to call friends and colleagues, that are shaping the digital transformation of the manufacturing and supply chain. They are examples and heroes to us all and the exemplify to theme of this year’s activity of #EachforEqual, where an equal world is an enabled world.
Here are a few of the amazing women shaking things up in the world of digital manufacturing. Kudos and thanks to all of them and to every other woman in technology, helping to change the industry and to motivate the stars of the future.
Carolyn Rostetter is a digital transformation leader with over 20 years of experience in some of the world’s leading organizations. She provides vision and expertise in strategic planning, intelligent automation, client services, revenue optimization, productivity, quality, and change management. Carolyn has an MBA in Finance, and she is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt.
In her own words: "The top leaders today in Industry 4.0 are driving transformation for real. It's an exceptional time for our industry as manufacturers are embracing digital, empowering their employees, and seeking to change how they deliver value to their customers."
Charla Serbent is Vice President at Dell leading the Global Operations Engineering & Quality team responsible for ensuring end-to-end supply chain readiness to deliver Dell products.
Previous roles at Dell included director desktop procurement, executive director supplier quality engineering, VP global SQE and manufacturing quality, and VP client procurement.
Prior to joining Dell, Charla held various sales and sales management positions at Nalco Chemical Company and GE, where she was a black belt. Charla also held various executive positions at PPG Industries including general industrial sales director for North America and general manager of PPG’s Industrial Coatings business in Asia Pacific. Charla is located in Singapore. She previously resided in Shanghai, China for 12 years. She has a degree from UT Austin in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from Wharton.
In her own words: “We generate tremendous amounts of data in Supply Chain, Manufacturing, and Quality activities. Digitalizing end to end processes means we can gain insights faster, cheaper, and better than ever before. It also means getting past averages and aggregate data to meaningful analytics and machine learning allow us to make better decisions. It is an exciting time to be in our profession!”
Julie Willey enjoys shipping products that delight and inspire. She has close to 20 years of engineering experience; ranging from designing ASICs and systems design at Leapfrog toys, heading up the HW team at Tile, an internet of things, BLE key finder, and now a senior systems engineer in Facebook's ARVR team. She has a wonderfully supportive husband (SW engineer) who is a true partner in raising their 5 kids (age range 11-18).
In her own words: “My passion is learning. I love to learn about high tech, low tech, where and how things came from; learning about learning. There are so many fascinating things around us and not enough time! I have the privilege of working in an amazing team focused on bringing compelling personalized experiences into market. We have the capability of providing personalized software experiences. It is natural for users to want to have this customization extend to physical experiences. This challenge requires us to use known manufacturing methods as a grounded reference and from that, explore and invent new processes. Digital manufacturing enables us with the tools to help bring this into mass market. As we are trying to deliver compelling customized experiences its critical to engage a wide range of life experiences and perspectives in all the phases of design and execution, not just as the target consumers but as the engaged creators.”
Avis Mullen is Global Business Unit Director for the Energy, Industrial and Building division at Jabil and has over 27 years of experience in the manufacturing industry with the majority of her expertise in Operations and Business Management. She started her career at Solectron as a test technician/ electronic engineer. Her degree is in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, obtained from Dundalk Institute of Technology, in Ireland. Avis moved to Jabil in 2002 as corporate operations development manager, rolling out best practices to all sites and supporting site management and customer accounts globally, requiring onsite residence in Reynosa MX, Louisville, Memphis, Poland, Hungary and Coventry. Today, Avis has responsibility for relationship management, strategic and tactical planning and budgeting, providing comprehensive solutions to complex problems and contract negotiations. I believe building loyalty, by creating a true partnership with our customers, is the key to success for both sides.
She plays an active part in the Jabil Joules Community, mentoring and encouraging women in all regions to step out of their comfort zones and into the jobs that the really want.
In her own words: “The digital transformation of the manufacturing industry is opening up many new positions that are not predefined to be typical male/ female roles. The capability set and education that is required to execute advanced operations is more multidimensional than it once was and has more in common with what is valued in IT, R&D, finance, and business analytics, therefore becoming a vehicle for greater gender diversity. I feel the playing field has finally been leveled and the need for more women in this new era of manufacturing is more crucial than ever.”
Stephanie Whalen is a mechanical engineer and product design maven who provides engineering, design, and product development services to the world's top brands and startups. Stephanie specializes in product design and mechanical engineering, and has demonstrated excellence at every stage of product development, from product conception to shipping the dang thing. Many of her favorite products and projects are consumer electronics and medical devices.
In her own words: “Women are an incredible asset in an industry confronted with monumental change. One of our greatest strengths lies in our transformational (over transactional) leadership styles, which increase trust and thereby creativity in our organizations. Empathy and flexibility are key for transitioning traditional manufacturing teams into the new era of digital manufacturing, and boosting hardware-as-a-service, connected healthcare, and mass customization into the mainstream. It’s really exciting to be a part of that! I specialize in engineering and product design, especially for consumer electronics and medical device. I emphasize value-based communication between strategy, experience and industrial design, engineering, and fabrication teams, in order to deliver holistic solutions to users and product stakeholders.”
Kyra White is a sophomore at Southern Methodist University where she is double-majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Music. From a young age, she has followed her fascination in robotics by participating in camps and workshops. In high school, she was a founding member and head programmer of her school’s second all-girls robotics team; she co-captained the team to its first World Championship. Both then and now, Kyra balances a diverse set of extracurricular activities ranging the STEM and arts fields. Currently, her focus lies in her academics and in Theta Tau, a co-ed professional engineering fraternity, where she holds an executive position. From this, she witnesses and participates in the values of collaboration and communication firsthand. When she is not busy learning dynamical systems or how music evolved throughout history, Kyra enjoys singing in a local church choir and embroidering shirts.
In her own words: “Being the only woman on my robotics team, I find that I am bringing new ideas incorporating the concepts of multiple people. I look up to women in leadership positions as they bring their team to higher places through their hard work and dedication.”
Libin Huang is a strategic thinker, a problem solver and an experienced leader in developing and implementing strategy, building effective teams and managing complex programs in the healthcare industry. She held various leadership roles in project management, strategic planning, supply chain optimization and mergers and acquisitions. Currently she is responsible for development and implementation of high impact strategic initiatives to improve gross margin in Global Instrument and Reagent Manufacturing Network for a Diagnostics Product company and pursuing her 2nd master’s program in MIT Supply Chain Management focused on digital transformation.
In her own words: “The healthcare industry is at the cusp of transformation from a traditional “fee for service” to “value-based” model which the provider is rewarded for efficiency and effectiveness. At the same time, regulators around the world are changing how to regulate the safety and efficacy of medical products from a reactive approach to proactive anticipation and mitigation. Women are taking a stronger leadership role in the end-to-end organizational digital transformation contributing to the future healthcare system that delivers the right product at the right place, the right time and the right cost. Women in operational roles are involved in transformative implementation of digital solutions that improve and reduce the cycle time for manufacturing, ensure inventory availability while eliminating waste and maintaining state-of-the-art product performance to help companies ensure patient outcomes.”
Karen Escoffery is a motivated sales executive professional running Enterprise Sales Exec at SailPoint. She has over 20 years of experience highlighting the delivery of innovation, full-spectrum solutions across mid-to large size enterprises. She can expertly navigate complex selling motions, comprised of multiple decision makers, diverse partnerships and numerous competitors. Karen is a passionate sales leader helping customers to mitigate risk and maximize efficiency with identity governance.