This is the year for women to step up in leadership roles. These are the women who have a vision for diversity in their company whether in comes in the form of people, technology, transformation, or innovation. These are the individuals that understand companies that lead, and lead by change. And change requires transformation and innovation. And innovation requires diversity. You get the picture.

These individuals have taken a big swath across their industry to help create a diverse leadership effort in order to move the needle forward—especially in the IoT (Internet of Things), AI (artificial intelligence), security, and other emerging tech arenas within key verticals.

For more than a decade now the U.S. Dept. of Labor has been reporting numbers that women make up less than 50% of the workforce and hold under 25% of the IT (information technology) positions. Globally, we see the Council of Foreign Relations publishes a Women’s Power Index, determining where women around the world lead in government. Here’s a look at the numbers: 19 out of 193 countries have a female head of state or government; 14 out of 193 countries have at least 50% women in the national cabinet; and four out of 193 countries have at least 50% of women in the national legislature. The World Economic Forum also provides a glimpse into disparity, publishing the Global Gender Gap Index. In 2020, the Global Gender Gap score stands at 68.6%, which means the gap is narrower, and the remaining gap to close is now 31.4%. There is still quite a bit of work to be done.

Despite these weak numbers, women are making progress. The World Economic Forum shows that this year the progress has not only been larger than in the previous edition of the Global Gender Gap, but also more widespread. Out of the 149 countries and economies covered, 101 have improved their score and 48 have seen performance unchanged or reduced. Women continue to prove they have the necessary skillsets as well as the ability to juggle the societal demands to help shape 2020 and beyond, all-in-all making shareholders happy with their investments and looking to the future for bigger and better things to come.

Consider this example: Earlier this year, amid the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic, a similar headline circulated on many of the big news sites. The general gist is this: many countries led by women have fared better against coronavirus.

Now it is important to note there were a number of theories on why this was the case that don’t necessarily have to do with gender. For one, women have historically been marginalized in leadership roles and, as the theory goes, those who rose to power feel less constrained by traditional methods. Another theory goes that the presence of a female leader tends to signal that a country has more inclusive political values and diverse perspectives—which is essential to combat crisis.

This is just one case for women in leadership. Research conducted by Harvard Business Review shows women tend to score higher than men in most leadership skills, which includes resilience, taking initiative, practicing self-development, displaying high integrity and honesty, inspiring and motivating others, building relationships, bold leadership, being a champion of change, establishing stretch goals, collaboration and teamwork, connecting to the outside world, communicating powerfully and prolifically, solving problems and analyzing issues, leadership speed, and, even, yes, innovation.

In general, women tend to be humble, empathic, truthful, decisive, bringing something unique to the role of leader. No matter the reason, there is one big conclusion to takeaway: We need more women in leadership. 2020 is the year.

The good news is we have made strides in the right direction. In 2019, 29% of senior management roles were held by women, which is the highest number on record, and 87% of global businesses have at least one woman in a senior management role, according to Catalyst. However, if we dig even deeper, we are still in desperate need of more women to fill leadership roles in technology and innovation, let alone the digital transformation space. The proportion of women in senior leadership is still disproportionate. While roughly 43% of human resources directors are women, only 16% are chief information officers.

Some of the key barriers that still need to be addressed are old stereotypes, fewer connections, bias and discrimination, and lack of flexibility, according to AAUW. Once we address some of these and close the leadership gap, we will experience the benefits of having women in leadership roles quickly AAUW suggests we should examine our own biases and seek out skill-building opportunities and leadership training; while organizations should prioritize an equitable workplace, support internal growth opportunities, continued professional development and skill training, and equitable retention and promotion policies, and promote workplace flexibility policies that will enable all employees to find an appropriate work/life balance. In fact, as we have seen with the recent shelter-in-place mandate, they actually forced many individuals to self-examine some of their own personal pressures, anxieties, and even biases, say experts.

Another way to close the leadership gap is for everyone to recognize the role that women are currently playing in their industries and to look to them as influencers and role models for the next generation of young leaders. The Women of Technology Awards list, now in its eighth year, is comprised of powerful, smart changemakers. These women are trailblazers and innovators who are chosen because they each bring a unique lens to their respective companies helping push innovation forward unleashing economic wealth as a result.

Let’s celebrate the 2020 Women of Technology.

Angela Baskerville

Vice President, Technology Development

AT&T

With more than 20 years of experience in technology, Angela Baskerville leads roughly 2,000 employees in developing and delivering key technology products and services for AT&T customers worldwide. Her teams have been involved in the launch of products such as the first Apple iPhone, the introduction of TV Everywhere, Unlimited Data Plans, and the new U-verse and Mobility bill format. She is involved in many employee engagement programs at her company, including being a National Advisor for the NETwork, which is one of AT&T’s employee resource groups focusing on enhancing visibility, improving opportunities, and encouraging personal and professional growth for employees. Baskerville enjoys spending her time in AT&T community recruitment initiatives to encourage participation in STEM fields. When she isn’t working, she relishes spending time with her family, traveling, mentoring, and supporting her favorite sports teams.

Mary Boosalis

President and CEO

Premier Health

Born in Denver and raised in the small farming town of Porterville, Calif., Mary Boosalis has led many initiatives throughout her career that resulted in systemic and positive changes to healthcare. Boosalis became president and CEO of Miami Valley Hospital in 2006, COO of Premier Health in 2011, and president and CEO of Premier Health in 2017. She has developed the campus visional strategy and execution for Miami Valley Hospital South, which continues to expand today;completed the new vision for Miami Valley Hospital main campus and construction of the Heart and Vascular Tower; and serves as executive sponsor for the health system in developing and launching the Premier Health-Wright State University Neurosciences Research Institute. Speaking of her signature achievement as an executive of Miami Valley Hospital, she says it was balancing what had been a long history of financial success and acumen in the organization with telling the Miami Valley story and what makes the hospital so special.

Veronica Braker

Senior Vice President of Global Operations

Archer Daniels Midland Co.

With more than a quarter century of experience in operations leadership, Veronica Braker guides global operations, which includes managing the company’s Technology Center of Excellence, while driving change, and integrating capital planning and execution. She also serves as the company’s safety champion. Throughout her career, she has gained experience in process and project engineering, quality, supply chain, and operations leadership. As a certified Six Sigma Black Belt and Master Black Belt, her understanding of operational excellence and lean principles have resulted in measurable improvements in both productivity and quality savings. In addition to leading her team to a 50% reduction in safety incidents, she has developed a work group that has delivered a sustainable track record and future roadmap of improvements and launched a three-year career development program for BASF North America females to improve the representation of women in manufacturing and technical roles. Braker is passionate about advocating careers in STEM outside of her own profession and actively participates in Science Days for elementary and middle school students to further their interest in these industries.

Chandra Brown

CEO

MxD

Manufacturing has always been at the heart of Chandra Brown’s work. As the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Manufacturing at the U.S. Dept. of Commerce, she promoted U.S. businesses worldwide, worked to remove trade barriers, and strengthen U.S. competitiveness. As the CEO of United Streetcar, and an executive at its parent company Oregon Iron Works, Brown led it to become the first U.S. manufacturer to create a modern streetcar in more than 60 years. Today, she uses her passion and more than 25 years of experience to help American manufacturers seize the potential offered by new and emerging digital technologies. Brown oversees all technology investment, partner relationships, and project execution for the more than $90 million portfolio of advanced manufacturing technology, cybersecurity, and workforce development research, development, and demonstration. She has worked to strengthen American manufacturing through innovative, forward-thinking, and well-executed strategies. Her desire is to improve American manufacturing, as she drives MxD’s mission to help make every part better than the last, while also fostering a manufacturing future that is more inclusive and open to all American innovators.

Joanna Burkey

Chief Information Security Officer

HP

With a keen eye for everything cybersecurity related, Joanna Burkey has worked as a software engineer for multiple companies, served as a strategy and product manager, and as a global head of cyber defense. In her new role that she started this year, she is the chief information security officer for HP. Beyond her job, Burkey has been involved with speaking engagements on leadership for the Professional Development Academy and was involved with the Center for Strategic and Intl. Studies’ Women’s Global Leadership fellowship program. Her experience also encompasses Mentor to Manifest, which is an organization that helps startup founders build and grow meaningful cybersecurity companies in Austin, Texas. Drawing on experiences, the team of mentors has launched numerous successful services, products, and companies, building on the ideas that while every great company starts with a great idea, not every great idea leads to a great company.

Pung Chan

Vice President and General Manager, Specialty Construction Chemicals

GCP Applied Technologies

Pung Chan focuses on value creation, growth, and profitability, while setting the vision and strategic direction for her diverse team of senior leaders in sales and marketing, field service operations, manufacturing, technical services, and VERIFI specialists. She is a believer in collaboration and teamwork and is a champion of gaining an outside-in perspective from customers, partners, and industry analysts. Her leadership has played a role in introducing disruptive technologies that leverage data, algorithms, machine learning, and material-science experience. Chan has also played a key role in launching new concrete admixtures that help concrete producers differentiate their product offerings and continue to produce high-quality concrete with suboptimal raw materials. She examines the global mega-trends that will impact customers and how GCP can proactively address those emerging trends. For instance, new products are tackling two major trends in construction: the need for sustainable building products and the ongoing struggle contractors face finding skilled leadership. She also invests in developing leaders by holding skip level meetings with other women, providing mentorship, identifying training opportunities, and support their career trajectory.

Annette Clayton

CEO and President

Schneider Electric NA

Annette Clayton is responsible for driving business strategy and leads the global supply chain organization. In her dual capacity, she also remains a member of Schneider Electric’s Executive Committee. She brings to Schneider Electric years of experience in manufacturing, engineering operations, quality and productivity improvements, business process and strategic development, operational planning, budgeting and cost controls, labor relations, and strategic partnerships. Before joining Schneider Electric in 2011, Clayton served as the vice president, Global Operations, Dell, and led the transformation of its global supply chain and fulfillment model aimed at providing the lowest cost and best value of products for the company’s wide array of customers. She serves on the Board of Directors for Polaris Industries and is the Chair of the Technology committee and a member of the Compensation committee. She is also on the Executive Advisory Board for SCM World, the supply chain talent development partner for the world’s leading companies.

Lynn Comp

VP, Data Platforms Group, General Manager, Visual Infrastructure Division & NPG

Intel

A driven leader who positions teams to excel in the global market and aligns internal and external stakeholders to deliver intelligent software solutions for challenging problems, Lynn Comp drives strategy development and execution across hardware and software. She joined Intel in 1999 as part of Intel’s acquisition of Digital Semiconductor’s StrongARM processor team, where she was responsible for both marketing and technical support of mobile system-on-a-chip designs. She has applied her experience to drive cross-domain and cross-industry innovation, from the early days of the DPDK (Data Plane Development Kit), through to the recent Intel Xeon Scalable processor launch. She grows new businesses from inception to expanding compound annual growth rate and accelerates the delivery of solutions for graphics, media and video processing, immersive media, and video and media analytics. Her strong relational style of leadership has been highly effective building a strong sense of trust within the organization. She is a smart executive who is still humble enough to listen to outside voices and demonstrates her passion to building world-class, high-performing teams by aligning the passions, skills, and career aspirations of the team members with the goals of the organization.

Susan Devore

CEO

Premier

Passionate about driving innovation in healthcare and leading the industry through profound change, Susan Devore has worked with more than 4,000 U.S. hospitals and health systems, about 175,000 other providers and organizations, and other industry stakeholders to codevelop solutions that support sustainable care delivery models. She is an industry-leading thinker who has been honored with a number of awards, including one of the world’s most ethical companies. She is a member of the Board of Directors and the Audit Committee and Risk and Finance Committee of Unum Group. Devore is also a non-voting member of the audit and finance committees of the Board of Directors of AdventHealth. She is also a member of the board of directors or member of non-profit and state-based organizations, including the Healthcare Leadership Council, the Coalition to Protect America’s Healthcare, the Institute of Medicine Roundtable on Value and Science Driven Healthcare, and the UNC Charlotte Board of Trustees.

Beverly Edwards

COO

First Transit

With more than 30 years of experience in the transportation industry, Beverly Edwards began her career as a high school student when she started working evenings and weekends at her uncle’s company, Colonial Transit. She stayed with the company through multiple mergers as it became First Transit, which is a division of FirstGroup, with more than 300 operations throughout North America. During her years of leadership, which includes roles as area VP of operations, senior VP of operations, and now chief operating officer, Edwards has developed experience in operational excellence. More recently, she has engaged in the transportation revolution that is currently transforming its business due to evolving technologies. As an inspiration to others, she is the epitome of a leader who is making a difference in an industry that needs a transformation.

Judy Faulkner

President and CEO

Epic Systems Corp.

Judy Faulkner, a computer programmer, founded Epic Systems in 1979 with 1 and ½ employees, with the objective to help people get well, stay well, and help future generations be healthier. The company she started supports the medical records of more than 250 million patients and is used by top medical centers such as Johns Hopkins and Mayo Clinic. Some big feats she has under her belt are the company has never raised capital or made an acquisition and develops all its software in-house. In 2015, Faulkner signed the Giving Pledge and has agreed to eventually gift 99% of her stake in Epic Systems to a private charitable foundation. She has also led the company during the fight to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by connecting doctors and patients virtually. Specifically, in her home state of Wisconsin, Epic Systems has supported the State Emergency Operations Center in its fight against the insidious pandemic and continues to donate its time and services to help increase capacity and improve coordination.

At the age of 17, Nuria Fernandez left Panama to attend college in the United States at her father’s urging. Today, she leads a 2,300 people organization that bring public transportation and congestion management solutions to the daily commute of residents in Santa Clara County and has partnered with higher education and tech corporations to innovate the way we move people, environmentally and responsibly, to enhance the quality of their mobility experience. One of her claims to fame is building an $8 billion, 16-mile extension of the BART system into Santa Clara to connect the East Bay to the Peninsula. Her extensive career in the public transportation industry spans the country. In a previous role, she worked as the COO of the New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority where she was responsible for the overall security of the MTA system, development of its capital and environmental sustainability programs, federal and state government affairs, and its capital and environment sustainability programs. Her accomplishments also include managing the operations of O’Hare Intl. Airport, providing high-level policy and program expertise and managing the designs and construction of the rail expansion programs in Chicago and Washington, D.C.

Peggy Gulick

Director Digital Transformation, Global Manufacturing

AGCO

With 20 years of experience in the consumer products and manufacturing industry, Peggy Gulick has a history of leveraging prevailing and emerging technologies, exposing opportunities, and empowering innovative strategies for enterprises pursuing next-generation value creation. She was recently promoted to lead the global organization through a business-partnered initiative to continuously improve productivity, quality, safety, and cost. One of Gulick’s recent achievements is leading a team of out-of-box thinkers in the implementation of wearable technology solutions on the manufacturing plant floor. As a business process and technology leader, she is successful at strategizing and leading organizations in pursuit of a competitive advantage through digital transformation. In 2015, she chartered the Women in Manufacturing Chapter in Minnesota, while holding an active position on AGCO’s AGWN (AGCO Global Women’s Network) Global Steering Committee. Her prowess for demonstrating excellence and leadership and impact in manufacturing has reached from the factory floor to the C-suite. She is proudest of the teams and people she has worked with, citing recognition for their collaboration contribution. She leads by example and is steadfast in her mission to foster the next generation of leaders.

Shauna Hallmark

Paulsen Professor and Director, InTrans

Iowa State University

Shauna Hallmark has served as principal investigator for more than 55 research projects in more than 19 years including numerous safety analyses to assess the impact of roadway countermeasures. She has also evaluated the crash and safety impacts of paved shoulders, the Safety Edge, low-cost rural curve treatments, rumble stripes, intersection lighting, stop sign beacons, and chevrons. In order to work on projects that have developed workbooks, guidance documents, and other technology transfer material, Hallmark worked with end users such as state departments of transportation, county and local agencies, trade groups, and enforcement groups. Related projects include development of a guidebook to assist local agencies to prepare for connected and autonomous vehicles. For her efforts, she has been honored by the Iowa Governor’s Traffic Safety Bureau for outstanding service to the cause of reducing injuries and loss of life in traffic crashes in Iowa. Looking to put the safety of others first just might be the mantra of Hallmark.

Chandra Holt

Executive Vice President, eCommerce

Walmart

With demonstrated history of excelling in the retail industry, Chandra Holt is currently responsible for delivering a seamless online experience to customers while also integrating teams to create Walmart’s first omni-merchandising organization. She joined Walmart’s team in January  after leading SamsClub.com as its chief operating officer. Holt joined Walmart’s Sam’s Club division in 2015 as the vice president of proprietary brands. There she focused on elevating Sam’s Club private brand offerings. In 2017, she was promoted and focused on delivering high quality food and beverage offerings to Sam’s Club members and transformed a declining business into one of the fastest growing businesses at Sam’s Club. Prior to those roles, Holt has also held various leadership positions in merchandising at Walgreens and Target. While at Walgreens, she led the first U.S. “Red Nose Day,” which raised $20 million for charities around the world. Bringing a skillset that includes leadership, merchandise buying, talent development, product development, and more, she is poised to up the ecommerce game in her company. Holt has proven she can create consumer-centric experiences that produce results when where they are needed most—and that is what she is bringing to her current role.

Barbara Humpton

CEO

Siemens USA

With more than 50,000 employees and more than $23 billion in revenues and $5 billion in annual exports, Barbara Humpton guides Siemens USA strategy and engagement. Prior to this role, she served as president and CEO of Siemens Government Technologies, an integrator of Siemens’ products and services for federal government agencies and departments. Before joining Siemens, Humpton was a vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton where she was responsible for program performance and new business development for technology consulting in the Dept. of Justice and Dept. of Homeland Security. She is on the board of directors of the American Heart Assn. Greater Washington Region, Triumph Group, National Assn. of Manufacturers, Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose, Economic Club of Washington, D.C., and the Seabee Memorial Scholarship Assn. What inspires her is the company’s platform to realize the true purpose of technology: expanding what’s humanly possible. She is also passionate about diversity, STEM education, and what she calls a work-life blend that honors her priorities both at Siemens and as a grandmother.

Kate Johnson

President

Microsoft US

After Kate Johnson earned her MBA and spent six years as a management consultant immersed in the world of business transformation, she was hooked. Since that time she has taken on leadership roles at several Fortune 100 companies with a focus on helping launch and lead change programs. She joined Microsoft in 2017, and previously held senior leadership roles at GE, Oracle, Red Hat, and Deloitte Consulting. Today, as president of Microsoft US, she is responsible for growing all of Microsoft’s solutions, services, and support revenues across both the public and private sectors in the United States. She is focused on driving transformation and leads a 7,000-person field team. Here she delivers on Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and organization to achieve more. She is also an avid support of diversity initiatives. When she was at GE, she was involved in “Balance the Equation,” a corporate-wide program to hire 20,000 female technologists by 2020, and “Women in Commercial,” an initiative to drive more gender diversity into sales and marketing. She has learned the key to success in any change program lies with the people involved and the culture that supports them. Johnson likes to help women feel empowered and works to develop them in their roles.

Laura Kaiser

President and CEO

SSM Health

Laura Kaiser leads a Catholic not-for-profit health system severing communities across the Midwest through a fully integrated healthcare delivery system. The organization, SSM Health, includes 23 hospitals, more than 290 physician offices and other outpatient and virtual care services, 10 post-acute facilities, comprehensive home care and hospice services, a pharmacy benefit company, a health insurance company, and an accountable care organization. With nearly 40,000 employees and 11,000 providers at SSM Health, the organization is focused on delivering exception care and revealing God’s healing presence to everyone they serve. Kaiser joined the company as president and CEO in 2017, bringing more than 30 years of experience in healthcare strategy, improving clinical quality, fueling innovation, leading change management, and facilitating healthcare integration. She has also served on several boards including the Catholic Health Assn., Nuance Communications, and the Scottsdale Institute, and is also a member of the American Hospital Assn. Systems Council, the Healthcare Leadership Council, and the St. Louis Regional Business Council.

Dr. Anne Klibanski

President and CEO

Mass General Brigham

Dr. Anne Klibanski is a recognized expert in the field of translational research, focusing on rare endocrine diseases. In her role at Partners HealthCare, which was very recently renamed Mass General Brigham, she oversaw several major initiatives including Partners 2.0 and a number of high-level board task forces, which are aimed at examining a range of crucial strategic and operational issues at the company. The goal of this work is to ensure that the organization is optimally organized to deliver upon its mission in an efficient and integrated manner. In recent months, under her leadership, those task forces have completed their work, and implementation is forthcoming. She also serves as the chief of neuroendocrine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), serves on the MGH General Executive Committee, the Board of Albireo Pharmaceuticals, Scientific Advisory Board of Crinetics, and the Board of Partners Intl. She is an elected member of the Assn. of American Physicians and the American Society of Clinical Investigation.

Misty Kuamoo

Vice President, Security Shared Services

Nationwide

With more than 20 years of technology leadership within the retail, manufacturing, and software solutions industries, Misty Kuamoo joined Nationwide in April. In her prior role at Abrasive Technology, she orchestrated technology and operations culture transformation through organizational coaching, team building, and collaboration. As a member of the leadership process, she helped direct all aspects of information technology, R&D (research and development), and human resources and because of the learning she has supported and the encouragement she provides to all of her teams, the companies she has worked with are able to accomplish more throughput with less. Today, she is a board-level strategist and visionary, and has been referred to as the waze of the organization. Kuamoo is energized by complex challenges and is passionate about enhancing operational excellence to accelerate marketshare growth. She brings to her role both technology and empathy—an unlikely combination—and says, “In a world where computers seem to outshine humans, I take great pride in driving organizational purpose, while leading people with a personal touch. Additionally, Kuamoo is involved in a number of organizations locally that feature women in technology.

Danessa Lambdin

Vice President, Customer Success and Operations

AT&T Cybersecurity

A native of Oklahoma, Danessa Lambdin is a veteran of the mobility industry with more than 20 years of experience and her tenure with AT&T includes leadership positions in operations, marketing, product management, and platform transformation. In a prior role, she had managed dynamic offers and pricing strategy for nearly 3.5 million enterprise customers. In her current role, she is responsible for driving growth and profitability for the AT&T Security portfolio, consisting of network, premise, cloud, and mobile security products, threat management, and consulting. Her specialty includes large integration initiatives, playing a critical role in mergers and acquisitions, and focusing on the end-to-end customer experience. Lambdin has continued her passion for science and technology by serving as a mentor to young leaders inside and outside of AT&T entering the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics field. Known for her excellence in delivering results, Lambdin drives change in business and technology. She has proven to be an inspiration to the next-generation of leaders.

Kathy Lancaster

Executive Vice President, Chief Financial Officer

Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals

Kathy Lancaster joined Kaiser Permanente in 1998, and held various senior leadership roles in strategy, finance, and capital planning before being promoted to her current role in 2005. Today, she has accountability for corporate finance, treasury, financial planning, financial systems, revenue management, data analytics, actuarial services, national delivery system strategy, national facilities services, and supply chain and sourcing. Prior to coming to Kaiser Permanente, Lancaster held a number of leadership roles in underwriting and network management for Prudential Insurance Company’s Western region. She also spearheaded the company’s health maintenance organization in Northern California, leading the region’s financial turnaround. She serves on the board of directors for Maui Health System and the Oakland Zoo. Throughout her career, she has worked to champion change, influence policy, and make a difference in the world of healthcare delivery.

JuneAn Lanigan

Global Head of Enterprise Data Management

Western Digital

With more than 25 years of experience in successfully defining, leading, and implementing enterprise data strategies aligned to business goals, JuneAn Lanigan is responsible for all data management platforms supporting all business functions, including product development, engineering and manufacturing AI and ML, and IoT analytics. Recently, she lead efforts to expand the company’s cloud big data analytics platform ecosystems to include on-premises fast data platform-as-a-service architecture, enabling deployment of machine learning inference models in the realtime stream of data from manufacturing systems impacting shop-floor operational efficiencies. Lanigan has excelled in incorporating data management disciplines into corporate DNA and is a champion of embracing new technologies and initiatives. Today, she also represents Western Digital as the Governing Body Chair for Evanta’s San Francisco Chief Data Officer community, while also serving as an IT executive leader for Women in IT, an internal global community forum focused on collaboration, career development, mentoring, and information sharing. Lanigan focuses on the purpose at hand to lead other women to achieve success through proactive networking, making connections, and developing relationships.

Lisa Lavin

Founder and CEO

Ōmcare, a subsidiary of Anser Innovation

With credos such as good leadership compounds; by lifting power of many wings we achieve; my humility and