August 09, 2023
Software.org Panel Shows How Software Helps Digital Transformation in Every Sector
July 25, 2023
The impacts of digital transformation abound – from the car you drive, to the food you eat, to the technology that is used at the doctor’s office. Software development continues to climb with the various additions in artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, digital trade, and privacy.
Software.org’s Manager, Strategic Initiatives Lilia Stone led a discussion on how different sectors are harnessing the power of software to improve their companies across various sectors during the Girls Who Code Summer Immersion Program’s fourth engagement.
Stone led a discussion with women representing different career paths who spoke to how their sectors have successfully incorporated digital transformation into many of their software applications.
Joining the discussion were Verizon Vice President & Deputy General Counsel, Network Regulatory Strategy, Katharine Saunders; Vice President, Office of Social Impact and Inclusion and Executive Director, Panasonic Foundation for Panasonic Corporation of North America Alejandra Ceja; and Abbott Senior Advisor, Government Affairs Marie Kissel.
“My experience, including law school, has helped me understand interconnections between digital transformation and how we regulate its involvement in our lives,” Saunders said.
The students were able to listen to leaders in tech policy talk about how they found their way to their current position and what their companies are doing to support women.
“My background is in educational policy and I’ve worked for the White House under three separate administrations,” Ceja said. “You just never know what opportunities will lead you to next. I was drawn to the Panasonic foundation to advance educational equity. Our CEO is also female, and we’re proud of the fact that we advocate for DEI in almost everything we do.”
The speakers also emphasized the importance of not only providing access at an affordable price to achieve more digital transformation, but how infrastructure can help people implement these software developments.
“Even if people have the right infrastructure and can afford to install digital tools, it doesn’t help if they don’t know how to use those tools” Saunders said. “Education can help to remove that final barrier to technology.”
When asked for advice, the three speakers spoke to engaging with speakers at school and always being open to new opportunities.
“Surround yourself with individuals that want to help you and see you grow, because there are a lot of people relying on you being that next innovator,” Ceja said.
The key takeway? Make sure you’re valuing yourself and making a difference to combat inequity.
“You need to value yourself and assess your opportunities, and pay attention to whether you’re being valued,” Kissel said.
Check the Connecting the Dots blog for recaps on the partnership sessions during the Girls Who Code 2023 SIP.
VP & General Manager, Software.org
Gideon Lett serves as Vice President & General Manager of Software.org: the BSA Foundation, overseeing the Foundation’s programs, operations, and outreach.