April 19, 2020 | Written by: IBM Academy of Technology
Categorized: STEM | Technology
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The Academy of Technology’s “Executive Insights” series provides thought leadership from executives and senior members of IBM with the goal of encouraging the exchange of ideas and information. In this post, we talk with Romelia Flores about Diversity.
Distinguished Engineer & Master Inventor
IBM Global Markets
What is your view of diversity within the Academy (and even IBM overall)?
Romelia: Diversity can mean many things to people – for example, the ability to pursue distinct career paths, or the inclusion of people with different cultures, ethnicities, genders, ages or thoughts. One of my favorite things about IBM is that it provides numerous job roles to individuals throughout their careers. These job roles provide opportunities for continuous learning from a business and technical perspective. The AoT has been a venue that I’ve enjoyed leveraging to collaborate with colleagues worldwide. It has given me the opportunity to work on a variety of initiatives with people of diverse skills and backgrounds. As a member of the Academy Leadership Team, I also had the pleasure of working with thirty-five Affiliate teams world-wide. These types of experiences have really made IBM and the AoT a great place to work.
How do IBM and the Academy focus on diversity?
Romelia: IBM and the AoT work in partnership delivering exceptional Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM) programs to assist individuals from diverse cultures, genders and age groups. Our Business Resource Group (BRG) communities create a safe haven for all members to learn from each other on a variety of topics such as career professions, cultures, outreach programs and more. For women, we focus on providing mentors for career guidance and sharing of knowledge regarding career progression requirements for advancement. Training programs which target recent IBM professional hires and immerse them on technical and soft skill growth are some of the best in the industry. STEAM programs targeting young students help introduce them to relatable role models and introduce curriculum impactful to their future. Through my involvement with IBM and the AoT I have had the pleasure of leading and participating in programs such as Women in Technology, Dallas’ Hispanic BRG, Summit, Apprentice and PTECH programs, Society of Women’s Engineers, Grace Hopper, and the International Women’s Forum. I have delivered keynote speeches and presentations at Women’s Conferences, Universities, Junior Colleges, High Schools and Elementary Schools and have impacted thousands of individuals from diverse communities. I have thoroughly enjoyed these endeavors for IBM and the AoT.
What excites you about improving diversity and how that improvement impacts the future of the Academy and the impact on technology?
Romelia: I’ve had a variety of technical jobs throughout my career which enabled me to evolve from being a Software Developer, Technical Specialist, Consultant, IT Architect and Design Thinking Leader. In these jobs I have collaborated with amazing IBMers and clients from around the world. Today’s rapid-fire agile approaches prioritize team effort to produce great results. I thoroughly enjoy delivering Enterprise Design Thinking sessions with clients because they have enabled me to understand business challenges and focus on creative problem solving. Over the past year, I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to learn about Storm Water Management, Edge Computing for Automotive, Cloud Platform Delivery, Warehouse Operations and Hepatitis C Eradication. I thrive on understanding the diverse challenges being faced by our clients and enjoy collaborating with them to create innovative ways to address those challenges through the use of leading-edge technology. I’m excited for the future of our world.
Meet Romelia Flores
Romelia Flores is an IBM Distinguished Engineer working in IBM’s Global Solution Center (GSC) in the Dallas / Fort Worth area. She is a premier pre-sales expert at designing and architecting system prototypes which address client business challenges and utilize IBM leading edge technology. Leveraging her Senior Architect and Enterprise Design Thinking Leadership skills she has collaborated with leading clients in the design of Storm Water Management, Edge Computing for Automotive, Cloud Platform Delivery, Warehouse Operations and Hepatitis C Eradication. She is a relentless inventor and driver of innovation for Global Markets holding 61 U.S. Patents and over 15 Patents Pending. She is also a member of the IBM Academy of Technology and the International Women’s Forum.
Additional resources for Diversity in the Academy of Technology:
Initiative: Driving Greater Diversity into the Academy Population
Blog Post: think
These are the opinions of the author and while a distinguished member of our Academy and IBM, all thoughts expressed are solely his/her own.