Mon, May 20, 2024

CSRA businesswomen shatter stereotypes

The Augusta Metro Chamber of Commerce’s April 16 Women in Business focused on how the roles of women in the workforce have changed. A panel of accomplished women shared how they have succeeded in traditionally male-dominated careers.

Panelists were Lynsey Steinberg, MSMI, CMI – Director of Innovation at the Georgia Cyber Center; Shanteka Glover – Principal Information Security Specialist at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions; and Luneta Louis – Senior Quality Engineer at John Deere. Angela Martin, MBA, SHRM-SCP – HR Operations Manager, NNSA Capital Projects for Savannah River Nuclear Solutions served as the moderator.

Angela Martin served as moderator for the Women in Business event.

The women were first asked how they came to a career normally dominated by men. Each walked a different route in their career path.

Glover said her entrance portal into computers was one common to many people.

Shanteka Glover – Principal Information Security Specialist at Savannah River Nuclear Solutions

“My focus used to always be to play video games. So, I thought that if I made a video game, I would make one and be rich,” she smiled. “Computer Science didn’t pan out that way, but that’s really what inspired me to get into computers and being able to see just putting things together and how they probably work.”

Louis said she always had a fascination with problem-solving from an early age. And she liked to tinker.

Luneta Louis – Senior Quality Engineer at John Deere

“My dad and my mom saw something in me that I didn’t see myself. So, they sent me to an engineering high school in Houston, Texas, which is where I’m originally from,” she explained. “My freshman year, I joined the first Robotics Team, and I learned a lot about coding. I was able to find other engineering disciplines. I was able to find a couple of different majors that would be a good fit for me, I chose industrial engineering.”

Steinberg’s path took a turn from where she started as a medical illustrator.

Lynsey Steinberg, MSMI, CMI – Director of Innovation at the Georgia Cyber Center

“So, I would say, my career actually chose me, not that I necessarily chose it. And we’re trying to always convey to students, especially at this university, that you might graduate with a business degree, or maybe a medical illustration degree, and 10 years into the field, it’s still valuable experience, if you find that your pathway is adjusting,” she said.

Despite having distinctively different careers, the women shared some common experiences as they achieved their goals, including being challenged by male co-workers.

Louis said her moment came when, as a manufacturing engineer, she was confronted on her knowledge of the tools needed in the plant. She realized there were things she did not know, and she set out to change that.

“I never underestimate my ability to learn something new. So, I took time on my schedule in the evening, to learn all about tooling, I enrolled, I found a university, I went through the university, and I got my certification. Yes, now I do know what I’m talking about.”

For Glover, her moment came in a meeting when she was told, ‘You don’t know what you’re doing, you just got here’ prompting her to excuse herself from the meeting.

“I’ve had to go through that development process to learn myself, knowing that there’s going to be difficult conversations within the workplace and how to have those conversations. And then, when you know what you know, you got to stand on it. And don’t let anyone take that,” she advised.

Lynsey Steinberg, MSMI, CMI – Director of Innovation at the Georgia Cyber Center

Steinberg said she tries to put herself into the other person’s shoes when confronted with a challenging situation.

“I have to sit there and the thought process that goes through my brain is what is going on in this person’s life, that they are responding in this way. Because the truth is, you have no idea what the person beside us is going through.”

All three said they had been lucky to have supportive mentors at varying points in their careers. Now, they realize it is important they give back, to help others along the way.

“I just love empowering women; I feel like that’s a part of my purpose. So, I expect other people to pour into me that same way. I like to be empowered. And then I’m going to pour that back out,” Glover said.

Steinberg said 10 years in her field has created connections across the region. That led to the creation of an Innovation Advisory Committee.

“There are 11 people on it, and they are connections across the region that represent different entities. We come together as a group, every other month, to talk about what challenges we are facing. How can we come together to try and help solve those problems and the perspectives across the board,” Steinberg said.

Outside of the workplace, the panelists said it is important to develop and nurture friendships to give support when needed.

And Glover said family is always important.

“My dad always said he’ll give me the world if he could and so here I am trying to conquer that mission.”

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