Plenary Panels Announced!

We hope to see you at the following Plenary Panel discussions at WE Local Denver.

No More “Checking the Box”: Cultivating Inclusion

Friday, March 15, 2019 | 3:15-4:30 p.m.

Moderator: Eva Doyle, Author & Speaker, The Reluctant Leader


  • Elizabeth Bierman, Director of Engineering, Comcast
  • Charles Johnson, Senior Director, Diversity & Inclusion, Ball Corporation
  • Molly Kocialski, Regional Director, USPTO

The era of “check of box” diversity and inclusion efforts solely led by HR are over. Many executives have started to take ownership and drive accountability at all levels of the organization, as well as close the gap between the espoused values of diversity and inclusion (D&I) and actual outcomes—this is an issue of urgency within the engineering and technology workforce. For younger workers, inclusion is not just about assembling diverse teams but also about connecting team members so that everyone is heard and respected. D&I can no longer be viewed as a training and education initiative, but needs to also focus on debiasing business processes and holding leaders accountable for inclusive behavior. Panelists will share their perspectives/ideas on how to improve business processes, leadership development and organizational culture through the lens of reducing bias and cultivating inclusion for underrepresented groups.

Wo(men) Leadership: Disrupting the Pipeline

Saturday, March 16, 2019 | 2:30-3:30 p.m.

Moderator: Anna Sparks, Project Manager, Innovative Land Consultants, Inc.


  • Diane McCarty, Vice President Operations, AECOM
  • Susan Ottmann, Director Graduate Programs, UW-Madison Engineering Professional Development
  • Mike Gazarik, Vice President, Engineering, Ball Aerospace

According to McKinsey’s 2016 “Women in the Workplace” report, women remain underrepresented at every level in the corporate pipeline. Corporate America promotes men at 30 percent higher rates than women during their early career stages, and entry-level women are significantly more likely than men to have spent five or more years in the same role. The greatest gender imbalance occurs in the C-Suite where only 19 percent of those positions are filled by women. The challenge is even more pronounced for women of color, where women of color face the most barriers and experience the steepest drop-offs with seniority despite having higher aspirations for becoming a top executive. During the panel, we’ll discuss how organizational leaders are working to advance women in the workplace by focusing on specific issues that continue to serve as barriers for advancement. Learn from women (and men) who are using their leadership roles to change the culture of their organizations and achieve equality within their organizations.

Download the full description of Plenary Panel opportunities including discussion points that will be covered.