Council celebrates NM women in technology

The 11 women working in technology fields who were honored recently by the New Mexico Technology Council.
(Courtesy New Mexico Technology Council)

The New Mexico Technology Council celebrated the achievements of nine women at its 11th annual Women in Technology awards last Thursday.

The event, held at the Albuquerque Marriott, aims to recognize the success of women working in science, technology, engineering and math fields, while inspiring others, especially younger women, to pursue STEM-related careers, said Council Board Chairwoman Sheila Mendez.

“These women hold critical technology and education positions throughout New Mexico in private industry, state government, national laboratories and education,” Mendez told a packed audience of 440. “They are not only shaping our world, but also mentoring young women to be excited about STEM careers and creating the conditions where our next generations can achieve that much more.”

Honorees included engineers and computer scientists from the state’s two labs, the University of New Mexico, and private firms like IT staffing company Robert Half Technology.

The council also recognized two women finalists in last January’s UNM/Central New Mexico Community College mobile app contest, Debbie Berlin and Rebecca Farish. And it awarded a $5,000 scholarship to CNM Deep Dive Coding graduate and founder of QUAY Concepts, Jennifer Quay Minnich, to further her education and training.

Tech Council Executive Director Deborah Breitfeld said it’s critical to shine a spotlight on local women doing outstanding work and providing leadership to others.

“These women are blazing trails for younger generations in technology fields that have historically been male-dominated,” Breitfeld said.

A report by financial research and consulting firm SmartAsset ranked Albuquerque as the fifth-best city nationwide for women in technology. Women here account for 29.7 percent of the local tech workforce and on average earn 95 percent of what their male counterparts do.

Although low, it’s better than national averages of 25.7 percent participation by women and a gender pay gap that has women earning 84 percent of what men do.

This year’s Women in Technology honorees:

LANL engineer Janette Frigo

Sandia renewable energy technologies senior manager Amy Halloran

Pajarito Powder chief engineer Alia Lubers

LANL computer scientist Laura Monroe

Robert Half IT Staffing in New Mexico Vice President Renay Moya

UNM computer science professor Melanie Moses

NM Techworks Community Learning Network Executive Director Jennifer Nevarez

Computer Science Alliance co-founder and Executive Director Paige Prescott

UNM biomedical engineering professor Christina Salas

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