Humans of IEEE WIE refers to a dedicated WIE volunteer who is well known for his/her notable contribution to IEEE WIE.
IEEE WIE: Here’s a brief introduction about Mary Ellen and her family.
Mary Ellen Randall is the founder/CEO of Ascot Technologies, Inc., an award-winning software company that develops enterprise applications utilizing mobile delivery technologies.
Previously, Ms. Randall held management and technical positions at IBM, including managing projects on an international scale. Ms. Randall serves on the IEEE Board of Directors, as an IEEE Corporate Officer, as IEEE Treasurer and previously served as IEEE Vice President of the worldwide Member and Geographic Activities.
Ms. Randall also created, developed, and currently manages the IEEE MOVE International Community Outreach Program for Disaster Relief and STEM education. She received three awards for this work, the IEEE Haraden Pratt Award (2020), one worldwide award for “Innovation” and one USA-wide “Citation of Honor” Award.
Ms. Randall is a Fellow of the IEEE and a member of the Eta Kappa Nu honor society in the profession of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
Ms. Randall was named a top “Woman In Business” in the Research Triangle NC area and made Business Leader Magazine’s “Impact 100” List.
Ms. Randall is married to Grayon, another IEEE volunteer, Operations Leader for MOVE, Disaster Responder, and member of the Future Directions committee. She has 2 grown sons and 3 wonderful grandchildren. The daughter of a banker and stay-at-home mom, Ms. Randall was encouraged to pursue her dreams without limits. This nurturing environment helps her to view the world optimistically and act energetically in her endeavors
IEEE WIE: What is her specific area of STEM?
As a middle school student, Ms. Randall was encouraged to pursue Mathematics. “You should be a math teacher,” she was told. So she studied math in college and her Bachelor’s Degree is in Mathematics. She found that an elective course in computer programming was fun and so pursued other similar courses. When pursuing employment, Ms. Randall found that IBM was hiring Mathematics and Physics majors for programming work and found that to be a good match. Her Master’s Degree is in System Science/Computer Science and readily applied to what she did at IBM.
IEEE WIE: Please tell us something interesting about your life that may be why you chose the STEM field.
Although drawn to the field by mathematics, she was advised to learn many aspects of the business. She held technical management positions in software product development, engineering software development, customer services and even chip development.
IEEE WIE: As an empowered woman, please share how you plan to empower other women. How do you encourage them to take leadership positions?
My approach to empowering women is by encouraging them, helping them see their talents, and mentoring them. You always learn when you mentor. It becomes a 2-way enrichment relationship and is very inspiring, even to the mentor.
IEEE WIE: How do you think diversity and inclusion help in boosting creativity and better problem-solving strategies?
When people look at a problem, they have a certain perspective. When others look at the same problem, they often bring a different perspective. Those different perspectives help round out the understanding of the problem and enable a more comprehensive understanding of the problem and the solution.
IEEE WIE: In your opinion, how can everyone ensure that technological advancements are used for the betterment of humanity?
IEEE WIE: What is one piece of advice you can give to young professionals who are IEEE WIE members?
You get what you give. To get more from your IEEE membership, find ways to contribute and meet other IEEE members. This worldwide network of technology professionals is a gem in your professional toolbox. Utilize it to help others. You will find goodness comes back to you.
IEEE WIE: How do you challenge the status quo or how do you identify problems in your field and propose solutions to bring positive changes?
IEEE WIE. An empathetic leader helps promote a better work environment. Would you agree?
Yes. Building team involves getting to know others and helping them utilize their talents. We all bring something different to our work, but at our heart, we want to contribute in a worthwhile way. Enabling each person to be their best is a successful formula. An empowered team will amaze you with what challenges they can solve!