What You Don't Know About Kellye Sheehan
Title: HP senior manager and newly-elected Women in Technology president.
Background: Engineer for 34 years, focused on computer science, electrical engineering, and artificial intelligence. Led teams designing languages and systems software and lately been leading large complex government programs.
Why WIT: Have been a member for 12 years and was asked to serve in several leadership roles. Served on the board for five years and enjoyed it.
Role of WIT in current climate: Helping women in their professional life; mentor-protege programs; getting girls in junior high and high school interested in tech; helping women plan for next steps in their careers and to serve on corporate boards; and networking.
New this year: Looking into creating WIT chapters in other cities. Also reinvigorating advocacy and thought leadership activities and looking at ways to connect and distribute value to members outside of in-person events.
Grew up: Fort Worth, Texas.
Schools: Texas A&M and University of Texas at Austin.
Why DC: Grew up in patriotic family—grandmother was Democratic party official and an advisor to Lyndon Johnson. Came to DC as a child to visit. After husband and I finished engineering school, he got offer to work on Adm. Hyman Rickover’s nuclear reactor team in DC. The second time we came for an assignment at the Pentagon.
Why tech career: Father was a radar designer, and he encouraged me to take the hard math and science classes.
Family-career balance: Had children very young and very spaced out. Always figured out good babysitting or daycare arrangement for them. Husband and I also took turns moving for each other’s jobs.
Free time spent: Playing music as a classically-trained flutist, gourmet cooking, and yoga
Family: Husband; three adult sons (one works as Amazon engineer and worked on Fire's speech recognition), and one granddaughter.
Biggest challenges for women in tech: A lot more women are in leadership roles but seeing residual challenges or hesitance to move women into c-suites. Public and for-profit companies also aren’t considering more women for board positions.