J. Kelly Hoey

Profiles Of Women In Tech: Becky Heironimus

It’s Thursday evening in Orlando FL. Day two of #GHC17 (and day four of my week of hanging with powerful, career driven women). In Orlando I’ve been surrounded by approximately 18,000 techies /geeks/ coders / hackers— all women, women in all shapes, sizes, ages, colors, preferences, experiences. Yes, #GHC17 answers the perennial question: “where are the women in tech?”. The women are out there, building cool products, hacking, studying hard, leading and developing the next gen of tech talent — doing their job (a job they love BTW) amazingly well and it’s time to focus on that not simply their absence. Case in point, Becky Heironiums. For the past 20 years, Becky has worked as engineer and technical product manager. Today, she leads Capital One’s enterprise customer product management team, focused on building digital products for all Capital One customers.

I caught up with Becky at #GHC17 and snagged a moment to ask her a few questions…

Q: Let’s start with the basics. What is your technical expertise and yes, what’s your passion in tech?

Becky: My passion is developing complex platforms that impact the entire Capital One enterprise. My expertise has been developed working as a system engineer and my love of watching complex systems come together to improve customer experiences.

Q: What excites you about working in technology?

Becky: I’m excited by the constant innovation in the technology industry. Changes are made all the time to make products more intuitive — the possibilities are truly endless. In my role, I am focused on how to best leverage machine learning and real time data to enhance customer experiences, while ensuring that data security and transparency are the top priority.

Q: You’re a busy executive. Why is being a leader of the WIT McLean chapter so important to you, with so many other demands on your time? What has your experience been like?

Becky: Diversity and inclusion is important to me both in and out of work. As a product leader, it is critical that my team be diverse and inclusive of all ideas to ensure we are representing our diverse customer base. It has been proven time again that diverse teams with inclusive cultures make better products. I have enjoyed being a leader on this journey for Capital One as it has shown me the willingness of so many of my colleagues to want to learn and improve our culture

Q: We’re at GHC17 surrounded by women in tech. What advice do you have for women who are looking for a community or who may want to start their own community?

Becky: My advice for women in tech is: don’t feel like you have to start from scratch. There are so many great groups out there today that provide resources, opportunities to meet people and develop ideas. Many of the best communities I have been part of have morphed over time based on the needs of the organization. Don’t be afraid to change directions.

Q: I’m all about networks and community. But want to know what you think. Why is community among women in tech important?

Becky: I feel it is important because everyone needs an outlet or community where they feel comfortable letting their guard down. For many women in tech, the only time they are around other women is at a WIT event. Communities like WIT provide opportunities to learn, grow and find support with no bias or judgement.

Q: How has being a woman in technology shaped your view?

Becky: I have been a woman in tech since I can remember so I believe it is just who I am.

Q: Let’s look to the future of work, products, services…How do we get kids excited in STEM fields, especially girls?

Becky: My biggest passion is getting young girls excited about STEM and providing opportunities to show them great women who are amazing in the field. It is also important to keep STEM as a constant part of a child’s education and experiences. STEM cannot be a once a year experience, we need to find ways to engage kids constantly.

Q: This is my first GHC, and I’m just taking it all in! What has inspired you the most about Grace Hopper when you’ve attended in the past?

Becky: The massive number of women who attend and are passionate about making a difference in the world, in the field of STEM and for women in general. I’m impressed by the confidence and extreme success of so many of the people I meet each year.

I’m really proud to partner with inclusive companies, such as Capital One, and to share their stories in my way, with my network — and yes, while I’ll be checking out the keynotes and other sessions at #GHC17, you will also be able to find me in the Career Fair at Capital One’s booth.


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