Women in Tech
While QSR Automations is known as the pioneer in restaurant technology, a secondary mission is advancing the role of women in leadership and tech-based roles.
It’s no secret that STEM jobs–those in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and math are typically dominated by men. The stats are easy to find. According to IT Manager Daily, women hold only 21 percent of computer software engineering positions, and STEM Graduates reports that only 19 percent of those graduating college with a degree in a STEM field are female. Furthermore, a study by MetLife released in November 2022 found that women who do enter the workforce in a STEM field are more than twice as likely as men to leave it, citing a litany of problems including unfair pay, lack of diversity, and limited career growth opportunities. But according to a study by the Girl Scouts Research Institute, 74 percent of female teens express an interest in a STEM field.
It’s a phenomenon QSR Automations CEO Angela Leet knows all too well.
“When I was earning both my bachelor’s and master’s degrees in engineering at the University of Louisville, it was not uncommon to be the only female in my classes,” said Leet. “I saw that pattern repeat over and over as I advanced in my career as well. It’s very easy to get discouraged when you feel like you don’t have a path forward and it is difficult to find a mentor who has been in your shoes. I knew early on that one of my top professional goals was to be a champion for other women in a field that doesn’t always feel welcoming to us.”
Since taking over as CEO in 2021, Leet has made great strides in advancing the careers of women in departments across the company. In fact 60 percent of executive roles at QSR are held by women, up from 33% percent in 2020.
One of those new hires is Angela Ciliberti-Riedling, who joined in April 2022 as the Vice President of Product Strategy, overseeing a newly formed department responsible for facilitating product innovation. Ciliberti-Riedling is also passionate about the advancement of women in technology, by mentoring other women and serving on the advisory board of directors for RockIT Women, a Louisville-based organization founded to help women propel and excel in all facets of technology.
“Other than family and friends, tech is my passion,” said Ciliberti-Riedling. “It’s an absolute honor to be in a position to encourage other girls and women to pursue fulfilling careers in this exciting area.”
Additionally, QSR Automations was honored to receive recognition recently for its efforts to advance women in the technology field, including two bronze Stevie for Women in Business Awards, one for achievement in growth, and the other for customer satisfaction. Leet is also a finalist in RockIT Women’s STEAM Award, which honors women who are working to advance opportunities in fields related to science, technology, engineering, art, and math. The winner will be announced in December.
“The bottom line is, representation matters,” said Leet. “When girls and women see other creative risk-takers leading the way in a career field that may otherwise feel closed off to them, they may feel inspired to keep going after their passions, and that’s what gets me excited about the future.”
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About the Author
As Marketing Coordinator for QSR Automations, Alexa Glass is establishing her roots in the world of Marketing. After interning for months with QSR Automations, she assumed her full-time position upon her college graduation. Alexa has a Bachelor of Arts in Design Arts Technology and Business Administration from Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY. When she is not designing and formatting for QSR, you can find her drawing, listening to music, and playing with her dogs, Chonk and Buck.