Leaky Pipes : Why are women dropping out of the workforce as they progress in their careers

Women have always contributed to the growth of the economy. Unfortunately, their contribution has not always been known and fully recognized. One of the major accomplishments in the past 10 years has been a marked increase of women in paid work.

It is essential that more and more women come forward and become a part of competitive work environment. However, they are leaving at a very fast pace as well. Why are women losing interest in being a part of the top echelons of management as their careers progress?

Women gravitate away from competitive career paths  at multiple stages from childhood through mid-career. That means simply exposing young girls to role models – an oft-proposed solution to the problem – is not enough. Remedies need to be introduced from childhood through adulthood and based on research about the most common barriers women encounter.

This panel explores barriers and solutions to removing and overcoming the structural barriers that keep women away from being a part of the economic progress around them.

#wistemgs2018 @mkfimpact #leakypipes



 Claudio Vespucci, Head of HR , Samsung NEXT  @SamsungNEXT

Claudio Vespucci, Head of HR , Samsung NEXT


Claudio Vespucci

Claudio Vespucci is the Head of HR for Samsung NEXT, a leading driver of Samsung’s transformation into an integrated hardware and software company. In this role he is responsible for all aspects of global HR for the organization, including: Total Rewards, Talent Acquisition, Performance Management, Succession Planning, Organizational Design, Diversity and Inclusion, Culture, and Learning & Development. Prior to joining Samsung NEXT, Claudio was the Lead HR Business Partner for SAP Success Factors, where he acted as the trusted advisor and lead for the organization on all strategic people and organization-related topics.



 Rohit Verma, Blackfire  @anyverm

Rohit Verma, Blackfire


Over two decades of executive management in technology. Industry focus includes wireless media; consumer electronics; healthcare; and supply chain management and logistics.

Strong believer in the importance of analytical rigor in business decision-making. As well as in fostering an ethical and fair work environment.

Extensive background in analytics with a Ph.D. in mathematical economics from University of Pennsylvania, and an undergraduate degree in mathematics and computer science. Certifications in AI and data science

Leedjia Svec, Department of Navy 


Leedjia svec

Commander (select) Leedjia Svec is director of military programs at NASA Ames where she serves as a liaison officer to facilitate, leverage, connect, and engage synergistic innovative collaborations within and between NASA, DoD, and other entities for mutually beneficial partnerships resulting in tangible high value knowledge, resource, and technology sharing. CDR(sel) Svec studied psychology and engineering technology at University of the Pacific, studied abroad at the University of Melbourne, Australia holds a MA/PhD in vision science from the University of Nevada, Reno and a MA with distinction in International Relations from Saint Mary’s University, where she engaged in hands on conflict transformation internationally. She has a certificate in Human Systems Integration from at the Naval Post Graduate School, and a certificate in data visualization from U.C. Berkeley. She is also certified in diversity management, conflict mediation, and equal opportunity advising. She has completed over 100 academic papers/presentations and taught as adjunct faculty at multiple universities nation wide. Past achievements include; Women of Influence Silicon Valley, NASA Equal Opportunity Medal, international young investigator award from the Aerospace Medical Association, national engaged leader award, officer of the quarter, selection for who’s who among college students, and Lockheed Martin top internship project award. She is an avid Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM) and diversity advocate, has mentored over 40 students, has served as fellow of Norwich University Institute of Culture and Language, scholarship selection panelist for the American Association of University Women, is a member of Theta Nu Xi Multicultural Sorority, Inc., is a TechWomen Mentor and is the author of Stylish STEM, a STEM and diversity blog.

Karen Brown , Global Diversity and Inclusion at Baker McKenzie

@karenbrownRC @bakerMckenzie

Karen brown

Karen Brown is an experienced Operations Executive with a background rich in multicultural, global experience and travel to over 50 countries. Over 27 years leading Operations including 15+ years focused on Diversity & Inclusion. Industry experience includes: legal, agriculture technology, avionics communication, global healthcare, hotel, management, consulting, food service ; facilities management, as well as, non-profit, and academic sectors.
Adept at leading global organizations, and using data analytics as insights for decision-making, influenced key business
outcomes and corporate-wide practices. Managed staff of over 70 associates and budgets of over $1M. Key areas of expertise include advising Board of Directors and top executives on appropriate strategies for the organization, and making policy
recommendations, which enhance business results, and increase people performance.