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IBM has announced the first recipients and list  of global women leaders and pioneers in AI for business. The list recognizes and celebrates women across a variety of industries and geographies for pioneering the use of AI to advance their companies in areas such as innovation, growth, and transformation.

IBM celebrated the honorees during an inaugural recognition event on June 12, 2019 at the IBM Watson Experience Center in New York, New York where the women will share their experiences leading AI initiatives in their organizations. Students from IBM’s P-Tech program attended to hear from these leaders who have applied AI technology in diverse and meaningful ways to help drive business innovation.

To learn more about these stories of AI achievement – and the lessons these outstanding women have learned along the way – visit http://ibm.com/watson/women-leaders-in-ai.

“Artificial Intelligence is poised to drive dramatic advances in every industry,” said Michelle Peluso, SVP, Digital Sales & CMO, IBM, who also serves as Leader of IBM’s Women’s Initiative. “Today, we are sharing the stories of 40 incredible women, who are paving the way forward in how AI is advancing businesses and changing how people work and live. At IBM, we know gender equality is critical and nowhere is this more important than in AI. We hope the stories shared today will encourage many more women to take a leadership role in shaping the future of this important technology.”

Ranging in industries from telecommunications and finance to education and entertainment, the women were selected based upon the ways they are using AI as a transformation agent to help drive results for their organizations and the employees and customers they serve.

The “Women Leaders in AI” honorees are:

    1. Pat Maqetuka, Chief Data Architecture & Operations Officer, Nedbank, South Africa
    2. Christine Gabbard, Project Manager, Machine Assistance, Autodesk, USA
    3. Claudia Ignacio, DGA Client Experience, Banco Mercantil del Norte (Banorte), Mexico
    4. Fernanda Gonzalez, Digital Channels Manager, Banco Santander Rio, Argentina
    5. Tanuja Singeetham, Vice President, Marketing, BEHR Paint, USA
    6. Rupinder Dhillon, Director, AI and Machine Learning, Bell Canada, Canada
    7. Harmeen Mehta, Chief Information Officer & Head Cloud and Security Business, Bharti Airtel, India
    8. Lorna Russell, Senior Manager, Product Management, BMC Software, USA
    9. Walkiria Schirrmeister Marchetti, CIO, Bradesco, Brazil
    10. Keiko Konno, General Manager, Service Planning & Development Division, BRIDGE International Corp., Japan
    11. Sabine Scheunert, Vice President Digital & IT Sales/Marketing Mercedes-Benz Cars, Daimler AG, Germany
    12. Ona Juodkiene, Co-Head of IT Operations, Danske Bank, Denmark
    13. Maren Reinsch, Head of Sales & Services, DB Dialog & DB System, Germany
    14. Siewchoo Soh, Managing Director, DBS Bank, Singapore
    15. Claudia Pohlink, Head of Artificial Intelligence, Deutsche Telekom/ T-Labs, Germany
    16. Xiaojun Huang, Senior Advisor Upstream Digital Transformation, ExxonMobil, USA
    17. Donna Hill, Assistant Director, Service, Configuration & Continuity Management, The George Washington University, USA
    18. Jaki Lynn Van Valin, Director Data Management & Analytics, Harley-Davidson, USA
    19. Victoria Stasiewicz, Global Information Systems –Manager Information Management, Harley-Davidson, USA
    1. Kyoka Nakagawa, Chief Engineer, Value Creation Department, Digital Transformation Division, Digital Solution Center, Honda R&D Co., Ltd., Japan
    2. Sara Hines, Director of Provider Experience & Connectivity, Humana, USA
    3. Seema Gaur, Executive VP & Head IT, IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Company, India
    4. Elenita Elinon, Executive Director Quantitative Research, JP Morgan Chase & Company, USA
    5. Kelly Combs, Director, Emerging Technology Risk – Intelligent Automation Leader, KPMG LLP, USA
    6. Hye-young Kim, Director of Artificial Intelligence, LOTTE Shopping, South Korea
    7. Carmen Suarez, Assistant Director, Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA
    8. Yimei Guo, Managing Director, Global Head of Research Technology, Morgan Stanley, USA
    9. Gail Blum, Manager, Talent Acquisition Operations, NBCUniversal, USA
    10. Sandra Cascadden, Associate Deputy Minister/CIO, Government of Nova Scotia, Canada
    11. Severine Marquay, AI experience, digital support & innovation, Orange France, France
    12. Rachel Cordrey, Pharmacy Supervisor, Peninsula Regional Medical Center, USA
    13. MaryAnn Fleming, Head of Services, Home Buying and Ownership, RBS, UK
    14. Erin Oles, Senior Director, R+F Virtual Live, Rodan + Fields, USA
    15. Carolyn Staats, Director of Innovation, Information Systems Department, Sonoma County, USA
    16. Jennifer Edgin, CTO, Deputy Commandant Information, U.S. Marine Corps, USA
    17. Lee Hatton, CEO, UBank, Australia
    18. Tanja Richter, Director, Consumer Products and Services, Vodafone, UK
    19. Laura Bellamy, Director, Information Experience, VMWare, USA
    20. Yu Ching Lan, Department Manager, Walsin Lihwa Corp., Taiwan
    21. Shelley Kalms, Chief Digital Officer, Woodside Energy, Australia

Notable quotes include:

“I am passionate for change, to transform current conditions and keep evolving – both in my personal and professional life,” said Walkiria Schirrmeister Marchetti, CIO, Banco Bradesco. “It’s such an honor and great pleasure to be recognized on behalf of Bradesco team efforts for our AI innovation initiatives.”

“I am honored to be included in this distinguished group of women who are pioneers in the development and use of AI,” said Tanuja Singeetham, Vice President, Marketing, BEHR Paint. “AI gives us a unique opportunity to grow our businesses by helping us offer consumers more personalized recommendations and solutions in a scalable way. It is an exciting time to be a female in marketing and I hope we are laying the foundation for the future jobs of women tomorrow.”

“We are in a transformative period of innovation,” said Lorna Russell, Senior Manager, Product Management, BMC Software. “AI will continue to change how we live and work and in my industry, it is changing traditional IT service management into a more intelligent, conversational and predictive service management. On behalf of a much larger team at BMC, I am honored to be recognized as part of that change.”

 “It is a great pleasure to be given such an honorable opportunity,” said Keiko Konno, General Manager, Service Planning & Development Division, BRIDGE International Corp. “The keys to success of our AI project, which supports the company’s inside sale business, include having rich data and clear visions enabling us, as a medium-sized company, to further improve customer experience.”

 “I am proud to be a leader in driving the implementation of AI applications across the Daimler Group,” said Sabine Scheunert, Vice President Digital & IT Marketing/Sales, Daimler AG. “We are sourcing AI opportunities along the entire value chain to support our daily work and expand our offering to customers through efficiencies and automation. In fact, Ask Mercedes, our AI chatbot, supports around 60,000 phone calls per year, delivering a much easier and streamlined experience for customers.”

 “It is an honor to be recognized on behalf of Honda R&D Big Data project teams and practitioners for our work with IBM’s AI, Watson,” said Kyoka Nakagawa, Chief Engineer, Value Creation Department, Digital Transformation Division, Digital Solution Center, Honda R&D Co., Ltd. “Bringing AI to the real world requires a thoughtful approach of complementing the work of humans. That’s what we are good at, and I believe we can bring more joy to the world.”

 “What I’ve learned from my decades of experience in implementing new technology is that both the technology and the team supporting the technology are constantly learning,” said Sara Hines, Director of Provider Experience & Connectivity, Humana. “It’s exciting to be in a field that is always changing and growing, and to be a leader in AI, you have to be comfortable with that evolution and growth.”

 “It is a great honour to be recognised as one of the women pioneers in AI,” said Seema Gaur, Executive VP & Head IT, IFFCO Tokio General Insurance Company. “AI will definitely create a great impact on enhanced customer experience in the days to come.”

 “The potential impact AI can have is great and the world is more digitally connected than ever before,” Kelly Combs, Director, Emerging Technology Risk – Intelligent Automation Leader, KPMG LLP. “But business leaders need to experience the benefits of AI, alongside full transparency around the data and process.  Creating trust and governance for AI is imperative so that we can create a seamless experience while also trusting the technology.”

 “It is an honor to be recognized on behalf of Peninsula Regional Medical Center for our work with IBM’s artificial intelligence, Watson,” said Rachel Cordrey, Pharmacy Supervisor, Peninsula Regional Medical Center. “I am anxious to see healthcare evolve as AI continues to learn and develop.”

“It is an honor to be recognized on behalf of all the hard work conducted by Marines in the field of Artificial Intelligence,” said Jennifer Edgin, CTO, Deputy Commandant Information, U.S. Marine Corps.

IBM celebrated the honorees during an inaugural recognition event on June 12, 2019 at the IBM Watson Experience Center in New York, New York where the women shared their experiences leading AI initiatives in their organization. Students from IBM’s P-TECH program will attend to hear from these leaders who have applied AI technology in diverse and meaningful ways to help drive business innovation.