Episode 24 – Working Moms Get The Job Done
Hosts: Dr. Jeremy Waisome & Dr. Kyla McMullen
Guest: Dr. Gloria Opoku-Boateng
LinkedIn: Dr. Gloria Opoku-Boateng
Gloria Opoku-Boateng met Kyla at the 2018 Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference. And Kyla knew we had to interview her to share her unique story. She started her computing education in Africa while her father was working as a missionary. In high school, she and her siblings fell in love with technology. And as a result, Gloria decided to pursue computer science in college. Since she stayed in Africa to get her degree, While she didn’t have to contend with racism, she did feel isolated as one of the only women in her classes. But she persevered and went on to obtain 2 masters degrees and a PhD! Gloria’s determination (like doing 10 internships in her PhD program) is on display throughout this episode. She leveraged all her experiences which makes for an interesting career trajectory. Fun fact: Gloria is a Mom to a 7 week old and as this episode drops Jeremy’s baby girl is now 7 weeks!
Bio: As an African-American, wife, mom, sister, and woman in tech, Gloria is not your typical black woman in computing. She grew up a missionary kid who lived in different parts of the world. She is currently in a research leadership/manager role at Amazon Web Services; leading UX and design research teams for some of the most technical services Amazon provides via cloud. Prior to her current role, she led research around Capital One’s AI/ML Platform and Identity Services. She has also worked with corporate tech giants like Google, IBM, and Northrop Grumman. Her academic tech journey started with her bachelors in computer science; continued with two masters in applied health informatics and Human-Computer Interaction, and a phD that culminates health, UX research, and vulnerable populations. She is passionate about mentoring and giving back to the community. Over the last several years, she has volunteered in so many ways to teach girls how to code, mentor UX researchers, and served in various capacities with local and regional robotics competitions. With her work and passion, Gloria has been awarded several awards and recognition. She hopes to inspire women in tech with her experience and encourage black women to ‘have it all’ through balance and patience. When she is not at work or volunteering, she is spending time with her family; catching up on her favorite TV shows or book.