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Best Practices

Wal-mart's Dionna Alexander-Moses: Empowering Women in STEM
By Imani Carter
Oct 14, 2013, 15:36

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Dionna Moses has always understood the importance of women obtaining careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. As the director of Infrastructure and Operations in Walmart Global Technology Services India, it has been her mission to motivate and mentor women who share her desire to excel in these fields.  

Born in Kansas City, Missouri, and raised in St. Louis, Moses graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 2002. Before attending college, however, she participated in the school’s Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science (MITES) program, created to address the low numbers of minority students pursuing advanced technical degrees. MITES was a springboard for Moses’s involvement in enhancement programs for minorities in STEM, as she would later devote much of her time to similar programs.

After earning her degree, she reluctantly applied for a job at Walmart on her grandfather’s advice. 

“When I got the call from the recruiter, I basically said, ‘I’m not interested.’ But they convinced me to listen to what they had to say. My interest was piqued by the size and complexity of the systems and the breadth of exposure and responsibility that I would have very early in my career, so I decided to join Walmart,” she says.

Despite her initial reservations, she soon discovered that Walmart is a great place to work, grow a career and make a difference both individually and globally. For example, as part of Walmart’s East Data Center project, Moses coordinated and managed 13 infrastructure areas, 123 application teams and more than 40 IT associates.

In 2005, Moses was awarded the Women of Color Rising Star award for her achievements in her career. A few years later, Moses was asked to make a presentation at the Girls of Promise Conference, which she says has introduced thousands of eighth grade girls across Arkansas to information about careers related to math, science, and technology, while giving them the opportunity to meet with women professionals for a greater understanding of their own potential and power.

"These events encourage girls to pursue academic excellence during their high school and college years. Attendees get to meet other girls like themselves and realize that it’s okay to be a bright, motivated girl with big dreams."

Moses also had big dreams. By her freshman year in college, she landed an internship with Boeing, and interned with Goldman Sachs during her final undergraduate years. She explained that she wanted her early career to be an inspiration to young girls with an interest in STEM.

Moses believes that when attempting to land a career in STEM disciplines, not only should young people be able to communicate effectively but they should also have a “strong foundation of technical experience and knowledge.”

In February 2012, Moses formed her first mentoring group, Information Security and Compliance Women’s Mentoring Circle, while part of the Information Security department, before leaving to begin her new position as Walmart’s e-commerce Director of Infrastructure and Operations in Bangalore, India. 

The Circle, which Moses refers to as one of her proudest accomplishments, consists of a group of 16 women who have made their way to leadership positions in information security.

Moses says it’s  important for women to show that they are just as qualified for leadership positions as men, adding that there are two key points to get ahead which women should take heed: Know your business and show a capacity to take on more.

“We can’t just show that we can handle what’s on our plate, but we must show that we have the capacity to move forward and take on more. We should always think ‘What else can I do?’” Moses stresses.

Following her own advice, Moses continues to motivate women in the STEM field, and will serve as the 2013-2014 co-chair for Women’s Resource Committee within the Walmart Global Technology Services in India. As one important pillar in this committee is ‘Invest in Women Globally,’ this program will focus on activities that encourage women to pursue STEM careers world-wide.

Moses has had many accomplishments and has helped a number of people on her way.  However, in spite of all of her success, she says she is happiest when she witnesses those she has helped, or a person whose life she has touched, achieve a huge accomplishment in their career.

Throughout her journey, Moses has learned many lessons, but says the greatest learning has been to always practice humility. She says when she creates mentoring groups and contributes to STEM and professional programs or projects, she thinks about the people she is helping.

“It’s not about me,” she says. “I’m not one to boast or to be prideful. Often times we try to show that we can do everything, but that’s not possible because we aren’t naturally good at everything. There are certain things that I know that I do well and excel at, and there are certain things that I’m not good at. I’m very well aware of my strengths and my weaknesses.” Clearly, one of Dionna Moses’ strengths is helping other women in their journey to success in STEM careers.

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Promoting STEM

The development of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) careers is integral to America's advancement. Career Communications Group publications--US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine, Hispanic Engineer & Information Technology magazine and Women of Color magazine--offer a blueprint for continued growth and success in STEM fields by highlighting progress and people at all stages of the STEM pipeline; from the college student taking his first engineering courses to the senior executive managing the projects that will change the ways we live.

About CCG

A Unique Company Providing Unique Opportunities Career Communications Group, Inc. was founded 25 years ago with a unique mission: To promote significant achievement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics professional careers. We are a socially conscious diversity media company that recognize the mandate to inspire and promote excellence in our youth by telling the stories of the thousands of unheralded people striving for success. The people we reach provide top employers a unique opportunity to fulfill their mission of hiring this country’s most promising talent. We offer inspiring magazines, award-winning syndicated television programs and national conferences to reach hundreds of thousands of students and professionals who share these traits: A determination to succeed and the commitment to be personally responsible for that success. Their attitude of self-empowerment creates a unique hiring environment for companies and other organizations seeking top talent to diversify and strengthen their workforce.