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It’s countdown to the Women of Color STEM Conference coming up October 23 and another Women of Color Webinar went live Thursday at 11 a.m. Hosted by Dr. Tyrone Taborn and Imani Carter, thursday’s edition of the Lockheed Martin sponsored series featured a nominee for the 2014 Women of Color (WOC) Managerial Leadership Award.

Shelley Mills-Brinkley, a partner in IBM’s Global Business Services public sector consulting business, is focused on government, healthcare and education clients. She has led the unit’s customer relationship management practice and overseen delivery of case management, as well as contact center and help desk technical and business solutions for government customers.

A WOC award nominee for Managerial Leadership must be a person whose accomplishments in leading and managing a laboratory, a company, or a significant part of a technology enterprise make her a standout. The WOC Awards Section Committee looks for a person whose career choices serve as an example to women looking to move beyond what are considered traditional roles for women.
Through a master’s degree in social work from the University of Connecticut and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Southern Connecticut State University, Mills-Brinkley developed a passion for helping those in need by leveraging technology to enable better delivery of government and public sector services.

She has impressive experience in the realm of social programs, including health and human services, helping IBM clients transform their operations, improve their services and better serve their clients. She created a program to educate and train over 350 consultants across the world to serve public sector clients and she is a recognized expert in implementing technology in major U.S. assistance programs such as temporary assistance to needy families (TANF), supplemental nutrion assistance program (SNAP), Medicaid, child care, child support enforcement and child welfare.

Asked to define managerial leadership, Mills Brinkley said: “It’s a role or a skill that is honed over time, but you have to have in your heart that you really want to be a manager AND a leader.” Because the two words mean something different together than they do independently, she added.

“To be a manager and a leader, sometimes you have to make decisions that you might not think is best for the individual or corporation, but it is a negotiated place that’s best in time, for that moment in time,” she explained. “There have been many situations where I’ve advised people that maybe this is not the place for them. And why would you say that to someone who is skilled and talented? Because there are a bunch of other dynamics and, understanding those dynamics, will impede success within the organization.”

Mills-Brinkley says leading by example, providing feedback, and encouraging people to give you the information that you need are key in helping people you manage in their careers and even through personal issues.

“How you approach people and all those type of dynamics determines whether you’re going to be a good manager and a leader,” she said.

The WOC Managerial Leadership Award is one of more than 15 category awards that will be made during the Women of Color STEM Conference, which will be held in Detroit, Michigan October 23-25. The two day Conference is a multicultural celebration of women in science, technology engineering and math careers and the Women of Color Webinar Series, a project of Women of Color magazine founded by Dr. Tyrone Taborn, works to introduce exceptional women in STEM. Meet the amazing panelists taking part in this webinar series at the WOC STEM Conference to create relationships that last a lifetime. For registration and other information, please go to our website, www.womenofcolor.net

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