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Westchester County Association Plans 'Women In Tech' Luncheon

Linda Sanford
Linda Sanford Photo Credit: Contributed

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. -- Many believe there has been a bias against women in the STEM fields, which has manifested itself in fewer opportunities, lower salaries and less recognition for women scientists.

With Westchester emerging as a significant biotech and health tech hub, the Westchester County Association wants to reverse that trend.

Last year, the association inaugurated the Women in Tech Awards Luncheon to honor pioneering women scientists who work in the county. Their stories were an inspiration and, in some cases, heartbreaking, as each woman related the painful obstacles she had to overcome to succeed in her field.

The second annual Women in Tech Awards Luncheon will honor five more outstanding women. The event, which takes place Thursday, Oct. 1, at Tappan Hill Mansion in Tarrytown, also will recognize two outstanding Westchester students who have chosen to enter one of the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

The honorees are:

  • JoAnn Difede, professor, department of psychiatry at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and director of the Program for Anxiety and Traumatic Stress Studies at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center for pioneering uses of virtual technology to treat survivors of post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Joan Fallon, chief executive officer, Curemark LLC, for developing innovative therapies to treat autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.
  • Lynn Macdonald, executive director, Pain, Neurology & VI Next, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, for developing genomic technologies for the treatment of human diseases.
  • Rebecca Sommi, senior vice president of operations, support, and engineering, Broadview Networks, for leading this IT organization through a technological tidal wave amid an unsteady market.
  • Andrea Soto, vice president, MasterCard, for championing and leading a global, corporate Women in Technology initiative. She serves as a key adviser to the president and helps drive execution of strategic goals across this global organization.
Linda Sanford, senior adviser for IBM Corp. will deliver the keynote address.

The Women in Tech Awards Luncheon also will honor two Westchester students for their the achievements and passion for STEM: Brigitte Obermeyer, a senior at Briarcliff High School, and Lindsay Peckham, pursuing a degree in cybersecurity at Westchester Community College.

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