By Valerie Strauss via https://www.washingtonpost.com
As senior vice president of quality, regulatory and engineering services at Abbott, Corlis Murray oversees engineering and a $400 million budget at a company with 99,000 employees in more than 150 countries. And she is one of the only African American women who is a top engineer at a Fortune 500 company (if not the only one).
Murray is serious about recruiting more women and minorities into science and engineering, and she wants STEM-related companies to do more than they are doing.
In this post, she writes about her journey to the top position she has at Abbott and what other companies can do to diversify.
By Corlis Murray
When I was 17, I dressed up each day for work in a yellow and orange shirt to assemble tacos, burgers and fries at Jack in the Box. I made $1.76 an hour.
My boss thought I had a bright future ahead of me there, and even told me I was an ideal candidate for the company’s manager track program.
Around the same time, IBM came to my inner-city Dallas school asking to take on a summer high school engineering intern. My guidance counselor and math and science teachers recommended me.
I didn’t know of any engineers in my family — or among my friends. In fact, I didn’t even know what an engineer did. But I quit my fast-food job for the internship opportunity. My mother, who had no idea what engineering was, supported my decision.
Today, I’m one of the only African American women I know of who is a top engineer at a Fortune 500 company. I oversee engineering and a $400 million budget at a company with 99,000….