International Women’s Day is a global holiday celebrating women trailblazers and bringing attention to issues faced by women worldwide. UN Women is encouraging women to #PowerOn in technology with their theme, DigitALL: Innovation and Technology for Gender Equality. This year’s IWD campaign calls for everyone to #EmbraceEquity in all aspects of society, including technology.
Through our partnership with OKIN Process, we work with three innovative women whose presence is decreasing the gender gap in the tech industry and increasing accessibility and equity at the Austin Lighthouse.
Raelene Gomes: IT Manager
Raelene leads the team handling all aspects of IT for the Lighthouse, from Network and Systems Administration to resetting passwords and installing hardware. In addition, she has written accessible programs and introduced the accessible autonomous mobile robots from Fetch Robotics at our U.S. Army Regional Logistic Support Center. She also helped to create the Austin Lighthouse Certification Testing Center, sponsored by Microsoft – the only independently owned Pearson VUE testing facility with adaptive technology software permanently installed.
Raelene is a keynote speaker on the intersection of technology and disability. She recently spoke with Forbes magazine about how she and the OKIN team our optimizing our warehouse operations for our blind workforce.
Kristen Fleming: Technical Support
Kristen provides technical support for the Lighthouse network and warehouse management system. Our Regional Logistic Support Center in Taylor, Texas, and our 3PL warehouse in Austin, are outfitted with cutting-edge technology to make our warehouse operations more efficient and provide the more than 100 blind warehouse specialists with accessible tools to help them fulfill their daily tasks. The equipment includes accessible RF guns, talking Bluetooth headsets, and autonomous mobile robots.
Katy Hay: Product and Support Specialist
Katy Hay is often the first on scene when an employee has an issue with their computer, laptop, cell phone, landline, and more. She troubleshoots problems and educates our team on how to avoid them in the future. Her other responsibilities include working with mobile device management software and updating and monitoring equipment on Lighthouse’s cloud computing platform.
Through her interactions with blind staff at the Lighthouse and OKIN, Katy has become an expert in all things accessibility. She can navigate the accessibility settings of a mobile device with ease and knows just where to place a bump dot to help blind employees utilize office machines. In addition, Katy helps to provide the company announcements in an accessible format by recording and uploading a video version to breakroom televisions at all four Lighthouse locations, even participating as a news anchor when necessary.