The 100 Diverse Corporate Leaders in STEM blog series features a new business executive Monday-Friday and the exemplary work his or her company is doing to support 21st century STEM learning and workforce development- particularly for women, minorities and under-represented groups. Learn more and download the whole copy at STEMConnector.org/100Diverse. Follow the conversation on social media using #100STEMLeaders. Today's Diverse Corporate Leader is Earl Newsome, corporate chief information officer and vice president, digital at TE Connectivity.
Corporate Chief Information Officer and Vice President, Digital
Earl Newsome currently serves as corporate chief information officer and vice president, Digital, for TE Connectivity. In this role, Newsome is responsible for transforming and repositioning how TE drives digital across the enterprise to deliver an extraordinary customer and employee experience. In addition, he is responsible for partnering with corporate strategy to ensure IT and technology innovation is a key component of the TE corporate strategy, helping to create a competitive advantage within the corporate functions leveraging technology, driving architecture throughout enterprise, and leading IT innovation and strategy. Previously, Newsome served as vice president, Infrastructure and Operations at TE, where he was responsible for transitioning a long-term IT shared services strategy into a consumerized offering, driving innovative thinking and implementation of new improved processes.
Prior to joining TE Connectivity in 2012, Newsome served as vice president, Global Shared Services for the Estee Lauder Companies. Newsome holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY.
About TE Connectivity
TE Connectivity (NYSE: TEL) is a $13 billion world leader in connectivity. The company designs and manufactures products at the heart of electronic connections for the world’s leading industries including automotive, energy and industrial, broadband communications, consumer devices, healthcare, and aerospace and defense. TE Connectivity’s long-standing commitment to innovation and engineering excellence helps its customers solve the need for more energy efficiency, always-on communications and ever-increasing productivity. With nearly 90,000 employees in over 50 countries, TE Connectivity makes connections the world relies on to work flawlessly every day.
Earl on Diversity and STEM
Why is STEM Education/workforce development critical to the future of our nation?
The business is digital and the digital is the business – the world is changing and the next wave of change is digital. In order to compete, we need to digitalize STEM. This means applying social, mobile, analytics and cloud (SMAC) to all of our STEM efforts to ensure they not only utilize these technologies on a regular basis, but also think about how to apply STEM to them to envision the next wave of digital technologies – this is only the beginning. Additionally, as Internet of Things (IoT) and SMART (Sensors, Maker Machines, Augmented Humans, Robotics and Thinking Machines) technologies invade the way we work, build and live, STEM capabilities combined with a strong sense of social responsibility will help to define a progressive and positive future.
What is the key to smart STEM investments?
We need to drive our investments from a “buyer” perspective. Let’s build a winning “product” in the future by growing and developing people with the right skills for the future. To do that, begin with the 4-Voices – Our Customers (Corporate America), Our Partners (Higher Education), Our Students and Ourselves. This will give us the unvarnished truth and facts to guide us on the journey moving from Good to Great.
Leaders are in great demand as business builders and role models. What advice do you have for minorities and women coming “up” in the system?
My advice is know yourself and what matters to you. From that you will make better choices and better investments. A framework that I use is the 6 A’s: Aggressiveness, Ability, Agility, Appearance, Aptitude & Attitude – have the right mix of this for yourself and look for it in others.
Are you a mentor and what is your view of mentorship?
I’m involved in mentoring and sponsorship 365 days a year. I personally believe in talent management and development – what I call “taking care of employees” – which is based on my military background of “taking care of soldiers” which is based on ensuring our employees are tooled, trained and practiced effectively. We owe this to everyone to allow them to be all that they can be.
How does STEM leadership with a focus on diversity help your company compete?
TE has established an Engagement and Inclusion Council that serves in an advisory capacity to the CEO and senior leadership team. The goal of the council is to promote an organizational culture where engagement and inclusion is valued and employee potential is unleashed. The council shares best practices and focuses on a few key TE wide areas of action. Given the broad mix of businesses and global markets we are in, we also empower our leaders to define their inclusion and diversity priorities locally. This helps to promote both sponsorship and organizational buy-in by ensuring we focus our efforts on issues most relevant to the business. Our leaders go through various development courses aimed at enhancing awareness fostering an environment of inclusion and diversity.
When it comes to supporting education in the STEM fields, TE Connectivity is a major supporter of FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) which engages students in grades K-12 in exciting mentor-based programs that build science, engineering and technology skills. TE employees have volunteered hundreds of hours serving as mentors for local FIRST teams and support the regional FIRST events as judges, robot inspectors and general volunteers. In 2014, the TE Connectivity Foundation supported 25 teams, granted over $120,000 to support the teams, and made donations to match TE employee volunteer hours. In addition, as a supplier sponsor, TE Connectivity provided supporting products and technology to help students complete their designs.