STEM Woman Leader of the Day- Lina Young (Peabody Energy)
Submitted by Tommy Cornelis on October 31, 2012
Lina A. Young is Senior Vice President of Information Technology. at Peabody Energy. She leads all strategic and operational aspects of IT worldwide for Peabody Energy and is a member of the senior management team. Over the past 18 years at Peabody, Lina has served in a variety of management roles. Lina served as Senior Vice President of Marketing Commercial Services, overseeing global marketing analytics and contracts, Vice President of Enterprise Resource Planning leading a major standardization of business processes. In addition, Lina was Vice President of Benefits, where she implemented industry-leading benefit programs. While active on CIO Councils, she serves on the Board of Directors for the YWCA, and is on the Governance Board with theFamilyResourceCenter. She is a recipient of the 2007 Most influential Business Women Award and in 2009, she received the Inclusive Leadership Award. She holds a Bachelors of Science degree from Tulane School of Engineering and Master degrees in Information Management and Telecommunications from Washington University School of Engineering and Applied Science.
Why do you believe STEM education and workforce are important to our nation?
Encouraging and developing our nation's next generation of innovators is paramount in order to compete in the global economy and not get left behind. The U.S. government and private sector both have key roles to play in raising awareness and investments in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. We need to enable programs to attract and retain an increasing number of students and qualified teachers in STEM fields. I also see this need every day in the energy industry. Technology and innovation have helped my company – Peabody Energy – be the global leader in sustainable mining and clean coal solutions. We believe it is important to invest in our future and develop our next generation workforce members, who often come from STEM backgrounds.
What traits do senior leaders need to effectively support and advance STEM today?
I believe today’s leaders need to be able to understand and navigate our global business environment, which at times can be dynamic. Our world is growing, changing and becoming ever-more connected. Strong business acumen and the ability to communicate and collaborate are essential. Understanding and thriving requires leaders who are willing to try something new, to always learn and to apply innovation in every aspect. Advancing STEM alongside operational business expertise could be an all-inclusive winning combination that delivers successful results for any organization.
What about STEM gives you passion?
What makes me passionate about science, technology, engineering and math is that all of these provide an opportunity to drive change to improve communities and organizations around the world. Advances across STEM fields afford people the skills necessary to compete in delivering innovative solutions and solve challenging problems that make a real difference in our everyday lives. Technology, science, engineering and math are important drivers behind what we do each day at Peabody. The coal we produce from our mines in the U.S .and Australia enables low-cost electricity and steelmaking that make up our modern lives. Every time we turn on a light, play a song on our iPods or power up a computer, we use energy from coal. What principles do you, as a leader, apply to your professional and personal life to advance the STEM cause? In today’s fast-changing environment, the principles that guide me are constant across my professional and personal lives. These are, first, to always do the right thing with integrity. Second is to seek out collaboration and be inclusive of diverse thoughts and skills as all of these help develop the best solutions. Finally, I believe in driving results toward a common goal by motivating your team for success.
Who is your STEM role model and why?
My role model is my father. More than 50 years ago, my father left India to pursue an education in the United States in the science field. His dedication enabled him to become an accomplished, world renowned scientist and devoted educator. He dedicated his life’s work to cancer research and teaching. My father taught me about integrity, respecting others, accountability and commitment. He instilled in me how important it is to never give up and to always work hard in accomplishing your goals, despite the challenges and roadblocks that may arise. Most of all, he taught me about the importance of family and giving back to your community. His inspiration and legacy guide me each and every day.