The Leadership ABIE Award recognizes a woman who has served in a significant leadership role in advancing technology, with a strong focus on increasing women’s representation and success in the field. This year's winner, Mercedes Soria, joined Deloitte in 2002 as a Senior Software Engineer, leading the Knowledge Management team. She worked with the most cutting edge technologies at that time, and was the only female in a team of 40 people.
Mercedes was quickly promoted to Manager and then Channel Leader for the Ethics and Compliance channel. Her role involved leading engineering teams to work on applications that were used by over 150,000 people around the world, with an up time requirement of 99.999%. She then focused on large scale deployments of human resources, ethics, compliance, financial, and product development enterprise tools.
Mercedes has two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree in computer science in addition to an Executive MBA. She truly believes that technology plays an important role in business success.
Mercedes has a passion for inspiring and leading women in technology. She mentored dozens of women while at Deloitte. She was member of the Women in Technology Council and a board member for the Diversity and Inclusion initiatives at Deloitte where she affected change to ensure more diversity. She was the founder of the first Hispanic Network chapter at Deloitte ITS. She is also member of the Society of Professional Engineers, and mentors other women engineers.
She was invited to join the Tech Women program from the U.S. State Department, which aims to teach, mentor, and educate women in STEM from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Only distinguished women are invited, and even less get approved to participate, yet Mercedes made it into the program. Her project with the Tunisian team won a cash prize during the evaluation period in 2016. She is a true mentor and advisor to women’s technology projects, not just here but around the world. She firmly believes that the true potential of women in technology has not been reached yet, there is much to do. She has been and is willing to put in the work.
Mercedes went on to work in software engineering at Carbon Motors. She flourished in that startup environment, and was promoted to Director of Information Technology. She focused on large scale software deployments of ERP and product development tools.
At Knightscope, she is Vice President of Software Engineering, and leads the engineering team tasked with building the company’s core software product: the Knightscope security operations center. This application collects all the data that autonomous robots ingest and presents it to the customer in a way that it can be understood and acted upon. The technology stack involves artificial intelligence, machine learning, computer vision, and Cloud and web technologies. She is playing an important role to ensure gender diversity at Knightscope, where there is a 25% women to male ratio. This is awesome, especially in Silicon Valley, but she thinks it can be even better. She is working on it!
Mercedes was awarded a top 40 under 40 award in Tennessee for her community work and leadership.