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The Women’s Resource Center (WRC) is thrilled to announce that April Walker, General Manager of the US Microsoft Technology Centers, will be the featured speaker at our 2022 Breakthrough Breakfast happening April 29 at the Philadelphia Country Club in Gladwyne, PA. Walker is a digital transformation expert, board member, author, industry thought-leader and C-suite advisor. In addition to her incredible STEM career, Walker serves on advisory boards for leadership programs that support Black women seeking career advancement. Walker will be featured at the Breakthrough Breakfast in a “fireside chat” with NBC10’s Erin Coleman.
A greater Philadelphia area resident, Walker will share the story of her rise through the tech industry over three decades as a Black woman in a mostly white, male environment – no small undertaking. At the start of Walker’s career in tech, Black female representation in her field was severely limited, and in many spaces – non-existent. Today, progress has been made but there is still a way to go to reach parity with white colleagues.
Walker hopes to leverage her position of influence to uplift her colleagues of color to the C-suite and board room and inspire others to do the same. “For me at this stage in my career, it is paramount to use my voice and share my experiences to coach, mentor and guide. I want to represent what is not only possible to achieve in this field, but to expose the incredible opportunities available to women and communities of color,” said Walker. “During my career I have had to overcome any reticence or fear of using my voice to advocate for myself and others, but I know there is still so much more to do. Many Black women in corporate America continue to navigate the negative tropes that we often get labeled with, so we find ourselves navigating waters where bringing our authentic selves to the workplace can prove challenging. Overcoming any fear of using my voice and knowing my worth have been the driving forces that brought me here today and propel me into the future.”
As General Manager of the US Microsoft Technology Centers (MTC), Walker is accountable for 15 innovation centers across the US and leads a national organization of more than 100 employees. She oversees Microsoft’s state-of-the-art technology and industry centers-of-excellence. Her team of MTC directors and senior technical architects guide industry leaders and enterprises across the country with achieving their digital transformation goals and helping them to become digital businesses.
Over 30 years, Walker has held leadership roles in both the public and private sectors. She has been the catalyst for driving change, direction, and developing enterprise-wide and global strategies for digital transformation and innovation for many Fortune 500 companies, such as NBCUniversal, MetLife, and AOL/Time Warner, just to name a few. Walker is also an adjunct professor at Drexel University’s LeBow School of Management Executive MBA program where she developed and teaches a course: “Accelerating and Navigating Industry Transformation.”
Walker attended the MIT Sloan School of Management and earned MBA and an Executive Certification in Artificial Intelligence. She also possesses an M.S. in Engineering Management from George Washington University and a B.S. in Global Business from the University of Maryland. A community advocate, Walker was appointed by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney to the Philadelphia Works Board, where she serves as an officer and Treasurer and helps to lead efforts for digital skilling for the community at-large.
Proceeds from the Breakthrough Breakfast will support the Women’s Resource Center, a 47-year-old nonprofit serving women and girls facing life transitions across the five-county southeastern Pennsylvania region. Longstanding WRC services include an Information & Referral Helpline (701-314-4357), Counseling, low-cost Family Law assistance, a Girls Lead program, and recently a new Financial Stability program.
WRC Executive Director Cheryl Brubaker remarked, “April Walker is the embodiment of a successful executive role model in corporate America, not only in her professional accomplishments but also in her work to pay it forward for other Black women. Her resilience and courage in pursuing and achieving her remarkable career in tech in the face of current societal challenges holds inspiration for us all. As a nonprofit helping women and girls from vastly diverse backgrounds build strength, sustain hope, and acquire leadership skills, we are honored to spotlight April’s incredible story at our Breakthrough Breakfast this year.”
Event tickets and sponsorship opportunities can be found at https://womensresourcecenter.net/special-events/. More information about the programs of the Women’s Resource Center can be found on WRC’s main website at https://womensresourcecenter.net/.