Podcast with WE18 Opening Keynote Speaker Cindy Kent

WE18 Opening Keynote Speaker Cindy Kent speaks with FY19 SWE President Penny Wirsing as part of our Women Executives in Engineering podcast series.
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Cindy Kent is the Opening Keynote Speaker at WE18, the Annual Conference of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), on Thursday, October 18, 2018 at 8:30 a.m. in the Minneapolis Convention Center Auditorium. Her keynote speech is open to all attendees.

In this podcast, FY19 SWE President Penny Wirsing speaks with Kent as part of our Women Executives in Engineering podcast series.

Kent is a healthcare veteran with more than 25 years in the industry. Formerly, the President & General Manager for the 3M Infection Prevention Division—she led a $1.6B+ business committed to keeping patients safe from healthcare associated infections and complications. She holds a BS in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University, as well as an MBA in Marketing and a Master of Divinity from Vanderbilt University.

A well-respected industry leader, Kent most recently was recognized by Lead360 Magazine as its 2018 Executive of the Year and last year Black Enterprise Magazine ranked her as one of the “Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Business.” Other awards include being recognized as a Woman of Distinction by the Girl Scouts; being named a “Top 35 Women Leaders in Healthcare” by the Women’s Health Leadership TRUST; and recipient of the “President’s Award” from the Informational Technology Senior Management Forum for exemplary achievement in a STEM field.

(Podcast)

Welcome to Diverse: The podcast of the Society of Women Engineers. SWE supports the advancement of women in engineering and technology. You can find all of our podcasts on SoundCloud and iTunes.

(Penny)
Hi, I’m Penny Wirsing, FY19 President of the Society of Women Engineers, and this is SWE’s Diverse podcast.

Joining me now, as part of our Women Executives in Engineering Podcast Series, is Cindy Kent. She is the Opening Keynote Speaker at WE18, SWE’s Annual Conference, in Minneapolis.

Thanks for joining us Cindy.

(Questions)

  • The theme for this year's WE18 conference is Let’s Break Boundaries. A theme and resonates very closely to me, and I understand you’ve broken a few boundaries of your own over your career, some perhaps unintentionally. Tell us about your background and career.
  • You’ve mentioned that it’s important for women to support other women. Can you give some examples of when you’ve provided, or experienced, that kind of support?
  • You were recognized by Lead360 Magazine as its 2018 Executive of the Year and last year Black Enterprise Magazine ranked you as one of the “Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Business.”Smart women, those who are able to think and articulate well can be "intimidating" to some. How can we break down that kind of barrier?
  • You have a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering from Northwestern University, as well as an MBA in Marketing and a Master’s degree in divinity from Vanderbilt University.Tell us about your educational background.
  • What are your thoughts on the differences between mentorship and sponsorship?
  • Why is it important to be a mentor?
  • Cindy you’ve had increasing leadership roles at Medtronic, Eli Lilly and Company and most recently 3M.  How did you learn how to stand out as a leader while being true to yourself?
  • It sounds like you’ve had powerful role models throughout your life & career starting with your parents. What do you see as the biggest value of having a mentor?
  • What other advice do you have for young women interested in a career like yours?

(Penny)
Cindy Kent is the Opening Keynote Speaker at WE18, SWE’s Annual Conference, October 18-20. The title of Cindy's keynote is "Breaking Through, Starts with You." Register now.

Cindy, thank you so much for joining us. See you in Minneapolis.

I’m Penny Wirsing, for all of us as SWE, thanks for listening.