By Synectics

A Shattered Glass Ceiling: Diversity at Synectics

One of the mottos famously associated with Smith College is “Where Women’s Minds
Matter.” And a motto that NASA features on one of its webpages promoting women in STEM careers (science, technology, engineering, and math) is “Diversity Drives Innovation.” It is
entirely possible that both mottos, when combined, apply to Synectics for Management
Decisions – whose own motto is “Making Data Meaningful.”


Synectics is unique among government contractors for several reasons – all of which tie into these Smith and NASA mottos. Founded in Puerto Rico in the early 1970s, it initially served the commercial sector throughout the Caribbean and Latin America. As it began supplying
services to the U.S. Federal Government, it moved its headquarters to the Washington D.C. area. Today it is a Woman-Owned Small Business as well as an Hispanic-Owned Small Business.


CEO Anna Hirsbrunner has been named “One of the 10 most impactful women in technology”
by Analytics Insight Magazine. Active in both the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce and the
North Virginia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Ms. Hirsbrunner exemplifies diversity in the
workforce. She and her human resources office work to make Synectics a welcome home for all minorities – and a special focus on women in STEM careers. The stereotype of the “data nerd” might be male, maybe from Seattle or Silicon Valley. Ms. Hirsbrunner challenges this stereotype head-on. She works to make Synectics a place where women with STEM backgrounds can
flourish – and people of any background – have a home. Women shatter the glass ceiling at Synectics, and hold leadership roles in program management, statistics, systems engineering,
and software development.


Hispanic-owned and woman-owned IT company is still a relatively rare phenomenon, and Synectics strives to make an impact to improve those numbers both locally and nationally.

Synectics is active in promoting diversity. It partners with the Paul College of Business at

the University of New Hampshire, where a female immigrant student, after completing a
summer internship with Synectics, shifted her focus in her MBA program from economics to
statistics and data analysis. Synectics is currently looking into ways to promote minority high
school students to pursue STEM careers. According to the U.S. Department of Education,
Hispanics account for only 2% of all STEM jobs in the United States. And according to the
American Association of University Women (AAUW), women account for only 28% of all STEM
jobs. So being both an Hispanic-owned and woman-owned IT company is still a relatively rare
phenomenon, and Synectics strives to make an impact to improve those numbers both locally
and nationally.


“Diversity” is sometimes a tired or overused word in America. We hear it in the news, about it in
sports, in public service TV commercials, and most of us nowadays take annual work training seminars in diversity. The term, however, is alive and well at Synectics – where the ideals of Smith College and NASA are implemented daily.


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