Tech Hub South FloridaTech Hub South Florida

By MonicaRojas

She Is Tomorrow’s Technologist | LexisNexis Risk

Read Time 2 Minutes

Business: LexisNexis Risk Solutions harnesses the power of data and advanced analytics to provide insights that help businesses and governmental entities reduce risk and improve decisions to benefit people around the globe. The company provides data and technology solutions for a wide range of industries including insurance, financial services, healthcare and government.

South Florida Head Quarters: Boca Raton, FL 

Palm Beach Tech Member, LexisNexis Risk Solutions, hosted its 2nd annual “She IS Tomorrow’s Technologist” event last week at the Embassy Suites in Boca Raton. Female students currently studying in a field of technology/engineering/computer science were invited attend the event, which featured female leaders from LexisNexis Risk Solutions and others. It was a day of mentorship, leadership and open discussion empowering women in technology. The event was attended by more than 50 guests including students from Florida Atlantic University, Olympic Heights High School, American Heritage School, Don Estridge High Tech Middle School, Nova Southeastern University as well as teachers and staff.
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Jo Portlock, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, for the Risk and Business Analytics Division of RELX which includes LexisNexis Risk Solutions, was the event’s keynote speaker who discussed the struggles that women face in technology careers, the statistics of women in technology, and different strategies on how to diversify your internal team and how to build support for one another.
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To learn more about LexisNexis Risk Solutions and all of their women in leadership initiatives and internship programs please visit: lexisnexisrisk.com

By Nancy Dahlberg

Member Spotlight | LexisNexis Risk Solutions

Read Time 4 Minutes

Business:  LexisNexis Risk Solutions provides customers with solutions and decision tools to assist them in evaluating and predicting risk and enhancing operational efficiency.

Local campus: Boca Raton

Parent company: RELX, based in the United Kingdom

No. of employees: In Boca Raton: 643; globally: 6,166

Website: Risk.LexisNexis.com

 

As the technology industry looks for ways to attract more women into its careers, perhaps it should pay more attention to what LexisNexis Risk Solutions is doing.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions provides customers with solutions and decision tools that combine public and industry specific content with advanced technology and analytics to assist them in evaluating and predicting risk and enhancing operational efficiency. Its Boca Raton offices employ more than 600 people.

It doesn’t surprise Lisa Simmons, VP of Technology for LexisNexis Risk Solutions in Boca Raton, that 51 percent of Boca’s workforce and 25 percent of its development team are women.

”It’s an amazing company to work for. We promote from within. There are two tech [career] paths – manager-director-vice president, my path, or you can be an individual contributor on the path to become an architect,” she said.

“We move people around. If you’ve proved yourself in IT, and you want a developer position, we will do that. We allow you to learn and we teach on the job.”

Simmons’ LexisNexis career spans 20 years but her interest in technology reaches back to high school, when she talked her parents into buying her an early home computer – a TI-99 – and she started writing games. “I had a passion for programming since then. It’s in my blood. I am proud to say both of my children are in the field,” said Simmons, who majored in the computer information systems.

Simmons started her career at LexisNexis Risk about 20 years ago, first as a developer and then began managing developers. In 2004 she became VP of product development and ran public records system. “Accurint is my baby — I brought it up and made the product what it is today. I am very proud of that,” she said.

Today, as VP of technology, Simmons leads all of the company’s development of its products and technology for the government side of the business.

In order to attract more women into technology, outreach in the community is key, and LexisNexis Risk Solutions is very active.

“We have events all the time,” said Simmons. “We do a lot with middle schools, high schools and FAU.” said Simmons, noting that one of the women she recruited right out of FAU five years ago is already on her way to becoming a software architect.

One of LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ programs is Tomorrow’s Technologists, a free computer science/STEM initiative that LexisNexis Risk Solutions funds and hosts in events around the country. On Jan. 16, LexisNexis Risk Solutions kicked-off its technology education initiative with “She IS Tomorrow’s Technologist” — a free event held in Boca Raton that focused on educating young women about the advantages of pursuing a career in technology. More than 50 female high school and college students attended the event featuring female executives from LexisNexis Risk Solutions, including Simmons.

LexisNexis Risk Solutions also hosts programs for children on the autism spectrum. It does events with iRISE2, which is part of Florida Atlantic University. The camp and mentoring program helps help students with autism and other related disabilities develop skills in the field of technology, as well as provides coaching on resume creation and interviewing.

In another program, Simmons said, “middle school students come to our engineering conference and demonstrate what they have done in robotics. This past year they started doing agricultural robotics. They get to know Lexis, they get to know technology and the opportunities here.” 

Simmons lauded the company’s CARES program, in which the company gives two additional paid days off to employees to support the community in many different ways. She said other benefits include flexible hours, stock option purchases and an excellent bonus program. “If the company does well, every single employee of LexisNexis Risk Solutions gets a bonus.”

“It’s amazing how [Palm Beach County] has grown up into a big tech sector,” said Simmons. “It is very hard to find talent because … we have some of the most amazing companies right here in the tri-county area, We have all these companies drawing from the same pool of people so we need more.”

Software developers need to be dedicated and “the logic background needs to be with you,” said Simmons, whose mother would take five 30-piece puzzles and throw all the pieces together and at age 5 Simmons would do them all.

To be a good leader, the number one quality is integrity, she said. “You need to be a great manager, of course, you have to be able to work through all kinds of good and bad. But without integrity it doesn’t really matter if you are good at managing.”

She Is Tomorrow’s Technologist | LexisNexis Risk
Member Spotlight | LexisNexis Risk Solutions