5 Un-carrier Women of 5G

By Shawna Ryan and Melanie Gardiner, T-Mobile StoriesMarch 11, 2024

We look at five T-Mobile tech standouts who are creating a promising future for wireless connectivity.

The future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and ethical considerations in AI development, digital data privacy and security, automation and the future of work, and (of course!) the rise of 5G technology are all proving truly transformative for what it means to work in tech — and who works in it.

“The world of women in technology is so much different than it was 30 years ago, and I’m trying to pay it forward,” says Jennifer Silveira, T-Mobile’s SVP of South Regional Network Engineering and Operations. 

Yet her words hit home in an industry where gender diversity remains a challenge. While the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that 57.4% of women participate in the workforce, only 26.7% hold technology positions. But tech careers are undergoing a game-changing moment thanks to a boom of innovation.

In 2022, a striking 70% of organizations worldwide reported a tech skills shortage with a projected need to fill nearly 3.5 million STEM jobs by 2025. With momentum building, the BLS projects computer science research jobs will grow 19% by 2026. In this evolving landscape, women are actively seizing opportunities to make their mark in spaces that traditionally may not have welcomed them before. Between 2016 to 2022, the technology industry has shown the biggest increase in the hiring rate for women into leadership, with computer science boasting the slimmest pay gap between genders (where women earn 94% of what men do compared to the average 83% in other professions). 

Changing the status quo is never easy. It takes fearless individuals to lead the change and bring others into the movement. As we celebrate Women's History Month, we highlight five fierce females at T-Mobile who are showing the world the face of success in technology, leading the way in areas like digital innovation, big data, cybersecurity, engineering, network operations and more.

Jennifer Silveira

T-Mobile’s SVP of South Regional Network Engineering & Operations

Jennifer Silveira has been a key player in T-Mobile’s success for 27 years. Originally working in the oil business, Jennifer says she decided to switch career paths when she saw the potential in wireless technology and knew she wanted to be part of it. Fast forward almost three decades later, and Jennifer stands as one of T-Mobile’s founding females, having helped to create the nation’s largest, fastest and most awarded 5G network. Currently based in Frisco, Texas as the company’s SVP of South Regional Network Engineering and Operations, Jennifer has been instrumental in driving an unprecedented wireless experience for customers.

"It's incredible to see our growth," she says. "I always believed in the company, but to change from being the underdog to being the leader is an adjustment, and you have to change your leadership style and your expectations because someone is chasing you now."

In addition to her leadership role, eight years ago Jennifer was approached by then T-Mobile President of Technology Neville Ray to lead the company's Women in Technology DE&I group, with the goal of fostering a more inclusive environment. At first, she wasn't exactly sure how to go about it - until she realized that just speaking up made a real difference.

"I never saw my gender as a limitation," she says. "I wasn't raised that way. But I always have authentically believed in the value of building your network. I've worked across the organization, and while I don't have all the answers or consider myself the smartest person in the room, I'm not afraid to ask questions and collaborate. So that has allowed me to mold who I am, who I work with and how I work. When we started Women in Technology in 2016, I thought, 'Why me?', but I've always taken advantage of the opportunities in front of me and believed in paying it forward or reaching back. And no surprise, what I found was an amazing group of women."

Jennifer says the 5G journey is just getting started and she can’t wait to see what’s next.

"I'm excited to see what it will bring," she says. "I think we're only just on the cusp of it all because the world hasn't caught on yet. It's not just that 5G makes things faster. It has the potential to transform our culture for the better and improve people's lives, and that's monumental."

Ronke Ekwensi

T-Mobile’s VP, IT Development

With over 25 years of experience, Ronke Ekwensi is a true champion when it comes to driving business outcomes through data strategy. She says her career journey is far from being a straight line, acquiring expertise across several fields before joining the Un-carrier nearly four years ago as VP, IT Development. After starting out in IT and moving onto information management where she focused on policy and privacy issues, Ronke eventually dove headfirst into the world of big data. She's worked her magic across various industries too, making waves in healthcare, biopharmaceuticals, electrical power, technology, consumer electronics and management consulting.

"Ambition is a good thing to have, and I value my inventory of substantive skillsets," she says. "I run my own race and I have a high bar set to be the best version of myself. I remember when I made VP at a previous company and some people asked if I was surprised. No! I had been working toward that for a year. At some point, you have to know your worth and speak up for yourself."

After a solid decade of immersing herself in information governance, Ronke made a strategic move to ramp up her commitment to continuous learning. She went back to school at MIT to take a course on big data, choosing to pivot from lofty titles to focus on a field she believed could genuinely make a difference in our world.

"I believe in the transformative power of data, and I'm fascinated by the way it will affect not only business but humanity altogether," she says. "We have the tools now with generative AI and large language models to make it happen. I can't wait to see how it all unfolds."

Dr. Jie Hui

Head of Digital Innovation Lab (InLab) at T-Mobile

Dr. Hui talks about her journey as a technologist and reveals where she displays her 39 U.S. patents at T-Mobile.

Dr. Jie Hui has 20 years of experience in tech innovation, mobile devices, technology product development, infrastructure engineering and big data analytics that have helped T-Mobile generate more than $200 million in business impact. Since joining the Un-carrier 14 years ago, she's secured 39 U.S. patents (and 11 pending!) for her work on innovative technologies and methods, which she proudly displays as part of a patent shrine in her office.

As one of the company’s most innovative leaders, Jie has been on the forefront of T-Mobile’s exploration of generative AI. 

Beyond her impressive technical accomplishments, Jie is a fierce advocate for diversity and inclusion in the tech industry. She actively mentors and supports aspiring professionals, especially women, empowering them to break barriers and conquer the world of technology.

"I used to be self-conscious that I may be the only female in the room, but now I don't see gender as much as I see peers all seeking the same goal," says Jie. "What I want to teach young engineers and technologists is if you have an idea in your mind that you believe in and are passionate about, then drive toward that goal. People will feel that energy and follow. If you feel shy because you think you're smaller as a woman, people will feel that. You have to do the work internally first and I believe that women supporting women has a lot to do with helping begin that work."

Ultimately, Jie wants to bring magic to people through technological innovations that help make people’s lives more enjoyable, richer and fuller. 

Terri Oscar

Senior Engineer, T-Mobile’s Cybersecurity Incident Response Team

Terri Oscar is breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings in the world of cybersecurity. As an Army veteran, military spouse, and mother, she's no stranger to overcoming challenges. During her time at the Pentagon, she fearlessly served on a cybersecurity incident response team, often finding herself as the only Black woman in the room.

"As a Black woman in cybersecurity, I have often been the only one with curly, course hair and melanin skin," she says. "I feel I've had to prove myself over and over and, honestly, it's not only in the workforce, but also in professional events I've attended and while I was in graduate school. There are so many occasions where it becomes a little intense knowing you're always that small percentage number. I want to change the narrative, the outlook, and create a sense of belonging."

Research shows that only 3% of tech roles are held by Black women today, and Terri is on a mission to change that. Since joining T-Mobile's Cybersecurity Incident Response Team (CIRT) as a senior engineer, she's been using her technical expertise and unique perspective to pave the way for others. She's not just excelling in her role, but also speaking at events to inspire minority youth to pursue careers in STEM. 

Edwige Robinson

T-Mobile’s SVP of the Central Regional Network Engineering & Operations

Edwige Robinson is the Un-carrier's ultimate bridge between business strategy, innovation and technology execution. Hailing from Ivory Coast, West Africa, she arrived in America in her early twenties, determined to conquer new horizons despite the language barrier. As a woman, an immigrant and a Black professional, Edwige proudly represents the triple minority, blazing a trail for aspiring tech enthusiasts who yearn for mentors and supportive allies in this challenging field. With an impressive 30-year career, she has made her mark in companies like Time Warner Cable and Comcast NBCUniversal. Her expertise in cutting-edge technologies perfectly aligns with T-Mobile's mission to stay ahead in the 5G game.

But Edwige's impact goes far beyond data points and technical prowess. Recognized as one of the "Awesome Black Women Everyone Should Know" by diversity research firm Aleria and celebrated as a visible role model by the global women in STEM organization Million STEM, she's inspiring the next generation of women in tech.

"Sometimes in life, you have to be your own hero," she says. "You have to be willing to fight for yourself and for others and trust that you have what it takes. From that point, the mentors and advocates will come."

Edwige manages T-Mobile’s central region, overseeing the company’s 5G network rollout across 30 states. Most recently, she played an important role in the Un-carrier’s positive impact on West Virginia, where through the addition of new towers, upgrades and expanded 5G coverage, T-Mobile has provided people with access to high-speed internet and created economic growth. Whether it’s the new opportunities that 5G provides individual customers in their everyday lives or the value that the intersectionality between sports and tech can bring fans thanks to the network’s support of events the PGA tour, the Grand Prix and MLB, Edwige says every use case is equally important to her. 

"Connectivity has profoundly impacted our world, transforming how we communicate, learn, work, manage our finances, access entertainment and shop," she said. "It has a significant impact on the way we can address important issues like heath equity and the digital divide, especially in rural areas. Being able to deliver the best customer experience, all thanks to our network and the amazing team behind it, is a responsibility and privilege I don't ever take lightly."