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Winifred Patricia Johansen – Senior VP Commercial Affairs at Quantafuel | Board Member | Keynote Speaker | Author

Winifred Patricia Johansen

There are still very few black people, and
definitely almost no black women in my field.

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"It is odd for me to come to a meeting and find somebody who looks like me.
I'm happy to see that there are a lot more women in the room, but there are still very
few black people, and definitely almost no black women in my field."

Winifred Patricia Johansen is an old-school mechanical engineer from the NTNU, the last to adapt to new technology and not yet on ChatGPT. To change phones is worse than going to the dentist.

She worked with engine designs, and crankcase ventilation and wrecked a hopeless number of cars as a crush safety analyst. She stretched, yanked, twisted, and afflicted torturous loads to subsea umbilicals to test them. Why do things break or fail? To answer that question means to design for safe operations.

In later years she haggled like a carpet dealer in a bazaar as a global sales manager on contracts, agreements, and strategies. What makes contracts fail? To answer that question is to build successful partnerships, and mechanics of understanding people.

She grew up, apparently, and she is now a VP, sitting on several boards leading processes, and advising startups. What is the lived experience of the product, service, or workplace? People buy experiences, and people also leave companies because of lived experience.

Although still an old-school mechanic at heart, she is a doctorate researcher studying a philosophical matter: Why do crises find us unprepared even when we see them creeping in? When all is said and done, you cannot change the laws of physics, they are just as applicable in sciences as in human behavior. Learn them, apply them, and have fun with them.

Tech leadership is no hocus pocus holy alter for the white boys only! Enter in as you are, and add your unique flavor and skill sets to spice things up. If this girl from Gulu, Uganda can do it, so can you! It’s just common sense.

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