The Society of Women Engineers (SWE) goals and objectives include professional excellence. SWE develops engineers at all stages of their personal and professional lives. The Society’s objective is to develop an education, experience, and exposure-based portfolio for all career and life stages. SWE Dallas has accepted this challenge to provide presentations from leaders in engineering and tech industries who can give insight into opportunities for personal and professional excellence. On Tuesday, January 19th, SWE Dallas members had the opportunity to meet Jamita Barnett-Machen who hosted a professional development meeting at Southwest Airlines headquarters. Jamita is an honoree selected by the Dallas Business Journal in partnership with TeXchange DFW in the 2015 inaugural North Texas Women in Technology Awards program. The program highlights an amazing group of twenty-five trailblazers and honors their incredible achievements. Currently, Jamita is the only female Information Technology Architect at Southwest Airlines. One of Jamita’s responsibilities is overseeing Southwest Airline’s complex technical life cycles from inception, requirements analysis and design to fluid implementation phases. Jamita has made significant contributions in software development, engineering, and architecture solutions. She’s also a doctoral candidate at SMU.
Jamita spoke to Dallas SWE members about work-life balance. She provided her personal insight into taking vacations at home commonly called staycations. She mentioned her staycations in Dallas where she books a hotel for herself, spends the weekend reading, relaxing or going to a spa. She challenged the audience to do something that you want to do just because. She mentioned that women often times are responsible for home and work but don’t get a lot of time to do things just for themselves. Jamita’s thing to do outside of her work life is being a DJ part time under the name DJ Rojas. Overall, the advice she gave to the audience is not saying yes when you should be saying no. The most important thing that Dallas SWE members are encouraged to do is to organize yourself to reduce stress and to check your calendars in advance before taking on any extra responsibilities.
SWE Dallas thanks Jamita for hosting such an incredible event and providing our members the opportunity to relax and enjoy a quality professional development experience.
~Alicia Morgan, Dallas SWE Program Committee Member
Upon graduating from Texas A&M University in 1994 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, Jamita Barnett-Machen, MBA, continues to shatter through glass ceilings. Jamita has many leadership roles during her career spanning the defense, mobile, e-commerce and travel industries with a focus on Information Technology. Some key highlights include being a part of the Executive Mentorship Program at IBM and becoming the first African-American female Principal Application Architect at American Airlines. Currently, Jamita is the only female Information Technology Architect at Southwest Airlines. The Dallas Business Journal and TeXchange DFW also recognizes her as one of the top 25 North Texas Women in Technology.
Simultaneously, Jamita has continued to broaden her skillset by acquiring various degrees such as a Master of Science in Computer Science from DePaul University and an Executive MBA from the University of Texas at Dallas. Currently, she is pursuing a Doctoral Degree in Computer Science from Southern Methodist University.
Outside of work, Jamita volunteers her time with multiple organizations such as being the President of the Arlington Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., sitting on the board of the Fort Worth Metropolitan Black Chamber of Commerce, sitting on the Strategic Council for the Texas A&M Computer Science Department and as the Vice President for the Black Former Student Network of Texas A&M University.
Jamita currently resides in the Dallas area with her husband, Russell Machen and daughter, Reya.