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Panel Fireside Chat: Executive Roundtable Replay

Pride@Pega hosted an executive roundtable, moderated by Pega CTO and Pride@Pega Executive Sponsor Don Schuerman, of LGBTQIA+ leaders at several of our Partner organizations. They shared their experiences, insights, and best practices on how to create more welcoming and accepting workplaces for everyone.

Meet the host:

Don Schuerman (he/him/his)
CTO & VP, Marketing and Technology Strategy, and Executive Sponsor of Pride@Pega

Don is the CTO and VP of Marketing and Technology Strategy and is passionate about connecting client needs to Pega’s powerful technology platform. He has over 25 years of experience delivering enterprise software solutions for Fortune 500 organizations, with a focus on digital transformation, customer experience, AI, automation, and cloud.

Over the past year, Don has been the Executive Sponsor of Pride@Pega and our ally in chief. In his keynote at PegaWorld 2023, he introduced himself with his pronouns, the only speaker to do so.

Based in the Greater Boston area, Don is an improv comedian in his spare time, and the rhythm guitarist in Pega’s house band, the Layer Cakes.

Meet the panelists:

Zahara Fernandes (She/her/hers)
Managing Director Global Delivery, and Accenture India Pride Sponsor

Zahara is a Managing Director at Accenture and is responsible for managing global delivery of operations for one of the clients based in the Silicon Valley. Zahara is the sponsor for Accenture India’s Pride charter and the first-ever leader for the Pride Employee Resource Group at Accenture in India. 

Among her many accomplishments, Zahara was recently recognized among Top 100 LGBT+ Future Leaders and Top 50 Ally Trailblazers in the OUTstanding LGBT+ Role Model Lists 2022. 

Zahara identifies as bisexual, lives in Delhi and is a mother of a young girl Sarah, who is pursuing a master’s degree in psychology, aiming for a career in queer affirmative counselling.

Filipe Mota da Silva (He/him/his)
Consulting Leader, Energy, Resources and Utilities – UK and Europe, and Executive Sponsor of TCS Qolors

Filipe is the Consulting Leader for Energy, Resources and Utilities at TCS Europe. With 20 years of experience in the sustainability, energy, and technology sector, he has helped several organizations embracing large digital transformational programms to improve their operations and tackling innovative business opportunities. 

Filipe founded TCS Qolors, the LGBT+ and Ally network in 2017 and grew the network to 800 members in a time when homosexuality was criminalized in India. He has been recognized among Top 100 LGBT+ Executives in the OUTstanding LGBT+ Role Model Lists 2022 and among Top 10 Diversity Heroes 2021 at the British LGBT+ Awards.

Filipe is from Portugal and lives in London, where he plays rugby for the Kings Cross Steelers, the first gay-inclusive rugby union club in the world.

Dana Vannen Anderson (She/her/hers)
Senior Director, North America Retail & Consumer Goods Sustainability Services Leader, and Cognizant Embrace Global Committee Chairmember

Dana is the North America Retail & Consumer Goods Sustainability Services Leader at Cognizant, which includes advisory services for sustainability, smart products, smart manufacturing, product lifecycle management, and mobility. With over 25 years of leadership, advisory and technical experience Dana is driven to turn great ideas into action by bringing out the best in diverse cross-functional teams to achieve results that make a difference in the world.

Dana is the Global Committee Chairmember of Cognizant Embrace, Cognizant’s LBGTQ+ Affinity group.

Along with Jan Siegmund, Cognizant CFO, Executive Sponsor of Embrace and one of the Top 5 LGBTQ+ Executives in the OUTstanding Role Model Lists, Dana is also the face of the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team’s LGBTQ+ inclusion initiative.

Dana is based in Minnesota, where she holds a multi engine commercial pilot license, is a certified flight instructor and enjoys restoring and flying vintage aircraft.

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