Spark Award

Pamela Coleman

Johnson & Johnson

For cross-functional leadership that connects deeply with others; for shifting the landscape for working mothers; and for embodying SWE’s mission as a mentor who elevates the women around her.

Pamela Coleman is a senior director of quality engineering for Johnson & Johnson (J&J), responsible for quality assurance and engineering within its Robotic and Digital Solutions division. Her teams drive new product development of electromechanical and software medical device products that deliver lifesaving innovation.

During university, Coleman was inspired by the support of the SWE community. She continued to engage her SWE advisor as a young alumna, recruiting women into J&J. As a mentor, Coleman is a champion for women engineers, and she has sponsored and initiated co-op and new college-hire programs across multiple business units and geographic locations at J&J. Her efforts to ensure strong mentoring and support in these programs has led to 100% retention of these engineers, half of them women. She believes mentoring and coaching others is essential for women to gain access to opportunities they might not otherwise pursue.

She is always willing to share the challenges of balancing a career with a family. Women engineers seek her out to share concerns and ask for advice on subjects such as navigating “mom guilt,” burnout, flexibility, and setting expectations. Among many success stories is a technically strong engineer who had difficulty navigating roles and opportunities in the organization. Coleman helped her find a development opportunity that broadened her J&J network, prompting her to take roles in other functions. For eight years, Coleman supported her career development across business units and her transition into leadership, and she is now a well-respected quality manager.

Coleman is also sought out by her peers for her innate ability to help them thrive, reaching across boundaries and functions to rally around a common goal.

She is a member of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), a certified manager of quality/organizational excellence, and a certified quality auditor through ASQ. She is a lean Six Sigma-certified process excellence black belt and a 2020 graduate of the J&J ASCEND program, an accelerated development program for high-potential women — a testament to her professional work ethic and commitment to inspiring women to own their development and career progression.

In her community, Coleman volunteers with childhood education, STEM, and women’s health organizations. As co-chair of the annual American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women initiative, she organized monthlong activities to raise women’s heart health awareness. Through these activities, J&J employees donated thousands of dollars toward lifesaving research and programs.

Coleman holds a B.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame and an MBA from Xavier University. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her family exploring the great outdoors, engaging in sports, and traveling.