As VP of Engineering Practice, Minette Norman directs collaboration at Autodesk. That means she helps world-renowned engineers overcome silos and work together on common solutions. This is no small feat. But Norman—who holds degrees in Drama and French, not Engineering—is also serving in a position traditionally held by men. For some, this may have been an insurmountable challenge, but for Norman, having a different perspective is an essential part of her success. Now, while influencing more than 3,500 software professionals, she spearheads what she calls ‘radical collaboration’—initiatives that reward engineers who contribute to each other’s designs and tests. And as a speaker, she draws on deep personal experience to describe what makes a rewarding workplace; how greater diversity in all industries means innovative solutions; and how the liberal arts and emotional intelligence can transform technical, male-dominated fields.
Previously, she gained international attention by transforming Autodesk’s localization team through best-in-class automation and machine translation. And before joining Autodesk, she held a variety of technical communication and management positions at companies including Symantec and Adobe. Named in 2017 as one of the ‘Most Influential Women in Bay Area Business’ by the San Francisco Business Times, Norman is a recognized industry expert with a unique perspective. She often speaks at international conferences where she is asked to share her thoughts on engineering practices, culture, and behavior.
Norman has a broad approach to community service, working with local, national and international charities. She serves on the Board of Directors of D-Rev, a non-profit devoted to developing medical technologies for impoverished and vulnerable populations worldwide. She also works with GirlsWhoCode and YesWeCode, national organizations that help women and under-represented populations succeed in the technology sector. Closer to home, she serves as a mentor for the Autodesk Women in Leadership program and has volunteered regularly with her local food bank and as an ESL instructor for Marin County’s immigrant communities.
She holds degrees in both drama and French from Tufts University and studied at the Sorbonne Nouvelle in Paris.