Sterling Heights

Women of color in STEM award recognizes Sterling Heights innovator

A Sterling Heights assembly plant employee has been recognized at the annual Women of Color STEM Conference for her excellence in the technology field. Saretta Wallace, a process improvement manager at the Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA) facility on Van Dyke Avenue, was awarded the Technology All-Star Award at the conference earlier this month.

Wallace was recognized for her "demonstration of excellence" in the workplace and in the community, and Sterling Heights Mayor Michael Taylor said the city is proud of her achievements. 

"The Sterling Innovation District – bounded by 14 Mile, 19 Mile, Mound and Van Dyke – is full of high-tech facilities like the FCA assembly plant, a multi-billion dollar facility full of advanced robotics and some of the most sophisticated machinery in the industry,” said Taylor. “But our advanced manufacturing doesn’t happen on its own. It takes human capital – people like Saretta Wallace who pursue STEM careers to design, build and operate state-of-the-art equipment in facilities across the city."

"Most importantly, Saretta is helping close the gender and racial gap in STEM jobs," he said. "We are lucky this champion is a part of our community.”

The Women of Color in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Conference honors the significant achievements of women in STEM professions and is hosted by the Women of Color magazine. Since 1995, the organization has been recognizing the significant contributions by women in STEM fields with an award ceremony, and seeks to provide career networking opportunities for attendees.

This year, the conference was conducted on a virtual platform, to meet COVID-19 restrictions, from Oct. 8 to 10. around the theme Reset to Rise. Award-winners have the opportunity to meet and learn from executives representing Fortune 500 companies that are committed to diversity and to the advancement of women in the workforce.

Lottie Holland, director of Diversity, Inclusion, Engagement & Talent Acquisition for FCA in North America, said the awards celebrate many of the country’s "most promising and influential female technical business leaders.” 

“FCA is proud that our women technical leaders are regarded consistently among such accomplished professionals," said Holland.
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Kate Roff is an award-winning freelance writer and journalism educator, currently based out of Detroit. She is the managing editor of Metromode and Model D. Contact her at