Season 7: A Little Bit Louder Now • June 25, 2024

Computer Science, Leadership, and Women in Tech.

Shana Cosgrove talks to Lisa Chang, Chief Technology Officer at Praxis Engineering.

In this episode of The Outspoken Podcast, host Shana Cosgrove talks to Lisa Chang, Chief Technology Officer at Praxis Engineering. Entering education studying chemical engineering, Lisa quickly realized that this career track looked different than the title suggested. Despite the path starting out differently than anticipated, her drive to succeed pushed her to excel and pivot into the incredible achievement of becoming CTO. In the beginning of her career, she often felt a lack of leadership and attention towards the human components within the engineering and computer sciences, which ultimately led to the most gratifying role Lisa has held yet: mentor. Despite the stereotype, Lisa’s favorite conversations are with people, even though she speaks many computer languages.


  • “[Being at Corning] made me realize that I liked doing things that had immediate gratification. I liked to know what was going to happen as soon as I thought up the idea.” – Lisa Chang [17:49]
  • “I’m glad I did it [returning to school for her Master’s Degree] though, it’s probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Once you’ve tasted having ‘free time’ […] and then you go back to school full time; it’s very challenging.” – Lisa Chang [22:43]
  • “I think ‘likability’ plays into a woman’s career much more than men. I was not raised as a people pleaser, but despite that, even as an engineer I always felt that while at work I had to focus on ‘do people like me?’ because they wouldn’t listen to me; if I spoke up too much it was threatening, I had a narrow amount of behavior that was acceptable as a woman.” – Shana Cosgrove  [41:00]


  • [00:04] Intro
  • [01:34] Meet
  • [01:39] Where Are You Today Professionally?
  • [04:27] Leadership and Employee Retention
  • [06:53] Chemical Engineering: What Does That Encompass?
  • [09:05] Being a Minority Woman in a Male-Dominated Field
  • [14:18] Higher Education at Cornell
  • [15:10] Connection Between Chemical Engineering and Medical School
  • [15:45] Asian Culture, Expectation and Achievement
  • [16:55] Optical Networks at Corning
  • [18:16] Going Back to School for Computer Science at Rice University
  • [24:02] Post Graduate School and Began at Motorola in Austin, TX
  • [27:59] The Road to Maryland
  • [30:44] Staff Scientist at BBN
  • [32:18] Leadership: Make or Break a Company
  • [35:00] Favorite Part About CTO at Praxis
  • [37:15] Personal Professional Successes
  • [41:00] Juggling Being Assertive and Palatable as a Woman
  • [44:40] Trying and Applying for Praxis: Second Time’s a Charm
  • [48:48] 2 Pieces of Advice
  • [52:26] Book Recommendations
  • [55:59] Surprising Fact About Lisa
  • [57:29] Outro



I’d love to hear from you — your feedback is important to me and I read all of it. If you enjoyed the podcast, I hope you’ll give us 5 stars. I’ll be sure to thank you via email. If not, let me know what you think we should do differently. Don’t forget to hit “subscribe” so you’ll receive notifications about guest interviews and other topics that drop every Tuesday.

Live well, Shana

Want More of Outspoken?