What inspired you to pursue a career in IT?
It was actually quite accidental. I was working as a paralegal while trying to decide if I was going to pursue a future as an attorney or teacher. The corporate attorney I was working with informed me he was leaving to invest and manage several aspects of an IT start-up. I asked to go with him and run the operational side of the start-up in order to get in on the ground floor of such interesting technology. It was such an incredible journey for me to learn about IT at a start-up company during a time when everyone was just beginning to understand the idea of “safe” browsers. This started a 20+ year career and continues to be my inspiration and love of start-ups and mentoring young professionals.
What is the most challenging part about being a woman in IT?
For me, it’s the thin line that women have to walk between being respectful or assertive. If you’re not assertive enough – you’ll be overlooked and ignored. However, sometimes for women, being assertive means you are disliked.
What is the most rewarding part about being a woman in a leadership role?
I love the ability to mentor and ultimately influence young women coming up in the industry right now. I find such a sense of gratification watching them succeed and knowing that they will be the next great female leader after I move on. It allows me to have the “teaching” part of my career while experiencing all the greatness of IT.
Why is diversity in business important to you?
Diversity brings different knowledge, perspectives and strengths together for good. With many different views all having the same goal – amazing things will happen.
What advice would you give an aspiring female IT leader?
Love what you do. Have a passion for it. Use that passion to learn as much as you can and then act on that learning. If you do those things and then master the fine art of assertiveness – success is yours.
Help Us Keep IT Diverse
BlackHawk Data is proud to be a woman-owned small business. We’re committed to sharing the stories of women in our industry and opening doors for young professionals. We believe everyone should be able to make changes in the tech world.
Learn more about our commitment to diversity today!