What inspired you to pursue a career in IT?

I wasn’t inspired until a few years into my career. I actually went to school for fashion and was working full-time while going to school at night. I had the opportunity to travel with a chance to learn computers. I wanted to travel. I worked for a company that owned temporary employment agencies across the U.S. and I was a recruiter at the time. One of the VPs had an opening on their Help Desk and asked if I was interested. I said I knew nothing about computers at the time but they would train me. I would have to travel to their offices and train the users on the company’s applications. I learned UNIX and how to build the servers. I loved it! I was very fortunate to have opportunities. Eventually, I chose networking, security and telecommunications. I loved that it was constantly changing so I was always learning something new and that everything always relied on the network.

What is the most challenging part about being a woman in IT?

The most challenging part about being a woman in IT is sometimes needing to work a little harder to prove your knowledge and capabilities in a male-dominant industry.

What is the most rewarding part about being a woman in a leadership role?

The most rewarding part for me about being a woman in a leadership role is being able to be strong yet compassionate to my colleagues and peers.

Why is diversity in business important to you?

Diversity is important to me because we are all different and diversity opens us up to different ideas and solutions. I also believe it brings a good balance to the teams. Women tend to be more empathetic and compassionate.

What advice would you give an aspiring female IT leader?

I remember the advice that I was given by the first CIO I worked for and I always remind myself of this. He said, “Always remember if you make a mistake, don’t be afraid to admit it or to ask for help to fix the problem. We are all human and that’s how we learn.”


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Tags: Diversity