What inspired you to pursue a career in IT?

When I was 28 I recognized that computers and technology would be the future. I convinced a local clone computer builder to hire me as a salesperson. When I was 30 I started my first consulting company because of a “Me Too” incident at my job. I wanted to prove that I could be successful and that decision led to a 30-year career selling and deploying CRM solutions. In my first year, I was so successful that my company was recognized as the “Rookie of the Year.” I was the first woman to earn that title at Elan Software.


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

One of the early lessons I had to learn was that I served my customers and my internal team best when I was my most authentic. This meant realizing I didn’t need to think or act “like a man” to be successful.


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

I will not be unique with this answer – the most rewarding part about being a woman in a leadership role is watching new generations of women become leaders.


What inspired you to pursue a career in IT?

Like many people in our industry, I backed into my career in technology via Higher Education. As the Deputy Director of Enrollment Management at Fordham University, I was the liaison between our Enrollment division and the Information Technology group that supported our efforts. Cambridge Technology Partners, a business consulting organization, came looking for leaders in the higher education space, to join their team of consultants focusing on ERP implementations in the higher education market space. That was my entrance into the world of technology, cloud and cyber solutions. The rest is history…


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

The fact that there are so few female leaders in our industry is alarming. The industry, unfortunately, doesn’t foster an environment where women can flourish. The lack of representation for women in tech can hinder a woman’s ability to succeed in the industry. We have very few mentors and sponsors available for women to grow and thrive within their roles. It can be even more isolating as a female leader/executive in the world of Big Tech because unfortunately the “Bro Culture” is pervasive. The biggest challenge is finding the right network and identifying opportunities to promote each other.


Why is diversity in business important to you?

>My Grandmother was a talented gardener. Her yard began blooming in February when the Greek Anemones’ and Crocuses first peeked through the brown grass and through the various seasons different plants would bloom. The effect was diverse beauty that showed each plant had a purpose and a season to contribute something wonderful. If she had only planted one flower, it would have been beautiful but one note. In business, each person brings with them the beauty of their culture and their unique point of view and this contributes to a much more dynamic and nuanced work environment.


What advice would you give an aspiring female IT leader?

A career is a marathon, not a sprint. You will be tempted to change your pace to try and get ahead. You will feel exhausted and defeated at times. Just remember, it isn’t important that you are the first to cross the line. What is important is that you run your race your way to the end.


Want to tell us anything else?

It is okay to fail. The world won’t end. Learn then move on to your next success.


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!


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Tags: Diversity