What inspired you to pursue a career in IT?

I was inspired by the pace and energy of IT companies, and I enjoyed learning about technology even though I had an English background.


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

The perception of others, especially those my age, which is senior. I might explain something clearly and briefly and a male counterpart will speak for much longer but never say anything differently. As a communicator, I find it funny or frustrating, depending on my mood!


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

Once you are in leadership, and essentially treat others as you prefer to be treated, it just works. I believed in leadership by example. Leading is not managing, it involves knowing your team, setting realistic expectations, and LISTENING!


Why is diversity in business important to you?

It creates a learning environment. Those of the same background frequently have similar world views. How can you think out of the box if everyone thinks the same? It is also our world today, and a corporation that does not leverage diversity will eventually stagnate.


What advice would you give an aspiring female IT leader?

Be yourself. Do not try to be another leader you admire. Learn from them, of course, but don’t envy another or try to change your real self. Seek feedback from those you admire and adjust. When you make the adjustment, ask your mentor if he or she sees it. In short, work on self-improvement and evolve but stay true to yourself always. You didn’t get to leadership by accident.


Want to tell us anything else?

I admire women like Maryann so much because they have made it in a “man’s world” with grace, humor, intelligence (of course), and sheer work ethic.

As far as anything else about me, I am a single mom of three adults and a writer on the side!


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Tags: Diversity