What inspired you to pursue a career in IT?

As a Senior Solution Engineer at VMware covering State Government and Educational Entities, I have a significant opportunity to drive innovation. Technology can impact lives at a level and scale that has never been realized globally. The idea that something I design or develop for my customers can impact many across the world now or in the future is what drives my passion for this field. I thoroughly enjoy being at the forefront of technology because of its ever-changing nature. Just when you think you know something very well – something new is on the horizon. I entered this field being open and passionate. Once I saw the difference it can make, there was no turning back!


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

The tech world is fast-moving, highly competitive and male-dominated. But it’s not completely male-dominated! Being a female in a male-dominated industry has its challenges. Age also plays a factor sometimes on top of this. When you are meeting customers day in and day out, you are bound to run into folks that may treat you as less intelligent due to your age and gender. However, these experiences have allowed me to refine my strategy, identify my strengths and leverage them when it comes to building effective relationships. I have also learned to develop a voice because it is difficult for people to dismiss you if you have a strong presence.


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

The most rewarding part is the ability to serve those who serve others. In the past, I have seen states face downtime and run into problems during disruptions such as fire, earthquakes, diseases outbreaks like COVID-19 and cyberattacks, all which can significantly disrupt the states’ normal routines. I get to be part of the states’ modernization journey, where I get to use technology to digitally transform and empower the state and local government so that they can deliver personalized digital experiences for their citizens, while managing such risks moving forward.


Why is diversity in business important to you?

I believe that diversity drives innovation. Finding folks who come from different backgrounds with different experiences brings forth different perspectives. When I decided to join VMware, I knew I wanted to be part of a company that was forward-thinking. VMware recognizes the power of difference and is collectively building a platform for equitable change. I have had the experience of working with employees that are multigenerational. I have seen traditional-generation workers learn new technology and concepts from a Millennial such as myself, and I have also had the pleasure of learning the ropes and tricks from Baby Boomers. Increased exposure to different kinds of people opens the door for team members to learn from different ages and ethnic backgrounds.


What advice would you give an aspiring female IT leader?

I would say to create an environment for yourself that is rich with challenge and opportunity. Studies show that women have tendencies to focus on what they lack, their gaps and their weaknesses rather than strengths. As women, we have a lot of strengths around people and culture. So why not manifest some of the qualities that you are already born with, such as curiosity, creativity, patience, empathy, and confidence? A lot of these qualities come naturally for most women, so it is important that you align your career with authentic strengths. Manifest the qualities that already come naturally for you and use that to fuel you to get things accomplished.


Want to tell us anything else?

A BIG THANK YOU to the BlackHawk Data Team for the opportunity to be featured!



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