Comments
Female IT Leadership: Find Your Voice
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Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
3/5/2014 | 11:17:30 AM
More than marketing
Great column. As someone who knows a number of smart young women with STEM aspirations, I think marketing IT as an attractive career is important, but not the whole story. The "S, E & M" parts of that acronym are in competition. Young people of both sexes tend to be driven by the idea of making the world a better place, and that makes healthcare, biotech, teaching math or science, and civil and alternative-energy engineering attractive options. Tech leaders need to make clear how technology intertwines and enables these and other areas.

There's competition for the best and brightest even within STEM.
RobPreston
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RobPreston,
User Rank: Author
3/5/2014 | 12:03:58 PM
Re: More than marketing
Young people of both sexes also tend to want to make something else: money. They need to see tech as a growth-oriented, well-paid profession and not one outsourced to the lowest bidder. 
Alison_Diana
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Alison_Diana,
User Rank: Author
3/6/2014 | 4:39:36 PM
Re: More than marketing
STEM's image issue goes back all the way to high school. Younger kids now have to declare their area of study before they even apply for college. We, as a society, need to attract more fascinating men and women to teach science and math to youngsters and discuss career applications (beyond teacher or engineer) so more students aspire to STEM-based professions. Most math and science professors are male; it would be great to see more female professors in higher education, too. Awareness is a start.
Lorna Garey
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Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
3/6/2014 | 4:43:56 PM
Re: More than marketing
Alison, Check out my column tomorrow about the UNH-IOL. Of 120 student employees, 35% are female, and they come from majors ranging from philosophy to electrical engineering. The director is a woman and an IPv6 expert. A big part of their message: Anyone can be in IT, you just need the gumption and willingness to learn.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
3/5/2014 | 3:39:38 PM
More advice from Dell's CIO
What skills does Karaboutis look for in her IT hires? Strong project management skills are a plus. With all of Dell's acquisitions, she and her team have built a playbook for doing integrations after mergers.
asksqn
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asksqn,
User Rank: Ninja
3/5/2014 | 4:04:58 PM
No Girls Allowed
This is all very nice, but speaking from personal experience, the biggest obstacle I have encountered as a female in tech is the boys club mentality. Sexism and ageism is so rampant/pervasive that a female has less than a snowball's hope of getting through the front door, nevermind networking with other females.
Laurianne
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Laurianne,
User Rank: Author
3/5/2014 | 4:14:08 PM
Re: No Girls Allowed
I would disagree, based on the number of female IT leaders with whom I interact on a regular basis. Company cultures vary -- and if you interview at a company that feels "off," or feels like a throwback to the bad old days, you should walk -- but women now win senior IT leadership roles even in male-dominated vertical industries.


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