#WomenInTech: Finding and Nurturing the Right Career Path
Information Builders is celebrating Women’s History Month by speaking with some of our female leadership worldwide to learn more about what inspired them to work in the field, what keeps them motivated every day, and other lessons learned in the course of their careers.
We asked the group when they first realized they wanted to pursue a career in the tech sector and, while the responses varied, a common theme emerged: all the women felt empowered to shape the course of their own careers. Sheila Earll, head of our Detroit regional sales team, worked as an administrator at a technology company while paying her way through college. She noticed that her co-workers loved their jobs, enrolled in a COBOL course “and never looked back.” Several other participants also discovered their passion for technology while in college. For Sabrina Dufour, our manager of global public relations and customer programs, the interest was seeded even earlier. Her father worked at a bank and she recalls hearing about his work experiences: “It fascinated me, seeing how technology brought people from all over the world together.”
The participants had a lot to say when the topic of conversation turned to inspiration. As Melissa Treier, our VP of Product Sales, puts it: “It’s no secret that women in tech are few, but we are a strong and mighty group that inspire, support and succeed together.” Melissa’s sentiments were echoed by the rest of the group. Many report finding inspiration from the other women they work with, and the enthusiasm, positive attitude and energy that, according to Susanne Inglis, an area partner manager for our channels business, “just makes you want to work with them.”
Others point to outside hobbies as sources for continued motivation. For example, Sabrina is an avid photographer and says, “It’s forever evolving, however, like technology you still need the human behind it.” Julie Charrier, a business value assessment manager, is energized by the “creativity, dedication, consistency and belief in yourself” her fellow working mothers display, and how they apply these same principles in their work lives. And Susanne mentions a fictional female leader as a motivating figure: “I love Wonderwoman, specifically, how she came from a culture of incredibly strong, wise women, where she was considered normal.”
It goes without saying that this experienced group has plenty of advice for other women considering a career in the field. Susanne says: “Embrace who you are, don’t try to be macho to fit in. If you like pink, wear pink! Women often bring different strengths that are essential for keeping a team balanced.” Sabrina stresses the importance of being a team player, while Melissa says; “Find someone that inspires you and find your own path.” Julie puts it most simply, saying; “Be yourself!”
We’ll have more from this inspiring group and other female employees throughout the month, so check back soon for our second installment. And please join me in recognizing the passion and achievements of the above and other #WomenInTech!