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Final capitalising on female strenghts in it

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Final capitalising on female strenghts in it

  1. 1. Capitalising on Female Strengths in IT and Business Analysis Maria HorriganPrincipal Consultant BA World Sept 2009<br />
  2. 2. Slideshare and blogs<br /><br /><br /><br />@miahorri<br /># BAWorld09 <br />
  3. 3. Capitalising on Female Strengths<br />Identifying areas where women excel and capitalise on these<br />Gaining an edge through understanding users and interaction with customers<br />Using corporate relationships to network<br />Dominate through communication and people skills<br />Understanding the importance of knowing everything about the business<br />
  4. 4. “IT Conference” Shanghai 2008<br />
  5. 5. Sex and the city?<br />Celluloid Stereotypes:<br />US Upper-middle class white culture<br />Shopping, clothes and shoes<br />Is this who we are?<br />Sex in the city is a television show produced by NBC. This presentation was for educational purposes only and is NOT in any way, shape, or form affiliated with NBC, or any other persons or organizations responsible for the production of Sex in the City, all trademarks and copyright belong to their respective owners.<br />
  6. 6. Female Archetypes<br />Strengths and weakness of these archetypes<br />
  7. 7. Archetypes vsSterotypes<br />So what are the female archetypes?<br />Why are archetypes good?<br />Pan-cultural<br />Any period of pan-historical<br />How can we capitalise on archetypes?<br />
  8. 8. 8 Female Archetypes<br /><br />
  9. 9. The Waif<br />Strengths<br />Tenacity and endurance<br />Asks for help<br />Seeks to understand<br />Good Listener<br />Weaknesses<br />Not taken seriously<br />Perceived as always needing to be “bailed out”<br />Not seen as competent<br />Jennifer Aniston<br /><br />
  10. 10. The Librarian<br />Strengths<br />Knowledgeable<br />Intelligent<br />Able to problem solve<br />Know where to find the info<br />Weaknesses<br />Repressed <br />Perceived as Arrogant and not friendly<br />Old fashioned<br />Jane Austin<br /> <br />
  11. 11. The Nurtuer<br />Strengths<br />Listens and counsels<br />Encourages and Mentors <br />Empathy and Supportive<br />Collaborative, Communicator<br />Weaknesses<br />Seen as “fussing” or “nagging”<br />Indecisive, don’t want to favour one over another<br />Others let them pick up the slack<br />Florence Nightingale<br /><br />
  12. 12. Crusader<br />Strengths<br />Strong, make tough decisions<br />Has a mission and vision<br />Champions a position<br />Strategic focus, Leader<br />Good Communicator<br />Weaknesses<br />Not Collaborative<br />Seen as Aggressive<br />12<br />Ripley<br />
  13. 13. The Spunky Kid<br />Strengths<br />Persistent<br />Maturity beyond years<br />Dependable<br />Easy to talk to - Girl next door<br />Team player<br />Weaknesses<br />Pushy<br />Annoying<br />Lisa Simpson<br /> <br />
  14. 14. The Free Spirit<br />Strengths<br />Challenges status quo<br />Marches to a “different drum”<br />Likes to dream about possibilities<br />Innovative, Creative, Optimistic<br />Weaknesses<br />Plans may not be practical<br />Impatient for change<br />May not be a team player<br />Amelia Earhart<br /> <br />
  15. 15. The Boss<br />Strengths<br />Powerful<br />Decisive<br />Leader , Strategist<br />Communicator<br />Driven and focused on outcome<br />Weaknesses<br />Aloof, distant, not friendly<br />Task orientated vs people orientated<br />Queen Elizabeth I<br /> <br />
  16. 16. The Seductress<br />Strengths<br /><ul><li>Communication, Persuasion
  17. 17. Goes after what they want
  18. 18. Empathy
  19. 19. Networking – knows the right people </li></ul>Weaknesses<br /><ul><li>Self interest – may not be a team player
  20. 20. Superficial – not genuinely interested
  21. 21. Aggressive – “Barracuda” “Cougar</li></ul>Jessica Rabbit<br /> <br />
  22. 22. I drink your milkshake<br />Jessica <br />Rabbit<br />Jennifer <br />Aniston<br />image:<br />
  23. 23. Women aren’t milkshakes<br />…. more like a McFlurry<br />
  24. 24. Archetypes = Me as a McFlurry<br />Persistent<br />Be Confident, assertive<br />Set the direction, lead<br />challenged the current way<br />Share knowledge, mentor<br />Asked for help when needed <br />Supportive, counsel<br />Get the job done<br />
  25. 25. Capitalise on these Archetypes <br />So how do we ‘capitalise’ on these strengths of these archetypes?<br />Need to read the situation – people & context <br />We all have these archetypes inside us<br />Need to know how much and in what volume to apply them in our working lives<br />Contextual, Situational, Contingent<br />
  26. 26. Play to your Archetype strengths<br />Each individual brings unique strengths to a role <br />Become more comfortable with who you are, know your talents and strengths<br />Be confident in abilities<br />Need to understand your natural tendencies and make them work in your favour<br />
  27. 27. Female Strengths in business Analysis<br />What does A BA role look like today? Understanding the business and technical environment to achieve success<br />
  28. 28. “Women are a part of this culture of success only to the extent that they explicitly embrace and deal with the five R's”.<br />23<br />"Membership in the Club: The Coming of Age of Executive Women," Dawn-Marie Driscoll and Carol R. Greenberg<br />
  29. 29. Five R‘s- qualities expected of successful people in business<br />Respect (both earned and given)<br />Responsibility - the willingness to be responsible for your own actions<br />Resourcefulness – know how, life long learning, networking<br />Revenue development- proposal writing or bringing in new business.<br />Risk taking - essential to innovation.<br />
  30. 30. Value in understanding the business<br />Business success depends on anticipating future trends and developments<br />…. and aligning strategy with implementation <br />IT is part of the everyday business, every program & initiative, will have some touch point with technology<br />Business analysis is often key to solving the complex problems and issues <br />When we understand the business there is an opportunity to add value, be a trusted advisor <br />
  31. 31. Business Context <br />Not just about the technology<br />
  32. 32. Me as a Business Analyst <br />I found I was good at being a BA because I was a:<br />Communicator<br />Analyst<br />Good at problem solving<br />Detailed minded<br />Strategic thinker<br />Good listener<br />Wanted to help solve the problem<br />Understood business needs and goals<br />
  33. 33. Communication<br />Get the job done<br />Optimistic<br />Persuasion<br />Persistent<br />Problem Solving<br />Networking<br />Interaction<br />Understanding Users<br />Intuitive<br />Creativity<br />Female Strengths<br />Listening<br />Collaboration<br />Empathy<br />Ability to organise<br />Interpersonal skills<br />Decision making<br />Influencer<br />Supporter<br />Build rapport<br />Resourceful<br />Integrity<br />Responsibility<br />
  34. 34. Communication<br />Get the job done<br />Optimistic<br />Persuasion<br />Persistent<br />Problem Solving<br />Networking<br />Interaction<br />Understanding Users<br />Intuitive<br />Creativity<br />BA Skills<br />Listening<br />Collaboration<br />Empathy<br />Ability to organise<br />Interpersonal skills<br />Decision making<br />Influencer<br />Supporter<br />Build rapport<br />Resourceful<br />Integrity<br />Responsibility<br />
  35. 35. Learning to speak-geek<br />As a Business Manager, I needed to understand techno speak so that I knew what I was signing off on <br />As a BA, I needed to understand the possibilities of what the technology could and couldn’t do<br />I don't have a formal IT qualification<br />I’ve come from the business side so have lots of business degrees and qualifications<br />… but I had to ‘learn’ geek-speak<br />
  36. 36. How I survived moving into a career in Business Analysis<br />Learned to speak-geek – understand the technology and how it would help the business and my work processes<br />People mentored me – Key colleagues mentored me and supported my knowledge development<br />New collaboration tools - Web 2.0 <br />New roles for me – gravitated toward places I didn’t expect to go, pushed my capabilities <br />
  37. 37. Role of technology has changed<br />IT no longer about reducing operational cost and more about IT as an enabler to achieve organisational goals <br />Its about managing information, communication and knowledge<br />This is a good industry to work in:<br />It’s constantly changing and challenging<br />Lots of opportunities to capitalise on your strengths<br />It”s not all about pizza and programming <br />
  38. 38. Business vs Technical BA roles<br />Exciting range of IT jobs available that aren’t just about technical skills<br />Provides opportunities to work in dynamic and creative environments (medicine, movies, fashion) <br />Increasing need for skills such as<br />Communication, Collaboration, Ability to organise, Driving change, delivering outcomes, Problem solving<br />Many women working in IT also come from non IT backgrounds <br />
  39. 39. Backgrounds of IT Consultants <br />I looked at the background of a lot of the female (and male) consultants <br />There are former teachers, scientists, nurses, administrators, psychologists, army officers <br />What is common is that they are great communicators, organised, they can take on just about any problem that comes their way, and they get things done. <br />Not all have IT degrees, but they do have experience in IT (business and system) and certification in areas of IT management <br />
  40. 40. So what does an IT job look like today?<br />Business analysis and process re-engineering<br />Collaboration, communication, diplomacy, design & analysis<br />IT strategic analysis and planning – architecture<br />Analysis, decision making, vision, business savvy, influence, persuade <br />User-centred apps & web design<br />Team-player, collaboration between tech/graphic designers, business and users centred, design<br />
  41. 41. People Mentored Me<br />Lack of senior females in my area didn’t deter me, it just made me look to other sources for mentoring <br />I learnt from one of my staff <br />I learnt from one of my colleagues <br />I learnt from thought leaders<br />I joined female IT networking groups<br /> (WIC, WIT, ACS)<br />
  42. 42. Mentoring vs Female Competition<br />We should be about collaboration and support<br />
  43. 43. I’m NOT Wonder Woman<br />“I am NOT Wonder Woman, I am in wonder of Women”<br />Its hard to juggle all the demands of work <br />Like other women I have obligations outside of work<br />We need more women in IT to bring more diversity into this workforce<br />Change the group norm to reflect the wider work vs life balance needs of everyone. Break stereotypes<br />
  44. 44. …Or what I have learnt the hard way <br />How to meet the challenges<br />Don't try to do it alone. Seek collaborations both professionally and personally<br />Learn to recognise and capitalise on opportunity<br />Never allow yourself to stereotype other women, or rush to judgment on their seriousness<br />
  45. 45. How to meet the challenges cont<br />Never blame discrimination or bias for the difficulties you encounter. Instead keep trying to improve and learn<br />Try to get promising young women into the network early. Keep in touch with them and make sure they get whatever mentoring and assistance they need<br />Be open to change<br />Be yourself<br />
  46. 46. The Gender Question In ICT<br />75% of IT roles filled by males<br />Females higher in middle management<br />Gap is closing on executive roles<br />Average salaries are close to average male salaries and gap is closing in the last 5 years – females about 5% lower on average<br />Little salary difference in permanent roles, more difference in contractor market<br />Chris Scullin Peoplebank presentation WIC 2009<br />
  47. 47. Why?<br />Confidence<br />Soft selling and negotiation<br />Personal perceived value<br />Career aspiration not clearly defined<br />Baby Boomers vs Gen X vs Gen Y <br />Chris Scullin Peoplebank presentation WIC 2009<br />
  48. 48. Is it about still about Gender?<br />
  49. 49. Baby Boomers - born during the post-WWII baby boom <br />experimental, individualism, free spirited, social cause oriented <br />healthiest, and wealthiest generation to that time, grew up genuinely expecting the world to improve with time<br />Started the ball rolling - saw inequity in society/workplace, questioned status quo<br />
  50. 50. Gen X - mid 1960s to late 1970s <br />Product of their depression era parents (went through 90s recession and first time a generation was worse off than parents) <br />Stay in role 3 years<br />Look for stability<br />Respect hierarchy and believe in reward for loyalty and effort <br />
  51. 51. Gen Y - early 80s to late 90s<br />More demanding, higher expectations<br />More empowered<br />Expect to be rewarded for just turning up<br />Competitive<br />Merit based (not time in role)<br />Want it all now (not been through the hard times and are the product of baby boomers)<br />
  52. 52. So what does the future hold ?<br />Each generation has different work needs:<br />Baby Boomer’s fought the inequity<br />Female Gen Xs are now reaping the benefits of the fight – now moving into senior roles<br />Gen Y’s fight isn’t one of gender – it’s about merit<br />
  53. 53. So what does the future hold ?<br />Why have female numbers in ICT courses dropped off dramatically in the last 5 yrs?<br />Why do female Gen Ys not want be in IT? <br />Is it the Uni courses on offer?<br />Is it the geek stereotype?<br />Does everyone just want to be an environmental activist?<br />48<br />
  54. 54. What do we need to do?<br />Still need to:<br />Change the perception of ICT as a career<br />Showcase our champions<br />Collaborate and communicate into and outside of the ICT community<br />Encourage and mentor<br />49<br />
  55. 55. Collaboration and Communication<br />Mentoring the Web 2.0-way<br />
  56. 56. Living in a Web 2.0 World<br />
  57. 57. Use of Web 2.0 tools<br />Nielsen report, 2009:<br />0.5 billion to 0.67 billion participants between 2007 and 2008 world wide<br />More than four in five Australians use Web 2.0 communication technologies at least monthly<br />Growth three times as fast as the pace of general online growth<br />Biggest increase comes from the 35-49 yr<br />Web 2.0 tools used more frequently than email<br />
  58. 58. The Web 2.0-way<br />Tools represent new ways to:<br />Communicate and reach out to others<br />Create trusted relationships<br />Collaborate<br />Mentor<br />Share knowledge & experiences<br />... why do I do this?<br />
  59. 59. Why I use Web 2.0 tools<br />Instant access to:<br />My Community of Practice<br /><ul><li>Knowledge (in people’s heads, not in documents)
  60. 60. Experts, gurus and thought leaders
  61. 61. Access to friends, their friends and their friends
  62. 62. The power of many
  63. 63. Trusted information from trusted sources
  64. 64. Time saving tools – its instant and responsive</li></li></ul><li>LinkedIn –<br />
  65. 65. Facebook – building online communities<br /><br />
  66. 66. Twitter<br />
  67. 67. Social Bookmarking <br /><br />
  68. 68. Blogs <br /><br />
  69. 69. Blogs <br />Craig’s blog<br />Matt’s blog <br />
  70. 70. Conclusions<br />Take home messages<br />
  71. 71. Conclusions<br />We might be perceived as Stereotypes like the SITC girls, Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte or Samantha <br />History tells us that there’s more to us than shallow stereotypical characters<br />My experience is about drawing on archetypal strengths and adapting to context and situation<br />These strengths are vital and important and will mean I am judged on merit and my work will speak for itself<br />Promote and mentor <br />
  72. 72.
  73. 73.
  74. 74. Fin - Any Questions?Maria HorriganPrincipal ConsultantEmail:, zenagile.wordpress.comSlideshare: @miahorri<br />