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Capitialising On Female Strenghts In It Ba World V2


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What roles are out there in IT for women. What ones are best suited to different styles and capabilities/strenghts.

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Capitialising On Female Strenghts In It Ba World V2

  1. 1. Capitalising on female strengths in IT Maria Horrigan Principal Consultant BA World July 2009
  2. 2. Slideshare and blogs
  3. 3. Capitalising on female strengths • Identifying areas where women excel and capitalise on these • Gaining an edge through understanding users and interaction with customers • Using corporate relationships to network • Dominate through communication and people skills • Understanding the importance of knowing everything about the business
  4. 4. “IT Conference” Shanghai 2008
  5. 5. Sex and the city? Celluloid Stereotypes: • US Upper-middle class white culture • Shopping, clothes and shoes • Is this who we are? 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.
  6. 6. Archetypes • What are the female archetypes? • Why are archetypes good? • Pan-cultural • Any period of pan-historical • How can we capitalise on archetypes?
  7. 7. 8 Female Archetypes The Waif Little girl lost, Damsel in distress, endures hardship The Librarian Prime and proper, repressed The Nurturer Takes care of everyone The Crusader A fighter with a cause The Spunky Kid Girl next door, team player The Boss Goal orientated, takes charge The Free Spirit Optimistic, follows her heart The Seductress Manipulative, A survivor
  8. 8. The Waif Strengths • Tenacity and endurance • Asks for help • Seeks to understand • Good Listener Weaknesses • Not taken seriously Jennifer Aniston • Perceived as always needing to be “bailed out” • Not seen as competent
  9. 9. The Librarian Strengths • Knowledgeable • Intelligent • Able to problem solve • Know where to find the info Weaknesses Jane Austin • Repressed • Perceived as Arrogant and not friendly • Old fashioned
  10. 10. The Nurtuer Strengths • Listens and counsels • Encourages and Mentors • Empathy and Supportive • Collaborative • Good Communicator Weaknesses Florence Nightingale • Seen as “fussing” or “nagging” • Indecisive if don’t want to favour one over another • Others happy to let them always pick up the slack
  11. 11. Crusader Strengths  Strong, make tough decisions  Has a mission/vision  Champions a position  Strategic focus/ Leader  Good Communicator Ripley Weaknesses  Not Collaborative  Seen as Aggressive
  12. 12. The Spunky Kid Strengths • Persistent • Maturity beyond years • Dependable • Easy to talk to - Girl next door • Team player Lisa Simpson Weaknesses • Pushy • Annoying
  13. 13. The Free Spirit Strengths  Challenges status quo  Marches to a “different drum”  Likes to dream about possibilities  Innovative, Creative, Optimistic Weaknesses Amelia Earhart  Plans may not be practical  Impatient for change  May not be a team player
  14. 14. The Boss Strengths • Powerful • Decisive • Leader • Strategist • Communicator • Driven and focused on outcome Queen Elizabeth I Weaknesses • Aloof, distant, not friendly • Task orientated vs people orientated
  15. 15. The Seductress Strengths  Communication, Persuasion  Goes after what they want  Empathy  Networking – knows the right people Jessica Rabbit Weaknesses  Self interest – may not be a team player  Superficial – not genuinely interested  Aggressive – “Barracuda” “Cougar”
  16. 16. I drink your milkshake Jessica Rabbit Jennifer Aniston image:
  17. 17. Women aren’t milkshakes …. more like a McFlurry
  18. 18. Archetypes = Me
  19. 19. Capitalise on these Archetypes • So how do we ‘capitalise’ on these strengths of these archetypes? • Need to read the situation – people and context – and knowing what ‘style’ to apply. • We all have these archetypes inside us • Need to know how much and in what volume to apply them in our working lives • Contextual • Situational • Contingency
  20. 20. Our Tag Cloud Persuasion Optimistic Get the job done Intuitive Persistent Problem Solving Networking Understanding Users Communication Creativity Empathy Listening Interaction Collaboration Decision making Organiser Interpersonal skills Ability to organise Influencer Supporter Build rapport
  21. 21. Play to your Archetype strengths • Each individual brings unique strengths to a role • Become more comfortable with who you, know your talents and strengths • Be confident in abilities • Need to understand your natural tendencies and make them work in your favour
  22. 22. My experiences as a McFlurry At times I have played many roles…..sometimes all at once • Free Spirit – challenged the current way • Wiaf – “I’m blonde, can you help me?” • Crusader – There to get the job done • Librarian – Share knowledge • Nurturer – Supportive and counsel • Boss – Set the direction • Spunky kid – Team player, showed persistence • Seductress – push-up bra was my friend
  23. 23. How I survived moving into an IT career • Learning to speak-geek – Needed to understand the technologies and what was possible • People mentored me – Key female colleagues mentored me and supported my knowledge development • New collaboration tools – There are lots of useful Web 2.0 social computing tools out there • New roles for me (and for you to!) – gravitated toward places I didn’t expect to go: exciting roles, pushing boundaries and capabilities • It”s not about programming and pizza
  24. 24. Learning to speak-geek • As a Business Manager, I needed to understand so that I knew what I was signing off on • I needed to understand the possibilities of what the technology could and couldn’t do • I don't have a formal IT qualification • I’ve got lots of business degrees and certifications • I had to ‘learn’ geek-speak
  25. 25. Learning to speak-geek • I learned by doing, observing, collaborating • I asked questions • I hung out with them • I read stuff • ….. and I became one of them “the company you keep tells me otherwise”
  26. 26. Value in understanding the business • Business success depends on anticipating future trends and developments • Need to design appropriate strategies for implementation is key • IT is now part of the everyday business, every program every initiative, will have some touch point with technology • Business skills of analysis are often the key to solving the complex data issues • When we understand the business environment there is an opportunity to add value • Vital IT role as trusted advisor for the business
  27. 27. People Mentored Me • Lack of senior females in my area didn’t deter me, it just made me look to other sources for mentoring • I learnt from one of my staff • I learnt from one of my colleagues • I joined female IT networking groups (WIC, ACS) • I learnt from thought leaders within my organisation
  28. 28. My role as a Mentor • Leaning how to be a thought leader (by accident) – suddenly people read what I wrote and looked up to me for advice • Feedback from presentations - ‘this is what i want to be when i grow up’ • Stop competing and start cooperating • The only power in knowledge is to share it
  29. 29. I’m not Wonder Woman • Its hard to juggle all the demands of a senior manager • Like other women (and other cultures) I typically have obligations outside of work • We need more women in IT to bring more diversity into this workforce • Change the group norm – from the ‘geek culture’ to something that reflects the wider work vs life balance needs of everyone. Break stereotypes • I am in Wonder of women Not Wonder Woman
  30. 30. Mentoring vs Female Competition We should be about collaboration and support
  31. 31. New tools for Collaboration • Learning new tools • Learning new ways of communicating and reaching out to others • Learning new mediums to communicate in • Why i find this good – why do i do it?
  32. 32. Why I use Social Computing tools Instant access to a Community of Practice • Access to body of knowledge (in people’s heads, not in documents) and communities of practice • Experts, gurus and thought leaders • Access to friends, their friends and their friends Networking • Leveraging: the power of many • The power of permission: trust The cost (time, energy): easiest way (anytime, anywhere) to make contact, communicate, share, collaborate with “friends”
  33. 33. Linked in
  34. 34. Facebook – building online communities
  35. 35. Twitter
  36. 36. Bookmarking
  37. 37. Blogs
  38. 38. Blogs Craig’s blog Matt’s blog
  39. 39. New roles for me Before I was in IT I was a: • Nurse • Student • Sales Manager • Product Manager • Business Manager • Director (of an NGO)
  40. 40. Me as an IT consultant I found I was good at Consulting because I was a: • Communicator • Analyst • Good at problem solving • Detailed minded • Strategic thinker • Good listener • Wanted to help solve the problem • Understood business needs and goals
  41. 41. New roles for you too! • Role of technology has changed • It’s no longer about IT reducing operational cost and more about IT as an enabler to achieve organisational goals • Its about managing information, communication and knowledge. This is a good industry to work in: • It’s constantly changing and challenging • Its not about programming and pizza • Lots of opportunities to capitalise on your strengths
  42. 42. Information based roles in IT • Exciting range of IT jobs available that aren’t just about technical skills • IT provides opportunities to work in dynamic and creative environments (medicine, movies, fashion) • Increasing need for skills such as • Communication • Collaboration • Ability to organise • Understand business issues • Drive change • Problem-solve • Deliver outcomes • Interestingly enough, many of the women working in IT also come from non IT backgrounds
  43. 43. Backgrounds of IT Consultants • I looked at the background of a lot of the female (and male) consultants • There are former teachers, scientists, nurses, administrators, psychologists, and army officers. • 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. • Not all have IT degrees, but they do have experience in IT (business and system) and certification in areas of IT management
  44. 44. So what does an IT job look like today? Business analysis and process re-engineering • Collaboration, communication, diplomacy, design & analysis IT strategic analysis and planning – architecture • Analysis, decision making, vision, business savvy, influence, persuade User-centred apps & web design • Team-player, collaboration between tech/graphic designers, business and users centred, design Knowledge management • Collaboration, information and communication, analysis
  45. 45. Conclusions • We might be perceived as Sterotypes like the SITC girls, Carrie, Miranda, Charlotte or Samantha • History tells us that there’s more to us than shallow stereotypical characters • My experience is about drawing on archetypal strengths of pan-cultural and iconic figures: communication, champion of the business, champion of ‘users’ needs, collaboration, analysis, don’t take ‘no’ for an answer, problem solving • These strengths are vital and important for IT jobs • You can have a cool IT job as well! (Geek = Black)
  46. 46. FIN
  47. 47. Questions? Maria Horrigan Principal Consultant Email: Blog: Slideshare: Twitter: @miahorri