Women in IT Conference

With around 200 attendees coming “together with technology,” The 19th annual Women in Information Technology Conference brought together women to network and learn from others currently building their careers in information technology. It was hosted by the Center for the Management of Information Systems (CMIS) on March 2 in the Memorial Student Center at Texas A&M University.

Female students with an interest in information technology participated in roundtable discussions on topics such as lessons learned from senior executives, managers, professionals and new graduates in the workforce. They also discussed advice such as finding a job, career building, finding a mentor and new technology trends.

After a welcome speech by Executive Professor and CMIS Director Robin Starnes, the conference attendees heard from three keynote speakers:

  • Amy Suhl, CIO, Shell Oil – #Makethefuture & ‘Aha’ Moments in Leadership
  • Diane Schwarz, VP and CIO, Textron – Tech Trends From My Career to Yours
  • Tammy Hermann, Director of IT, H-E-B – Mind-Blowing Tech – at the grocery store?

In her presentation, Suhl advised the women to “get clear on what you will be measured on.” This is done through credibility, reliability, and intimacy, which all culminates into trust. Key components of leadership Suhl spoke on were performance, image, and exposure.

When sharing “Tech Trends,” Schwarz shed light on self-healing, shared insights from security in the past, explained the concept of how technology constantly changes, and highlighted the benefits of mentoring and listening.

Hermann’s presentation on “Mind-Blowing Tech – at the grocery store?” outlined Gig economies, the desire for conversation, short attention spans, and how tech

The conference ended with the announcement of door prize winners including two iPads provided by the Texas A&M IT department, a Katie Decker pendant donated by David Gardner’s Jewelers, $500 in scholarship funds, and many more. All guests received gift bags as well.

Feedback on the event was positive, with guests commenting that “the ratio of company representatives to students ratio at the tables was perfect this year,” and that the “speakers were great, but the best part was interacting with the students and being able to trade advice.”

CMIS will celebrate its 20th annual Women in IT Conference on March 1, 2019, at the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center.

 

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A recap of the 18th annual conference is below:

The 18th annual Women in Information Technology Conference was held on March 3, 2017 in the Memorial Student Center on the Texas A&M University (TAMU) campus. The conference is hosted by the Center for the Management of Information Systems (CMIS). The theme, Digital Footprints, focused on all the places we leave our digital footprints.

Current students from Texas A&M, Blinn College, Prairie View A&M, Houston Christian School, and TAMU-Texarkana, information systems professionals, and CMIS Board members were in attendance. A variety of industries from consulting, education, financial, manufacturing and oil & gas were represented by TAMU former students and CMIS Board members in the MIS (management of information systems) field.

Following a welcome by Ms. Robin Starnes, Director of CMIS, Dr. Rich Metters, Head of the Information Systems and Operations Management Department, presented some facts from his latest publication, Gender Equality in Operations Management.   Then the conference opened up with an “ice-breaker” networking session.   Roundtables of networking sessions were conducted three different times, allowing attendees to move to different tables and network with others.  A wide variety of topics included What inspires or motivates you? to What does your typical day look like?

The sold out crowd of close to 200 attendees enjoyed three keynote presentations.

  • Brandie Claborn, Vice President of World Wide Communications at Intel Security, provided an informative and timely presentation on the Cybersecurity industry; the need to fill open positions and the strides at Texas A&M in the Cybersecurity area.
  • Christine Rose, CIO and Head of Ecommerce at Kendra Scott, highlighted The Power of Passion and Perseverance in her career as well as Kendra’s own statement, NO is only a suggestion.
  • Stephanie Kinser, Senior Vice President Enterprise Solution Engineering, at Salesforce concluded the speakers with Disruption, Innovation, and Empowerment in the Age of Equality in the age of the technologies that affect our lives, such as the cloud.

A wide variety of prizes and gift cards were awarded to attendees graciously donated by Anadarko, CC Creations, Chevron, Pine Boutique, PwC, Cato, and GM.  In addition, CMIS provided scholarships to five lucky TAMU students as well as book prizes, The Secrets Leaders Keep and The Confidence Code.  TAMU Information Technology donated two Air 128GB Wi-Fi IPADS and David Gardner’s donated a Katie Decker Century Tree necklace.   Every attendee received a surprise yellow box of fashion earrings donated from Kendra Scott.

CMIS Board members sponsoring the conference included Exabyte Members – ConocoPhillips, Deloitte, GM, HP Enterprise, Noble Energy, Phillips 66, and Shell; Petabyte Members – Anadarko, Chevron, ExxonMobil, HP Inc., National Instruments and PwC; Terabyte Members – Charles Schwab, Protiviti, and USAA.

 

    

 

 

 

 

Close up WIT 2016 PhotoJJT_7806

 

 

A recap of the 17th annual Women in IT Conference (2016) is below.

Big Data theme of Women in IT conference

A red chair was a key player in the 17th annual Women in Information Technology Conference, held March 4 in the Memorial Student Center on the Texas A&M University campus. The conference is hosted by the Center for the Management of Information Systems (CMIS) at Mays Business School. The theme, “Big Data,” focused on the variety of data collected, processed and analyzed in our world today, as well as the consumer perspective, such as reward programs generated from data collection.

The attendees were encouraged to find ways to promote women in technology. The red chair was unveiled at the front of the room as a symbol inviting men and women to “sit” and acknowledge the need for more diversity in technology. In addition, CMIS engaged student volunteers this year to assist in the Hour of Code at the elementary through high school levels in the Brazos Valley.

In attendance were about 144 people, a mix of current students from Texas A&M, Blinn College, Prairie View A&M and Tarleton State, MIS professionals and CMIS advisory board members. CMIS board members sponsoring various aspects of the event included Exabyte Members – ConocoPhillips, GM, HP, Noble Energy, Phillips 66 and Shell; Petabyte Members – Anadarko, Chevron, ExxonMobil, National Instruments, PwC and USSA; Terabyte Members – Charles Schwab, Deloitte, Marathon Oil and Southwest Airlines; and WIT Conference Sponsor Goldman Sachs.

After a welcome by Robin Starnes, director of CMIS, and Rich Metters, chair of the Department of Information Systems and Operations Management, Alyssa Michalke kicked off the day discussing her journey to becoming the first female Corps Commander at Texas A&M.

Three keynote presentations were given:

  • “Thanks for Listening” by John Krajicek, Executive Professor and Assistant Director of Communication Studies at Mays;
  • “Your Data and Customer Loyalty Programs” by Kristen Dearing, senior vice president, Marketing and Sales Alliances, Brierley and Partners;
  • “The Future of Advanced Analytics with Big Data” by Neera Talbert, director of Microsoft.

A panel of CMIS board members and former MIS students discussed “Women’s Strengths in Business.” Panel members were Victoria Blessing ’14 of Texas A&M; Lauren Dillon of Deloitte; Jennifer Hohman of ConocoPhillips; Renee Schroeder ’86 of Charles Schwab; Pamela Jones ’02 of General Motors; and Kayla Cermack ’10 of Southwest Airlines.

CMIS provided scholarships to three Texas A&M students during the conference. Photography throughout the day was provided by students in the Texas A&M Photography Club, Vision Inspired. Numerous prizes and gift cards were awarded to attendees, donated by CC Creations, Barnes & Noble, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs, Noble Energy, Phillips66, Smoothie King, Southwest Airlines and CMIS.

Officers from the Texas A&M student organization Women in IT worked with other MIS students, faculty and staff to plan the event.

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