Women in Technology Conference
Registration is now live for the CMIS Women in Technology Conference! This is open to everyone! You can register via the QR code found below or the following link: tx.ag/poI23cK. We look forward to seeing you there!
The 23rd Annual Women in Technology Conference was held on Friday, February 18, 2022, in a hybrid format.
Three executive and senior-level speakers presented. In addition, roundtable or breakout room discussions along with fun activities and door prizes helped foster great conversations and fun! The speakers were as follows:
Angela O’Neill – Enterprise Account Executive, Google
Angie O’Neill discussed her many employment opportunities in her 25-year career. Opportunities are great to have; remember that you are enough! As an MIS student or professional, you have the knowledge and skills to do what is needed. Things will work our for you even though your career may not look how you wanted it to be in the beginning. Angie stressed the following five areas where women can succeed:
- Bosses – make them look good so you can look good
- Contagious attitude – be positive, create solutions
- Solving problems – be a master problem-solver, creating solutions leads to leadership
- Brand management – be a consistent high-performer, take the high road in conflict
Angie closed with a profound statement. There are two types of women:
- One who thinks there is only one seat at the table for women
- One who encourages other women to be at that table
Sonia Arista – Senior Vice-President and Chief Information Security Officer, Signify Health
Sonia Arista stressed the importance of maintaining your network for professional success. LinkedIn.com is a great tool for building your network. Having a good visual presentation is important in building your brand. She recommended always looking for growth opportunities, but also being aware of your limitations and allowing yourself to reset your goals. Life and work are a marathon, not a sprint.
Michelle Schaefer – Law and Digital Marketing IT Manager, ExxonMobil
Michelle Schaefer discussed lessons she has learned in her 18 years with ExxonMobil. Information technology is important to all business throughout the world because of the connections needed to conduct business in our global economy. Numbers and details have to be correct at all levels in business. Michelle advised to never stop learning, become friends with your manager so you can be aware of and take opportunities. Show initiative in taking opportunities, stay humble, learn from your team, and learn to navigate change.
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The 22nd Annual Women in Technology Conference was held remotely on Friday, February 26, 2021. The conference’s theme was “Dream IT, Find IT, Love IT.”
Dr. Rich Metters, the department head of the INFO Dept., gave the official welcome. He congratulated the participants for attending the conference because women still need to be encouraged for STEM fields.
Tamara Fields, the Austin office managing director and unit director of operations for Accenture, emphasized finding our own voice to be successful in life, work, and in general. Know that growth and development are part of that. Each person needs to know that changes happen along a chosen path, accept disruptions along that path, and allow yourself to find a better path or even multiple paths. Learn to be adjustable. In primarily male-oriented areas, she advocates for realizing that men are human too and are not our enemy. Embrace people and be inclusive of everyone. Avoid negative thoughts and find the good in all things.
Anu Krishnan, the head of Information, Data & Analytics at Shell, spoke about the company’s use of technology with renewable technologies. Machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are critical in renewable energy alternatives being explored by Shell. Ms. Krishnan spoke about brand development with the Performance/Image/Exposure pie chart. She stressed that the exposure component is actually the most important though people put the least effort here. Who knows you is critical in building a strong network. Her last thoughts were for the attendees to know our own worth, know our value to the company, stress the skills that you have since most companies do not use all of the skills that are identified, and ask to be visible since networking and mentors are critical for one’s success.
Rhonda Fisher, the program manager of Data and Analytics and senior IT manager with Bell Flight Textron, focused her comments on giving advice for success. One’s success needs to start with 1) being “SMART” – being grounded and intentional in building our career, 2) knowing our interests, talents and nature, 3) being our own career architect, and 4) continuing to build our career. She stated that career building in much like a honeycomb, which has exceptional strength with minimal effort, is malleable and perfected with heat, and has the most efficient use of space and storage opportunities. These qualities apply to any person wanting to build an effective career.
Roundtable discussions were held between each speaker. The breakout room groups focused on discussion questions related to laying the right foundation and using building blocks.