Article - IT

Women in Leadership & Technology

13th May 2022

The working environment is not just a man’s game. More women are being placed into leadership roles and rightfully so. This can make a big impact and provide benefits to businesses such as:

· Bringing new innovate ideas to the table

· Promote better communication and cooperation

· Provide better mentorship

· Help close the gender pay gap

While there are many opportunities for organizations, women in leadership roles do face challenges including, being perceived as more emotional and not as decisive as men, getting the support needed in a male dominated business, and creating a healthy work life balance. However, as a women leader myself – we can combat any of the obstacles that come our way because we got this! We are educated, we are visionaries, and we certainly have the ability to wear many hats.

Female CEO’s in the US

The number of female CEOs at America’s largest organizations has hit an all-time high. Fortune reports that in 2021, a record of 41 women are CEO’s of businesses on the Fortune 500 list. On top of that, for the first time two Black women are running Fortune 500 businesses. They are, Roz Brewer at Walgreens Boots Alliance and Thasunda Brown Duckett at TIAA. As for the highest-ranking business ever run by a female CEO, Fortune touts that the title goes to Karen Lynch at CVS Health. Fortune also reports that,

“Having a total of 41 women chief executives amounts to female leadership for just 8.1% of the Fortune 500.”

Women in Technology

Breaking into the technology market can be intimidating and right now the industry does not have a ton of females. Deloitte Global predicted that large global technology firms, on average, will reach nearly 33% overall female representation in their workforces this year. That is up slightly more than 2 percent from 2019.

This had me thinking. How can we get more women interested in joining the technology sector? Not to get too personal but I started my professional career as a News Reporter and Anchor for a local TV station in the New York City area. After 7 loyal years, I decided to make the move into the technology market and take a hosting job at GDS Group, the leading provider of virtual executive events. Looking back, I wish I made the jump sooner. I find technology fascinating. It’s an ever-growing business that is changing the way we live, how we communicate, in ways we shop, etc. Who else shares my passion for the industry? A female CEO named Amy Kim.

Inspiring Thoughts from the Female CEO of Jugo

Amy Kim is the President and CEO of Jugo, a new virtual events platform as part of GDS Group. I was lucky enough to interview her during a recent podcast of Strategy for Breakfast. With more than 25 years of experience in the technology industry working for companies such as, Peoplesoft, Microsoft and Google – Amy had a lot to share about what drew her into the industry. “I started to grow my own career in project management and marketing and then jumped into sales and fell in love because I loved working with clients and being able to deliver value through products in the shape of technology products.”

As a CEO, I was interested to ask Amy about what her hiring process looks like and her thoughts about attracting more women to the sector.

“When I look at hiring, I look at hiring diverse people not just by gender, ethnicity, economic background, or education but the unique factors that they bring to the table.”

-Amy Kim, President & CEO, Jugo

The reality is successful organizations are those that bring unique value to the table. We need to embrace that. Having an organization of people with different ideas is valuable. “I have seen this happen in many organizations people say we get along together, we all think alike, this is perfect! I look at that group and I go no; this is not perfect. What you have is group think and that really stumps innovation,” Amy shared.

So, why is it important that women are represented on the C-suite? “I don’t think it’s because we are women that we are CEO’s, we are skilled CEO’s. When I look at senior women leaders, it’s because they are competent that they are in their roles not because of their gender.”

To listen to the full episode of “International Women’s Day: Breaking the Gender Bias” search for Strategy for Breakfastwherever you stream your podcasts.

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