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“More Than One Seat For Women,” says former CIO.

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“More Than One Seat For Women,” says former CIO.

When I started in university, one of the comments that they made was, ‘Look left and look right, one of the three of you will not make it.’ When I looked left, there were no women in the row. When I looked right, there were no women in the row. The two guys on either side of me were looking at me and going, ‘It must be her.’

It’s not like that anymore. We’re not there yet, but we’re making progress—there are a lot more women who are more supportive in technology. I think that’s one thing that has changed. The second is visibility to the incredible talents women bring to the table. Women’s time in tech has come.

I started in the automotive business as an electrical engineer. I had become used to being the only woman in the room and that made a huge impact on me. Believe it or not, as more women sit at the table, it can become hard because it’s like, ‘I’m used to being the one woman’s voice.’

As more women came into the automotive business, I was not nearly as welcoming as I should have been, which is funny, right? What I really had to break through early in that process was understanding that there’s not one chair at the table that says ‘Woman.’ The job is to pull up chairs to the table for all the women who want to take a seat.

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