Executive Women Offer Advice on Succeeding in Male-Dominated Professions

FRAMINGHAM, MA – June 28, 2010 – IDG's CIO Executive Council, a peer advisory community of 750 global enterprises comprised of more than 1,400 information technology (IT) leaders, has released the building blocks for women in IT to become stronger leaders and more strategic business executives. The advice stems directly from members of the Council's Executive Women in IT (EWIT) affinity group, comprised of over 200 women, dedicated to advancing the profession of information technology and mentoring other women in the male-dominated field.

The Executive Women in IT group wrote the top ten tips to influence the perception of IT as a truly productive and fulfilling profession for women, enhance career development, and provide ongoing opportunities for young women new to the profession, a true passion of the Council and a driving force for community involvement.

Sysco CIO Reflects on How She Rose through the Ranks

According to Twila Day, CIO (chief information officer) of Sysco Corporation and a member of the Council's Executive Women in IT group, "Women can promote themselves as strong IT business leaders by using the unique view across the organization that IT provides to build their skill sets. This is what I did when I first arrived at Sysco as an application developer." Day continues, "But, I still find that it is sometimes difficult for women to imagine a long-term career in IT; they just don't see how they can have a balance between work and family. I've made it a priority at Sysco to change the corporate culture so that my team members could better integrate work and home. And it's not targeted only to women with families; I encourage all members of my team to pursue outside interests and hobbies with the right balance in their work responsibilities."

Four of the Top Tips are:

Gain a broad view of the business early in your IT career. Leverage the all-encompassing perspective of IT to build strategic business skills. Overcome the tendency of men not to hear you by changing the way you relate to them. Know your audience and target your discussions of IT's role in their processes to engage them. Employ a support system at work and at home. Outsource aspects of your personal life to better prioritize as career and family needs change. Master the communication and cultural differences of the global IT business environment. Listen, be respectful of cultural diversity, draw different perspectives from the team and focus on change management policies in your role as a leader.

IT VP at Texas Children's Hospital to Provide Advice for Success

For the full list, join the Council for a live webcast, "Executive Women in IT: The 10 Most Important Pieces of Advice" on July 22 with Myra Davis, VP of IT at Texas Children's Hospital. Davis will highlight her personal story and how she mastered more effective communication in her role as a business-oriented leader in the male-dominated IT profession. Registration is open to the public through the Council's website.

Pam Stenson, SVP & GM of the Council, led the in-person focus groups, used to collect career perspectives from more than 60+ senior IT women across the US, UK and Canada. "We have a responsibility to all women in the profession to shepherd them through the obstacles that come with being a woman in not only a male-dominated industry, but one that's increasingly challenging and demanding," said Stenson.

She continued, "The tips developed by EWIT are based on real-life experiences of female leaders in the industry, but can transcend the IT community to be applicable to women in different industries. The tips address both business and personal challenges and will hopefully offer women a sense of support and recognition that they're not alone in dealing with the trials their jobs bring."

About CIO Executive Council

The CIO Executive Council is a global community comprised of hundreds of the world's leading chief information officers who together form the most unbiased and reality-tested peer-advisory resource available to the profession. The Council's membership represents leaders from Fortune 500 and mid-market organizations who are committed to helping one another save time and money, avoid mistakes, and make better more informed decisions. Collectively, the Council is a bellwether for the profession and voice of influence in the IT industry, around the world. CIO magazine and the CIO Executive Council are part of IDG, International Data Group. Additional information can be found at https://idg.com [https://idg.com].

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