Sunday, 16 November 2008

The path to CIO - as a black woman - to be or not to be?

The recent achievements of Lewis Hamilton and Barack Obama got me thinking about role models again.  Those of you who have been with me for awhile will know that I'm very interested in the challenges that women face working in IT and there is a lot of emphasis on role models.

It's a current ambition of mine to become a CIO and there just aren't that many females, let alone black females (the 'double whammy' as someone recently said to me).  So imagine my excitement awhile back on hearing the success of Gail Roper - a black female CIO working in US government.  Do you know of any others?

Anyway, back to my path.  My original plan to get there was to go through the ITSM route (which I really enjoy) yet recent events mean that I've had to put that plan aside and remap my path as I walk the project management route (which I also enjoy).  After some deliberation about the move I've decided that, actually, it is completely the right thing to have done.  Why?  Whether you read ITIL, CIO, or pretty much any other technology (with career focus) website out there; there are constant references to 'the business'.  Alignment.  Integration.  That's where we are at.  So what better move for me than to step out of IT and into the business in order to get a better understanding of 'the other side' with which we are to integrate?

More on this subject another time.  For those that would say race and gender don't matter in such things - as much as I wish they didn't - the fact is they do.  I hope that as I move through both my professional and personal life that people will look past gender, past race - and see me.  A little ITIL imp :)


elliotross said...

I wish you all the best :-)

And you are correct - every damn thing you read points to a stint in the business side. (they make that sound like the "dark side of the force" from Star Wars don't they ??

LuxProp said...

I am also a black female who decided to redirect my career path in IT and focus on becoming a CIO. Currently, I'm an IT Director and my mission is to make as many connections as possible while promoting my solutions and ideas for business and IT alignment.

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