Female ICT professionals need further training to reach senior roles

According to one female ICT leader, women need to learn how to market themselves and must understand organisational dynamics

Female ICT professionals must seek greater professional training and development if they are to ascend to senior management roles, according to one female ICT leader.

Resurgence managing director, Negba Weiss-Dolev, told Computerworld Australia that women often do not send out the right signals and need to learn how to market themselves and understand organisational dynamics.

“They expect that if they work really hard, somebody will notice and it will come to them, rather than putting their hand up in a very male dominated environment,” Weiss-Dolev said.

“I think men understand the issue of networking and helping each other out at the same time as competing with each other, while women quite often will be head down bum up working really hard

“They don’t go down to the pub to have a drink, they don’t necessarily meet at the golf course and so a lot of the decisions or influencing that happens, they’re not included, they have to learn to be more influential and visible.”

In 2008, Weiss-Dolev was commissioned by the Federal Government to develop and deliver the curriculum for the Women are IT (WIT) Connections Program, which seeks to provide participants with leadership competencies and skills, including, networking, negotiation, communication, influencing and presentation.

Chief information officer at Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute, Rachael Dalton, completed the course in September 2009 and told Computerworld Australia the program was one of the most worthwhile training courses she had undertaken.

“To have an individual coaching session between each face-to-face session was fantastic, to be able to work on things and talk to someone who you don’t know, who can challenge you in the way you go about managing your department, or whatever you’re trying to achieve, was incredibly worthwhile,” Dalton said.

“Simple things like understanding your style and having an opportunity to discuss that with professional people meant my stress levels went down significantly because I stopped giving myself such a hard time about potentially not having the energy to keep going every single day.”

“I think they’ve named [the program] incredibly well because lots of things have started as part of my involvement in that program… it’s opened up a whole new world of opportunities.”

IBM client executive, Dionne Miranda, said the program helped her gain increased confidence in her ability in the workplace.

“I was able to articulate my desire for a new role as well as set expectations about what I wanted out of the role,” she said. “As a result, I started in a new and exciting role as of July this year.”

The course runs three or four times per year and is structured specifically to meet the needs of women. It comprises four full day workshops, in addition to four one-on-one coaching sessions spread across four months.

Female managers who have completed the course, which runs three or four times per year, hold roles at organisations such as Telstra, ANZ, IBM, KPMG, Medibank Private, Lucid IT, Coles and WorkSafe (ITSS).

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