blog

0
126
Saturday, March 3, 2015

Women leading us to the cloud

Government Cloud Computing Professional

 

Women leading us to the cloud

Government Cloud Computing Professional
Women leading us to the cloud

March is Women’s History Month. As we celebrate women and their role in our history, our workplaces, and our homes, I thought it was important to bring to the forefront some of the strengths that might make them stand out as compelling agents of change in such a time as this in the IT industry.

Recent research reveals that while women account for about one-half of the labor force, their numbers for employment in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields continues to lag behind men. There is much speculation as to the possible reasons for this, and this is not the focus of this article. After spending many years as one of the only women in the room in meetings and conferences, I’m starting to notice more women leading initiatives, programs, and companies in cloud computing technology. This is particularly interesting in the government space, where a few of the notables include:

  • Karen Petraska, service executive for data centers, NASA: Petraska has pioneered the work that NASA has done to consolidate data centers and develop an enterprise service approach to cloud computing.
  • Maria Roat, chief technology officer, U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT): As the former director of General Services Administration’s Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (GSA FedRAMP), Roat successfully led the transition of this program from Initial Operating Capability (IOC) to Full Operating Capability (FOC). In her new role, Roat will be leading the transformation to cloud at DOT.
  • Dawn Leaf, chief information officer at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL): When Leaf was at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), the cloud computing program she led achieved international recognition. She is currently leading the DOL transformation efforts.

Women in leadership

As the cloud improves an organization’s technical agility, teams must respond with equal business agility to accomplish organizational and customer goals. Let’s take a look at some of the strengths that women bring to this time of transformative change and explore how we might continue to leverage these strengths to fuel innovation and breakthrough in our corporations.

Researchers contend that women leaders seek leadership styles that allow them to be supportive of others. Cooperation and collaboration is important to women. A conclusion might be drawn that women find it more important to create community in an organization. According to the “Toxic Versus Cooperative Behaviors at Work” study published by the International Journal of Leadership Studies (IJLS), organizations that are able to create collegial cultures where employees are part of a cohesive community are more resilient to external threats. These same companies are more agile and able to respond quickly to market threats and opportunities. The creation of this type of culture requires an egalitarian. Although not exclusively the domain of women, this leadership style may come more naturally to women.

One of the barriers for women in technology may well be that, in general, women are not perceived as being as innovative as men, according to a gender and leadership study published by IJLS. However, they are perceived as both consultative and inclusive. Whether driving a new initiative, or sponsoring organizational change, these traits are essential to the creating buy in.

The adoption of cloud computing in an organization often changes everything about a person’s role in the organization and the processes that they follow. Women who are leading these types of change efforts may be viewed as more compassionate and trustworthy actors who are trying to help. They may be more likely to ask questions, and to find answers that enable cooperation. Widely considered to be more relational than men, women may also provide an emotional cushion in those situations where change is charged with feelings of fear or resistance. According to a Gallop Organization study, employees are more likely to feel that they are part of the change if they are valued enough to be consulted and included. And who doesn’t appreciate the co-worker or leader who provides emotional support?

( This post was written as part of the Dell Insight Partners program, which provides news and analysis about the evolving world of tech. To learn more about tech news and analysis visit Tech Page One. Dell sponsored this article, but the opinions are my own and don’t necessarily represent Dell’s positions or strategies.)

Bookmark and Share

Cloud Musings
↑ Grab this Headline Animator

( Thank you. If you enjoyed this article, get free updates by email or RSS – © Copyright Kevin L. Jackson 2012)

Follow me at https://Twitter.com/Kevin_Jackson

LEAVE A COMMENT

Name*
E-mail*
Phone number*
Your Message

Latest posts

0
206

MWC19: Where Telecommunications and Cloud Meet

As a cloud solution architect, my passion is learning the details about how cloud computing uniquely supports specifi...

0
170

Tulane University SoPA Selects “Architechting Cloud Computing Solutions”

Last week, Packt Publishing announced that “Architecting Cloud Computing Solutions” by Kevin L. Jackson a...

0
378

5G Wireless Technology Connecting Healthcare

Healthcare is in the middle of massive change. Called digital transformation by many, this term describes the industr...

0
349

Maria Lensing: The Network Platform for Healthcare’s Future

As a girl, Maria and her family traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to get cancer treatment for her sick brother. The mira...

0
1401

How “Big Iron” Does “Big Regulation”

According to Verizon, there were over there were over 53,000 security incidents in 2017, with over 2,200 of those ide...

0
1806

Mainframe Synergies for Digital Transformation

In July  of 2018, Broadcom announced its intentions to acquire CA Technologies. In the press release, Hock Tan, Presi...

0
456

2018 AT&T Business Summit: Security “in” and “of” the Cloud

While public cloud is undoubtedly an outsized piece of the conversation, news headlines of the latest data breach can...

0
198

My Brush with Royalty: Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah! Hip Hop Icon. Movie Star. Television Star. Fashion Model. Songwriter. Producer. Entrepreneurial Genius...

0
348

What’s New in Puppet 5?

Puppet 5 is released and comes with several exciting enhancements and features that promise to make configuration man...

0
227

5 Reasons Why Ansible is the Best CM Tool Out There?

Amidst volatile markets, dynamic technology shifts, and ever-increasing customer demands, it is imperative for IT org...