How young women can excel in tech: A CA customer’s perspective

We caught up with Jeanette Gamble, Executive Director in Technology, Morgan Stanley, who shared her advice on how young women can excel in tech careers.

What drives women across the workplace?

Passion and desire are essential to get to the next level. I have been extremely lucky at my organization to have been surrounded by amazing and supportive women across the full range of positions, from Associate to CIO. The mentorship program has been especially helpful in moving my career to the next level. A common theme I’ve seen across the globe is that women consistently push for feedback. Women love to be challenged and tend to multi-task by getting involved with multiple projects. Although I think it’s important to get engaged, grow your skills and expand your network across projects, I think women should be careful to not spreading themselves too thin.  We can’t juggle everything—and we don’t need to. It takes a village!

Sometimes the most challenging day can help us grow

The biggest challenge I faced was failing at something that was extremely visible. I was working in a crisis management-facing role and caused an error that impacted the business. I remember the day clearly.   My mentor marched to my desk and took me for a walk, helped me shake it off and taught me that failure is the most critical learning experience for growth.  The senior manager who owned that business area at the time, is now is a close friend and someone who really helped shape and grow my career. We sometimes focus too much on being perfect that we experience so much guilt when we fail.  I’ve learned to use those experiences as a way to grow.

Three words of advice for young women in tech

1. Confidence

For someone not working in IT, have confidence in yourself and believe that no matter what you do, you can add value. Sometimes we convince ourselves that we won’t be good at a role because we don’t have a deep background in technology, are from a specific school, or we put ourselves down thinking that others will be better. Take time to recognize that in every project, in every role, you have something to offer.   If it doesn’t work out, you’ll find a role that will fit your personality, skill set and talent. In grad school, I was told to think about joining another field as I may never be the best coder; it pushed me to work harder and prove them wrong.  Seventeen years later, here I am, still working in IT on Wall Street.

2. Networking

“For those already in IT, networking and connections are really important. When I look at the women in my organization, they can all be distinguished by their networks. Building tribes of diverse people will give you a different perspective. Also, if you’re able to act as a bridge between different groups and can communicate to a wide range of personalities and areas of the business, you’ll find that new projects and opportunities will come your way.  I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to have different mentors at the different stages of your career. Feel empowered to have different mentors as you will need help with a variety of areas and no one person can help with all those things.”

3. Role Model

“Be be a role model and help develop the next generation. Most high school students and graduates can’t become what they can’t see. We need to showcase women working with technology, and show the next generation that working in this field is fun, exciting and gives endless opportunities for a great career path. Finally, be yourself.  Most senior leaders that I have respect for are open, authentic and truly enjoy what they do!!“

 


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