Women in Technology at IBM – Rejecting the ‘Expected’

technologista2IBM continues the Women Technologista series this week with two blog posts.  In the first one, IBM Senior Vice President and WITI Hall of Famer, Linda Sanford, talks about ‘Nurturing the Next Generation of Technologistas‘.  She talks about how studies have shown that women are naturally more collaborative and better at listening, two tenets for building strong teams and that teams with at least one woman outperform male-only teams.  However, women still hold less than one-fourth of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) jobs, so how do we best tap into and grow this innate talent pool?  Mentorship is vital. Female-executive support groups and increased participation in industry associations, along with formal training and inclusion programs, would also help.  Read more on the Internet Evolution site.

In the second post, Stefanie Chiras, PhD, IBM Manager of System & Technology Group Design Center, shares how she learned to reject the ‘expected’ when she was 10 and her father told her they were going to fix a car transmission.  She said “I can’t do that,” and he replied without a pause, “People do it every day. You can certainly do it once.”  The advice, and the fact that they did fix the transmission, stuck with her.  Half the challenge is overcoming apprehension and preconceived notions.  As for advice from her own career path, she echoes some of the tenets found in the recent IBM Study of Insights from Women Executives, which are:

  • Stay visible
  • Plan your career
  • Integrate work and life

Read the full post, Rejecting ‘The Expected':  One Woman Engineer’s Story on the Huffington Post.



– Posted by Julie Yamamoto, Program Manager The Greater IBM Connection

Enterprise Transformation: IBM Senior VP Linda Sanford on the Company’s Decade of Change

IBM today has more than $100 billion in annual revenue and 430,000 employees in 170 different countries. Senior Vice President Linda Sanford, with the help of the IBM CIO organization and the business transformation team reporting to her, is orchestrating a massive transformation that has thus far yielded an $8 billion payback for the company.

In this interview, Sanford details the company’s decade of change and talks about why it’s critical for organizations to regularly transform their products, systems, and processes. She also explains IBM’s priorities, and the CIO’s office’s involvement in its overall transformation. Read the interview here.

Related video: Transforming Business through Collaboration and Innovation (interviews with IBM customers)


About the expert:

Linda Sanford

IBM’s Linda Sanford

Linda Sanford serves as Senior Vice President, Enterprise Transformation, for IBM, and leads the strategy for IBM’s internal transformation to becoming the premier globally integrated, smarter enterprise. In this role, Ms. Sanford is responsible for driving the company’s ongoing reinvention spanning technology, operations and culture.

Smarter Transformation: What I’ve Learned from a Decade of Change

Author Linda Sanford, Vice President, Enterprise Transformation

by Linda Sanford

Over the past decade, IBM has taken a systematic approach to transformation and has dramatically reshaped the company.

Since I’ve been helping lead that effort, I’m often asked by clients for advice on how to transform successfully. I certainly don’t have all the answers, but there are a few things that most organizations can start doing to create a smarter enterprise.

Read the rest of Linda Sanford’s post at Building a Smarter Planet. A Smarter Planet Blog.