Diversity, Equity & InclusionCategory3 min read

Women in Technology Accept the Challenge

VMware StaffMarch 8, 2021

Choose to challenge is this year’s International Women’s Day theme. Women in the technology industry have been doing this for decades. Today, in this highlight reel of stories, we celebrate the exceptional difference women make to tech, business and our world.

1. Voice of Transformation: Amy Hysell

Arizona Federal Credit Union executive vice president and CIO Amy Hysell is curious, determined and dedicated. She used her knowledge of the business, experience serving people and leadership skills to overcome cultural bias and build the 'best IT shop in the nation.'

I do occasionally celebrate myself and the small percentage of others who have crossed traditional lines, leading empathetically and knowing firsthand how the business needs to be served in order to make it better.

Amy Hysell, SVP and CIO, Arizona Federal Credit Union

2. Bringing Overlooked Talent to Tech

The race to attract and retain tech talent is tight. And companies everywhere are increasingly looking at returnship to fill open positions. Return-to-work programs for women may prove even more valuable as countries emerge to full-work participation in the new normal.

There were a few ups and downs in the beginning as we all adjusted to my new work schedule, but overall, it’s been great. I am getting to put my technical skills back to work and am learning new skills every day. I’m loving it.

Shaffaly Talwar, software engineer

3. Artist Sougwen Chung and Photojournalist Renée C. Byer

Like technology, art is a catalyst for change.

Together, art and technology help people make a deeper connection and take immediate action in specific ways. The work of artist Sougwen Chung and Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist Renée C. Byer do just that.

4. Lady Mariéme Jamme: Powerhouse

Lady Mariéme Jamme is on a mission to close the global education gap and build a generation of 1 million women and girl coders by 2030.

Jamme is all-in on STEAMD (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics and design) education. She is the founder of iamtheCODE, the first African-led global movement to mobilize governments, the private sector, philanthropic foundations, investors and civil society to advance STEAMD education. Her mission is to drive sustainable development for women and girls in marginalized communities.

5. Agent of Change: CTO Ursula Dolton

Innovation at a charity can never be for innovation’s sake. No one knows this better than Ursula Dolton, chief technology officer at the British Heart Foundation (BHF).

Under her guidance, the charity navigated the many challenges brought about by the coronavirus outbreak. Like so many organizations, a combination of strong leadership and technology was key to its successful response.

6. Zoom COO Aparna Bawa Talks Intrinsic Security

IT security professionals were used to going it alone in protecting business data. That changed quickly when the pandemic hit worldwide. Now, executive leaders like Aparna Bawa, Zoom’s COO, are in the trenches with IT security teams to ensure secure operations and intrinsic security.

The future of work has forever changed. But in many ways, it is positive. … It has shown even the most conservative of companies how a service like ours provides an immense amount of flexibility for employees, but also makes them very productive.

Aparna Bawa, chief operating officer, Zoom

7. Women Giving Back

From viral charitable campaigns to volunteerism and service learning, this Pop Culture Tech podcast episode explores how tech-for-good fuels our spirit of giving.

Tech innovations fuel charitable moments and real-world missions. Behind the scenes, organizations like Taproot Foundation infuse hundreds of millions of dollars worth of pro bono support directly into the nonprofit sector. And Lindsay Firestone Gruber, the Foundation’s president and CEO, is leading the charge.

8. Leading by Example

Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) vice president Hsueh-Lan Wu believes, “Using technology to serve people must be the common goal we share with our partners. And we hope to work hard to achieve this goal together.”

Even as Taiwan’s SMEs become less reserved about digital transformation, expertise from bigger players is key. And how better to demonstrate the process of digital transformation than to do it yourself?

9. Luminary: Rosa Whitaker

Recognized as one of the world’s leading experts on African trade and investment, Rosa Whitaker is a passionate champion for creating enterprise solutions to address poverty and promote prosperity across Africa. While much remains to be done across Africa, technology is helping to close the education, economic and healthcare gaps.

I have personally witnessed in Africa what a force for good technology can be. While much remains to be done across Africa, technology is helping to close the education, economic and healthcare gaps. … With more attention and resources, we can also close economic and digital divides among nations.

ROSA WHITAKER, PRESIDENT AND CEO, THE WHITAKER GROUP

10. Helping Organizations Transform and Put Employees First

As the pandemic evolves, employers carefully consider how and when to return workforces to offices worldwide. In the meantime, employees continue adjusting to the new opportunities and challenges of remote work.

When organizations are unsure how to take the next step, they look to experts. Two—Susan Insley, vice president of human resources at VMware, and Laurel Farrer, a leading remote work strategist and chief executive officer of Distribute Consulting—discussed their top five barriers to remote work success.