Lewis IT celebrates Women in Technology

Lewis IT celebrates Women in Technology
Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com / Unsplash

As a Managed IT solutions provider, we would like to take a moment to express our sincere gratitude and appreciation for the women who have made significant contributions to the technology industry. Women have played an essential role in shaping the tech world, and we owe a debt of thanks to the countless women who have paved the way for innovation, creativity, and change in the industry.

We are grateful for the trailblazing women who have helped shape the tech industry into what it is today. From Katherine Johnson, who played a pivotal role in NASA's space program, women have been at the forefront of technological innovation for centuries. To Grace Hopper, who developed the first compiler, women have been an integral part of technological advancement. Today, we are witnessing a growing number of women who are making remarkable strides in the field of tech.

Women in tech have brought fresh perspectives and insights to the industry, helping to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces. They have made significant contributions to research and development, engineering, design, and more. They have shattered glass ceilings and opened doors for future generations of women to pursue careers in tech.

We would like to take a moment to thank the women in tech who have partnered with us and trusted us to support their businesses. Your dedication, expertise, and innovation have been invaluable to us and the clients we serve. We recognize that many of you have faced obstacles and challenges along the way, but your resilience and determination have been an inspiration to us all.

As such, we had the pleasure of speaking with a group of amazing women who graciously volunteered their time to tell us what their experience has been as a Woman in Technology.

Tia H.

IT Project Manager

What inspired you to pursue a career in tech, and how did you get started in the industry?

"I started right after college, which was more than nine or ten years ago. I graduated in 2004, so I'm coming up on 20 years in IT. There were so many different levels. I became more and more curious as I reached a new level. I can't say that I started immediately from college, really excited and inspired by IT. It was just a job for me. I was into photography and art, so I envisioned my life going a different way. When I started in IT, Facebook was only for college students. There was no Instagram and the Internet was still like a very new thing. So just being a young adult, as those types of things started to evolve, I think my curiosity as well as my career progression, evolved with it."

What challenges have you faced thus far in the industry?

I've been doing this for 15 years and in this one particular company, senior leadership was made up of at least 15 different individuals. None being women. The members of that team who were people of color were of Asian or Indian descent. And so that lack of representation was definitely one of the biggest challenges in addition to people not thinking that I'm capable of doing the job for one reason or another. Earlier on in my career, I'll never forget the first company that I worked for out of college, the Vice President of the company, who's a black woman, as was the head of HR, they took me to lunch and they told me that I should not have my hair the way I had it (in dreadlocks) if I ever wanted to grow in my career. Would you tell your granddaughter this? And she just didn't understand how demoralizing that was for me, especially coming from them (other women of color). Maybe Casual Friday for me looks different than Casual Friday for my counterparts. So mine might look a little more representative of my culture and where I'm from than, like, a pair of Khakis and a Polo, which I don't own. So I may look younger than some of my counterparts. That plays into some of the hesitation that management might have in terms of, upward mobility and having to prove myself. So those have been some of the challenges that I've experienced in my career."

Gabrielle S.

Information System Security Manager

What challenges have you faced thus far in the industry?

Just being a woman of color, period. We're in this field that's predominantly White, Asian, Indian descent, and you're trying to have a voice. It's very male dominated, too. So there's not that many women of color and when I started, it was literally just me and to this day, it is just me. And it's one of those things where you build your route if you really want it, if you believe in yourself, and you know you are capable of doing the work, you show up! There have been days where I have woken up at 6 a.m, during COVID and didn't get off of the computer until 7pm. But that's because I wanted to show that I can do everything these men can do and then some. It's also important to acknowledge that in meetings, you can't be timid, you should speak up. You have a mind!"

Finally, what are your hopes and aspirations for the future of women in tech?

"My ultimate hope is to see a black woman as a General of different agencies, like, the highest ranking you can be. I think that will be a fresh start. Also different initiatives that are not common.  A good friend of mine has a company where he teaches kids right out of high school and college to get their Certs, and then he'll guarantee a job in IT. My main goal is to get women of color to do this. I'm so happy that schools now are doing black women in coding, or just women in coding.  I think that is just great, because I think black women in general have such a voice and have so much to offer in this world. I have a goal to be an SES, within the next ten years. I just want us to be in leadership roles where we can call the shots.  It's our time."

Tonya E.

Cybersecurity Awareness Program Manager

What challenges have you faced thus far in the industry?

"The thing that I would say the most, and that's probably one of the few things that separates me; I don't have anything beyond a high school education. I went to a two year college for liberal arts. Didn't finish. And I don't have any certifications. And that's one good thing about the IT community, you don't have to. You have people like me, I'm 43 years old and I have a high school diploma. However, I'm making six figures.  People who look like me, older black women would say, "oh, no, you need to be in school for this before you can qualify to do this." But then I'd have somebody else tell me, "you don't have to do any of that." Make your own route. To me, that is the most important message I want to put out there. Make your own route. Everybody else's path is not your path. Now, would I like to get a few certifications? Sure! I'm actually pursuing some now, but in the meantime,  make your route.  So the biggest thing is overcoming people thinking that, oh, I can't do it, or it's too late in life for me to start over, or I don't have enough experience. That's not true. First of all, with a whole bunch of favor, a whole bunch of God, and treating people the way you want to be treated, you can go really far by making your own route without having to do the traditional way."

What are some of the most exciting technological developments you've seen in recent years, and how do you see these shaping the future of the industry?

"How I see things going in the future? Everything is moving towards automation. The robots are taking over and literally we're going to lose to the robots and the people who created the robots. Unfortunately, they're not going to need us. I feel like we are moving towards efficiency without efficient people. The thing is, you're always going to need people. You're always going to need people for that non mechanical and that non technical aspect.  It's to the point where I think your Apple Watch will be able to test your blood sugar. I'm worried about it. Something else that's interesting to me now is watching how Cloud develops. I remember when I first started working in tech, Cloud was foreign to me. I never knew about Cloud, much less security. I went in completely blindsided by how much extra stuff there was that I couldn't see.  Even though we want to move towards automation and more AI based things, you still need someone to run those data centers. Who's going to open up shop? What happens when there's a failover and you have the SLA to keep? Who's keeping the SLA?  I'm very interested to see how they make it happen. In the end, they will still need core people."

Finally, what are your hopes and aspirations for the future of women in tech?

"I want the collective win for us. I want the collective partnership."

Lewis IT wants to express our commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in our industry. We believe that by supporting and empowering women in tech, we can create a better future for everyone. As an IT solutions provider, we strive to create a culture that fosters collaboration, equality, growth, and creativity for all.

In closing, we also want to say thank you to all the women in tech who have contributed to our industry's success. Your hard work and dedication have been instrumental in shaping the tech landscape and creating new opportunities for all. We look forward to continuing our partnership and supporting your work in the years to come.

Contact us:

info@lewisit.io or 240-784-1221


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Jamie Larson
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