WIT Summit Silicon Valley 2020 Q&A — Bernadette Rotolo, Warner Music Group

Bernadette Rotolo, senior vice president, head of global systems at Warner Music Group, will be participating in a fireside chat, titled ‘Creative Problem-Solving Under Pressure’, during the Women in IT Virtual Summit Silicon Valley 2020 on the 7th October.

Taking place at 14:50pm PST, the session will explore how companies and teams can respond to new and unique challenges, while discussing how leaders can collectively – and virtually – be more innovative in their problem-solving.

If you would like to register for the event, please click here. Registration for the summit is free of charge.

We know there’s still a problem with a lack of women within IT. Why do you think that is?

I believe there are several key reasons for this shortage, and it starts in the schools. From an early age, the gender stereotype of boys ‘being better at science and math’ can discourage girls from studying STEM subjects.

In addition, when young girls become aware through both subtle and overt cultural messages about perceived male strengths in STEM subjects, it can trigger self-doubt even in the most studious young girls. If self confidence in young girls is low in STEM subjects, it continues in high school, college and beyond.

This challenge has resulted in fewer females graduating in STEM related fields, therefore impacting the size of the gender talent pool. Low rates of women in the workplace and even fewer women in leadership roles also result in a lack of role models and mentors. It’s a vicious cycle that starts in the early years of a girl’s education.

Encouraging and supporting young girls at an early age will result in more women in Technology careers. Men and women have different viewpoints and insights which allows for better problem solving. Workplaces that do not encourage diversity of thinking and lack work/life balance support will experience greater gender turnover as women often do not feel heard or valued.

WIT Summit Silicon Valley 2020 Q&A — Eileen Mahoney, EVP and CIO, PVH Corp.

Eileen Mahoney, EVP and CIO at PVH Corp., spoke with Information Age about promoting diversity within tech, and her part in the upcoming WIT Summit Silicon Valley. Read here

As a woman in IT, how have you gone about promoting opportunities for women within the workplace?

As a female executive in IT, gender balance and equality are crucial to me and I commit every day to making change and advancing this agenda. Implementing active programs to ensure that opportunities are truly open to all does not happen overnight. It happens when individuals recognize that they have the responsibility to provide equal access, equal playing fields. I recognise my responsibility to do what I can to encourage women to enter the field and to increase the number of women in my group, globally.

Broadening job qualifications to include life experiences and being open minded to consider graduates in the arts and humanities are

important hiring criteria to me. I encourage women on my technology team to serve as mentors and inspiring role models and to help shift perceptions about who belongs and to help break down the gender gap.

One of my proudest accomplishments has been the launch of the Global Women in Tech Group to help women navigate their careers while helping them balance their personal responsibilities. The members of the network have joined to develop a collaborative, safe and enriching community. Over the course of the past two years, we have offered growth and development programs to support this objective. Our offerings have included career panel discussions, forums to discuss current work/life challenges and skills development and confidence building workshops to encourage women to advance and to be successful.

In the words of one of my very own role models, the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg: “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception”, and certainly not in technology!

Could you expand on the session you’ll be taking part in during the WIT Silicon Valley Virtual Summit?

I will be taking part in a fireside chat on ‘Creative Problem-Solving in a Crisis’. This session will focus on how IT managers changed their ways of working in the pandemic. Mostly, on how to manage a team virtually while many team members were impacted by caring for children, elders and other distractions. We will discuss how managers became more creative in building a virtual office to continue to keep connected, productive and motivated. We also discuss different collaboration platforms that were adopted overnight without any issues.

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Nick Ismail

Nick Ismail is a former editor for Information Age (from 2018 to 2022) before moving on to become Global Head of Brand Journalism at HCLTech. He has a particular interest in smart technologies, AI and...

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