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

Eileen Mahoney, executive vice president and chief information officer at PVH Corp., will be participating in a panel session, titled ‘Transformation: Cultural vs Digital’ during the Women in IT Virtual Summit Silicon Valley 2020 on the 7th October.

Taking place at 10:25am PST, the session will address how digital transformation is no longer a nice-to-have, but a necessity for organisations, how to go about culturally transforming the workforce, bringing employees on board with digitalisation strategies, and the extra cultural shifts that will be required in the wake of the pandemic.

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

Why do you think that the problem of a lack of diversity still exists within tech?

I think one of the challenges comes from interpretation of [tech] being very masculine in terms of the thought process or knowledge needed, and this is one of the biggest misnomers that’s out there today. The ability to solve problems, to have a vision, and to establish a plan moving forward are some of the critical aspects that are needed in a successful technologist, and yet women shy away from that.

I think we have to do a better job of firstly letting them know what the competencies and skills needed really are, then also give them the confidence to move forward, and I’m hoping that now, with companies doing more work from home, that people won’t think that to develop their career, they have to make a choice as a woman, and that they are able to manage being a parent and partner as well as having a career in the technology space.

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

I am a founding member of our business resource group at PVH, and over the past 10 years I really have looked to use my voice and tell my story as someone who has been in the CIO role for close to 20 years, but also as a very proud parent of three children, and how I was able to manage that.

Sometimes, it wasn’t all successful, and I feel it’s important to let people know that it’s ok to make mistakes, as long as you learn from them, and that it’s ok to step back, whether this be because you can’t do something in your career or you’re going to miss a family event, but you also need to think about how you manage that.

I’ve found that by doing that, I am encouraging other women to realise that they can ask for help, which we sometimes think of as a sign of weakness, but I think of it as a sign of strength. It helps to create those forums for people to use to ask for help or listen to stories, because they can then realise this is something they can accomplish, also.

Could you please expand on what you’ll be speaking about during WIT Summit Silicon Valley?

The panel session that I’ll be a part of is called ‘Transformation: Cultural vs Digital’. As we started to prepare for this session, I realised how important technology is now, more than ever, in driving change, and at times leading the change, but also in encouraging the company from a mindset perspective to really adopt it and allow it to be the new way that they operate.

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Nothing has accelerated that more, probably, than Covid-19, and in this session we really want to talk about some real life case studies that each one of us has gone through, which will show how we are using technology to really help transform our companies’ operating models.

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Aaron Hurst

Aaron Hurst is Information Age's senior reporter, providing news and features around the hottest trends across the tech industry.