AITP Atlanta Women Super Powers Unite on Stage
The AITP Atlanta Chapter hosted a powerhouse of Women Technology Leaders at our Third Annual Women Technology Leadership Forum. The dinner programming for our chapter continues to produce outstanding content and conversations. The distinguished panelists took the stage and were guided by the delightful and engaging moderator Cynthia Curry, Director of Engagement with eHire, on a series of questions as well as a fun and interactive live poll. The poll started with asking the panelists and attendees which super hero they aligned themselves with most. Read on to learn a little bit more about the exciting panelist discussions.
Alison Press, VP of Enterprise PMO with InComm, self identifies closest to superhero Wonder Woman. Alison is currently establishing a global PMO with new processes, standards and optimization. When Alison first started her career in sales she found it wasn't the right track, but through resilience in a downturn economy at that time, she found work as a Business Analyst. Alison discovered she enjoyed the BA work because it involved solving problems with different groups. In her role, Alison found her voice, found a way to lean into the conversation and learned to speak up at the table. She shared with our audience the importance of being your own cheerleader and spend less time on self-doubt.
Brandy Porter, former VP of Engineering with Big Nerd Ranch, is now venturing into her own start-up providing User Experience design and coaching. Brandy most identifies with superhero She-Ra / Princess of Power. Brandy shared she has always found a way to step in and have a voice, and it was probably easier for her than most. Her mother's role as a successful business leader was an influential role model for Brandy which helped her put her opinions out there and not to be afraid of embarrassment or taking risks.
Carolyn Prantil, VP of Product Management with First Data, relates well to Wonder Woman but feels closer to superhero Superman, since he is the ultimate of all superheroes. Carolyn's professional career started uniquely in call centers. Carolyn shared that it is important when you do something remarkable for the company to find a way to announce it, in a way to thank the people on your team, and share the results of your team's work. "Measure what you did, and share it. It is not bragging but sharing your place in the organization", Carolyn stated. Another idea she uses in her workplace is called sharing a “ray of sunshine”, a message which is a way to remind teams of the good work they are doing for the week. It is a great reminder in a world that is often always dealing with the fires and solving the problems.
Jennifer Cambern, VP of Product Management with ADP, had an economic realization at an early age with simple beginnings of the value of money. During her college career, Jennifer created a small business that conducted backups for financial systems. She credits much of her success today to finding a fabulous mentor who took Jennifer in on her journey. She also shared that even though there is a tremendous amount of IT change, as woman leader it is easier than it was in the past to be assertive without being condemned for outdoing others in an organization. Her advice for our AITP students and members is to align yourself to something really interesting that is your passion and don't worry or feel pressured to have a perfect career progression.
Personally, my favorite bit of advice came from Carolyn Prantil who said, “Take the time to network. Give it a priority, because relationships are part of work”. As an AITP National Board member, I couldn’t agree more with Carolyn. As we like to say at AITP, IT still takes people, and your work is digital but your career is not. Now is the time to connect, discover, and advance with AITP!