CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 56

You can scarcely open the business

took up five floors of a seven-floor

pages today without reading another

building in Southampton. Now we're

article about the lack of women in the

based in three high-rise buildings

executive ranks of the Fortune 500

in Southampton and the Isle of Man

and the FTSE 100 or the challenges

and have a number of regional offices

of being a woman working in

around the world. Technology has

technology. While I worry that some

been fundamental to the company's

of the negative press only fuels the

growth, and that has provided

problem, there is no doubt that both

countless opportunities for those of

situations must be addressed.

us in IT to develop and advance.

Indeed, within the financial
services industry, in which I've spent
my career, it is no secret that women

A Paradigm Shift and
Leadership Opportunity

are greatly under-represented in
senior roles across the board. Here,

The biggest growth opportunity for

in the IT function at Old Mutual

me came when Old Mutual purchased

Wealth, we can lay claim to be one of

Skandia. The IT organization

the exceptions to that rule. One-third

moved from an entirely in-house IT

of the members of our IT leadership

organization to a largely outsourced

team are women. That wasn't

IT model. In a matter of months, I

necessarily by design; we didn't have

had to evolve from actually "doing" IT

a quota we were trying to meet. But

to managing a service provided by an

we do give talented professionals the

entirely different company.

opportunity to experience everything

I was managing our insourced

they can and to grow with the

support team at the time, and it was

organization.

quite a change for the employees

I'm a prime example of that. Twenty

who moved from my team to the

years ago, I joined the graduate

outsourcing provider. I had to learn

program for programmers at Skandia

to work with them in a different way.

(which was purchased by Old Mutual

No one in our organization had any

Group in 2006 for $6.5 billion). I had

experience managing outsourcing

no technology background, having

partners. Most of us had only seen

studied business at university. Of the

how IT happened within Skandia.

six who joined the program, four were

Certainly one of my biggest

women and three of us are still here

challenges is that I've been with one

today. And I've been in IT ever since.

company for my entire career, so I

One of the biggest factors in

have taken advantage of external

my success is that I had a lot of

contacts that my fellow IT leaders

opportunities to learn. I moved

have shared with me. In particular,

back and forth between the project

I recently benefited from a mentor

development and support world, I

outside Old Mutual Wealth who has

did programming, I ran operations,

30 years of experience with IT service

I led teams. And as I grew, so did the

management. We met monthly as I

company. When I joined Skandia, we

moved into the IT Exec team, and he

CIO Straight Talk | 56

My father said,
'Provided you match
65 or 70 percent of a
job's requirements, just
try it and have a go.'
And that's what I've
done. The worst that
happens is you get
some feedback
that can help you
moving forward.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6

Contents
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover1
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Contents
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 3
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 4
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 5
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 6
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 7
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 8
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 9
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 10
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 11
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - InsertA
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 67
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - InsertB
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 68
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover3
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover4
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