Man! I Feel Like a Woman: A Reflection on International Women’s Day

Happy International Women’s Day!

Happy International Women's Day!

Yesterday evening, I had the honor of attending the Google Cloud Women’s Executive Symposium along with my colleague and friend, Vicky Tiase of New York Presbyterian. This event was focused on supporting women and as evidenced by the unique twist on female coding in the backdrop, it was a night of recognizing the achievements of women, inspiring the future of women, and encouraging one another to not rise alone. This picture perfectly captures the evening because our friendship began during a networking event at HIMSS and we have continued to support each another and grow – sometimes together and sometimes in separate directions. Creating relationships with colleagues across your profession (and sometimes not in your profession) can create mutually beneficial mentorship opportunities!

Carol Carpenter, VP of Product Marketing at Google Cloud, welcomed the guests by sharing her journey across the world to her current role. The next speakers, Kristi Lamar and Anjali Shaikh, executives in the CIO Program for Deloitte Consulting, presented data that examined the role of women in IT. “Even with Diversity and Inclusion programs in the workplace, less than 1/3 of their IT staff are women.”* I feel very fortunate to work at CipherHealth, where women make up 52% of the team! Perhaps more surprising was the report that at the current rate of progress, it will take more than 100 years for the upper reaches of U.S. corporations to achieve gender parity.** This underscores the importance of taking every opportunity to mentor individuals – both male and female – to ensure our leaders of tomorrow have the education, training, experiences, and opportunities to contribute.

Sol Rashidi, the CIO of Sony, captured my attention because of her unconventional journey to success. She unapologetically informed us that she had ten jobs in 12 years. In pursuing her passion, she was willing to start over if she wasn’t doing what she enjoyed. She put herself first, which is often difficult for women. Sol ended her talk by sharing, “Better to have a backbone than a wishbone. Nothing fun ever comes out of hoping and wishing.”

My challenge to you is to commit to becoming a mentor by bringing other women up with you as you climb. Share your experiences, your knowledge, and your influence so we do not have to wait another century before we achieve gender parity at the highest levels.

* Davis-Ali, Advancing Women Technologies into positions of leadership. P4.
** Deloitte, Repairing the pipeline: Perspectives on diversity and inclusion in IT.

Kimmie Krakowski, MSN, RN, CENP, CAHIMS is the Chief Nursing Information Officer at CipherHealth. Prior to her current role at CipherHealth, Krakowski served as the Associate Chief Nursing Information Officer, Senior Director of Informatics and Innovation at Inova Health System. Krakowski recently published Exploration of Portal Activation by Patients in a Healthcare System and co-authored An Introduction to Nursing Informatics, Evolution, and Innovation and An Introduction to Nursing Informatics, Evolution, and Innovation, 2nd Edition (available in November 2018). Krakowski is also featured in Build an A Team by Whitney Johnson.