Tech Bytes: Three Tips to Help Women Succeed in Technology
Political feelings aside, the fact remains: When Hillary Rodham Clinton was nominated as our nation’s first official female presidential candidate, history was made. It sets a tone for all going forward — women can achieve anything they have the determination to pursue, regardless of the industry.
This point was driven home at the Northwest Arkansas Technology Summit held earlier this month in Rogers, Arkansas. During the conference’s “Women in Technology Panel,” a board of talented executives discussed how to remove this group from the “endangered species” list, as well as what it takes to break down barriers, and succeed in a male-dominated industry.
Here are their top three suggestions:
• Learn how to self-advocate. It is no secret that self-promotion is a critical element in furthering a career. However, this is often a sore point for women. By nature, females are often conditioned to wait to be recognized, rather than be self-promoting. To succeed in the 21st century IT workplace however, the tides must turn.
“Self-promotion is the single most important thing needed to further your career,” said Sarah Gelbman, Oracle’s global technology sales manager for Walmart.
The highest levels of success are often rendered through a two-pronged approach. First, “Take the word ‘self’ out of advocacy and promotion, and then you can more easily define your self and value proportion,” Gelbman reported.
Next, associates must focus on successes reached not just as an individual, but as a team. Then associates must relate how these achievements positively impact the company.
“These points always come back to how you brand — or sell — yourself across the organization,” she added. “Share your stories as a means of building relationships with team members. Your network increases, as does your visibility across the company.”
• Be your authentic self. With Deloitte data predicting that women will hold less than 26% of all technology jobs by year’s end, it is not uncommon for females in IT to be “the only girl in the room,” recalled Kristen Williams, senior director e-commerce, Walmart technology. For Williams, rather than shy away from the challenge, she viewed this as an opportunity.
“I quickly realized that I may view things differently than the 85 other men in the room,” Williams said.
It also prompted her to learn all that she could to be an “expert” in her field.
“For me, an expert doesn’t settle just to get by. They are viewed as the best,” Williams added. “By being myself among my team, and sharing my expertise — especially something that I know no one else can bring to the table — I am authentic to myself and strive to do the best job I can.”
• Find “a good tribe.” Oftentimes, individuals tend to migrate to those who “look” like them, or work in a similar manner. While this strategy is fine, “it can box in associates, and keep us from expanding and learning what’s new,” explained Rachel Mushahwar, Intel’s head of Americas, retail, hospitality and CPG global sales and marketing.
Associates that surround themselves with a diverse group, “including men, women, young and older associates, are creating stronger self-confidence,” said Jennifer Glasgow, chief privacy officer emeritus, Axciom. “This group also becomes a strong advocate for you and your value within the company.”
More importantly, this tribe should also possess an associates’ two strongest — but often overlooked — advocates: a mentor and a sponsor. A mentor is an associate’s “go-to” person when in need of support, advice or help. A sponsor however, will advocate on her behalf “even when I am not there,” explained Mushahwar. Whether lending support in the boardroom or encouraging — and referring — their protégé for a new position, mentors and sponsors have clearly become critical relationships for women in IT.
Chain Store Age knows there are even more examples of how women are transforming the retail technology industry, and we are eager to tell their stories in our annual “Top 10 Women in Tech” feature. To celebrate the achievements of these female technology executives, the “Top 10 Women in Tech” will profile winners in a special section of the magazine’s January 2017 issue, as well as in an online report on chainstoreage.com.
Walgreens to ship online orders to stores
Walgreens has joined the ranks of retailers working to get merchandise ordered online into customers’ hands faster.
The drugstore chain has launched a ship-to-store program that offers free shipping to a Walgreens or Duane Reade store for orders made on the chain’s website and mobile app. No minimum purchase is required.
“Our new ‘Ship to Store’ program provides value to our customers by giving them access to a wide range of products that are typically not found in-store,” said Joe Hartsig, Walgreens’ senior VP, merchandising. “With Ship to Store, customers have the ability to ship orders to their preferred Walgreens store if their residence or workplace isn’t a secure option.”
Orders typically arrive within one to three business days, and customers will be notified via e-mail once their order is ready for pickup. Walgreens paperless coupons, Balance Rewards benefits and other digital promotions can applied to online orders before checking out.
“We’re continually looking for innovative ways to provide anytime, anywhere convenience,” added Hartsig. “With Walgreens stores [operating] within five miles of 75% of the U.S. population, this service is another way we can offer convenience and more choices to improve the shopping experience.”
The drug chain will continue to offer free shipping to a customer’s home for orders over $35.
Mixed-use project breaks ground at Pittsburgh historic site
Arsenal Park, an often overlooked historical site in Pittsburgh, is now destined to re-emerge as Arsenal 201, a residential and retail project.
Milhous Development broke ground last week on the $100 million first phase of the project, which encompasses and entire block between 39th and 49th Streets in the city’s Lawrenceville section. That was the site of the Allegheny Arsenal, a key manufacturing and supply facility for the Union Army where an 1862 explosion took the lives of 78 workers — the largest civilian disaster of the war.
The historic significance of the site will be evident in the initial construction of 243 residential units and 19,000 sq. ft. of retail space. The grounds will feature Arsenal Alley, the Canteen resident lounge, and the Ammunition Fitness/Wellness Center.
City officials were adamant from the outset that site should retain its historical identity. “It was voiced that they would like 'Arsenal' to remain in the name in some capacity,” said Milhaus VP of development Thomas Bost. “We paired this with '201', the last three digits of the Lawrenceville Zip Code, to represent the unique, modern, and local Lawrenceville style."