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Capitalising on female strengths in IT Maria Horrigan Principal Consultant BA World July 2009

Capitalising on Female Strengths in IT and Business Analysis

Maria Horrigan Principal Consultant BA World Sept 20091Slideshare and blogswww.slideshare.com/murph


@miahorri# BAWorld09

2Capitalising on Female StrengthsIdentifying areas where women excel and capitalise on theseGaining an edge through understanding users and interaction with customersUsing corporate relationships to networkDominate through communication and people skillsUnderstanding the importance of knowing everything about the businessIT Conference Shanghai 2008

Sex and the city?Celluloid Stereotypes:US Upper-middle class white cultureShopping, clothes and shoesIs this who we are?

Sex in the city is a television show produced by NBC. This presentation was for educational purposes only and is NOT in any way, shape, or form affiliated with NBC, or any other persons or organizations responsible for the production of Sex in the City, all trademarks and copyright belong to their respective owners.

Female ArchetypesStrengths and weakness of these archetypesArchetypes vs SterotypesSo what are the female archetypes?Why are archetypes good?Pan-culturalAny period of pan-historicalHow can we capitalise on archetypes?So the term Feminine Archetype refers to models or patterns of womanhood and feminine behaviour that are easily recognisable to us. 8 Female ArchetypesThe WaifLittle girl lost, Damsel in distress, endures hardshipThe LibrarianPrim and proper, repressedThe NurturerTakes care of everyoneThe CrusaderA fighter with a causeThe Spunky KidGirl next door, team playerThe BossGoal orientated, takes chargeThe Free SpiritOptimistic, follows her heartThe SeductressManipulative, A survivorhttp://sparklethis.blogspot.com/2007/10/8-female-archetype-examples-and.html8The WaifStrengthsTenacity and enduranceAsks for helpSeeks to understandGood ListenerWeaknessesNot taken seriouslyPerceived as always needing to be bailed outNot seen as competent

Jennifer Anistonwww.laineygossip.com/pics/jen The LibrarianStrengthsKnowledgeableIntelligentAble to problem solveKnow where to find the infoWeaknessesRepressed Perceived as Arrogant and not friendlyOld fashioned

Jane Austina.abcnews.com/.../nm_jane_austen_071017_ms.jpg The NurtuerStrengthsListens and counselsEncourages and Mentors Empathy and SupportiveCollaborative, CommunicatorWeaknessesSeen as fussing or naggingIndecisive, dont want to favour one over anotherOthers let them pick up the slack

Florence Nightingalewww.britannica.com/eb/art/print?id=88464 CrusaderStrengthsStrong, make tough decisionsHas a mission and visionChampions a positionStrategic focus, LeaderGood CommunicatorWeaknessesNot CollaborativeSeen as Aggressive


RipleyThe Spunky KidStrengthsPersistentMaturity beyond yearsDependableEasy to talk to - Girl next doorTeam playerWeaknessesPushyAnnoying

Lisa Simpsonmedia.comicvine.com/uploads/0/40/157606-13463.. The Free SpiritStrengthsChallenges status quoMarches to a different drumLikes to dream about possibilitiesInnovative, Creative, OptimisticWeaknessesPlans may not be practicalImpatient for changeMay not be a team player

Amelia Earhartwww.legendsofairpower.com/images/Earhart.gif The BossStrengthsPowerfulDecisiveLeader , StrategistCommunicatorDriven and focused on outcomeWeaknessesAloof, distant, not friendlyTask orientated vs people orientated

Queen Elizabeth Ienglishhistory.net/tudor/eliz1-ermine.jpg

The SeductressStrengthsCommunication, PersuasionGoes after what they wantEmpathyNetworking knows the right people WeaknessesSelf interest may not be a team playerSuperficial not genuinely interested Aggressive Barracuda CougarJessica Rabbitwww.moviecritic.com.au/images/realistic-jessicarabbit

image: http://www.lakefronthartwell.com/bm~pix/milkshake~s600x600.jpgJennifer AnistonJessica RabbitI drink your milkshake1717Women arent milkshakes

. more like a McFlurry1818Archetypes = Me as a McFlurry

challenged the current wayBe Confident, assertiveAsked for help when needed Set the direction, leadPersistentShare knowledge, mentorSupportive, counselGet the job done19Capitalise on these Archetypes So how do we capitalise on these strengths of these archetypes?Need to read the situation people & context We all have these archetypes inside usNeed to know how much and in what volume to apply them in our working livesContextual, Situational, Contingent20Play to your Archetype strengthsEach individual brings unique strengths to a role Become more comfortable with who you are, know your talents and strengthsBe confident in abilitiesNeed to understand your natural tendencies and make them work in your favour

Play to the archetypes strengthsKnow themLive them

21Female Strengths in business AnalysisWhat does A BA role look like today? Understanding the business and technical environment to achieve successWomen are a part of this culture of success only to the extent that they explicitly embrace and deal with the five R's.

23"Membership in the Club: The Coming of Age of Executive Women," Dawn-Marie Driscoll and Carol R. GreenbergFive Rs- qualities expected of successful people in business

Respect (both earned and given)Responsibility - the willingness to be responsible for your own actionsResourcefulness know how, life long learning, networkingRevenue development - proposal writing or bringing in new business.Risk taking - essential to innovation.

Value in understanding the businessBusiness success depends on anticipating future trends and developments. and aligning strategy with implementation IT is part of the everyday business, every program & initiative, will have some touch point with technologyBusiness analysis is often key to solving the complex problems and issues When we understand the business there is an opportunity to add value, be a trusted advisor

Business Context

Not just about the technologyMe as a Business Analyst I found I was good at being a BA because I was a:CommunicatorAnalystGood at problem solvingDetailed mindedStrategic thinkerGood listenerWanted to help solve the problemUnderstood business needs and goals

CollaborationUnderstanding UsersInteractionNetworkingPersuasionCommunicationAbility to organiseBuild rapportGet the job doneDecision makingProblem SolvingCreativityOptimisticIntuitivePersistentInfluencerListeningInterpersonal skillsSupporterFemale StrengthsResourcefulIntegrityResponsibilityEmpathyCollaborationUnderstanding UsersInteractionNetworkingPersuasionCommunicationAbility to organiseBuild rapportEmpathyGet the job doneDecision makingProblem SolvingCreativityOptimisticIntuitivePersistentInfluencerListeningInterpersonal skillsSupporterBA SkillsResourcefulIntegrityResponsibilityLearning to speak-geekAs a Business Manager, I needed to understand techno speak so that I knew what I was signing off on As a BA, I needed to understand the possibilities of what the technology could and couldnt doI don't have a formal IT qualificationIve come from the business side so have lots of business degrees and qualifications but I had to learn geek-speak

30How I survived moving into a career in Business AnalysisLearned to speak-geek understand the technology and how it would help the business and my work processesPeople mentored me Key colleagues mentored me and supported my knowledge developmentNew collaboration tools - Web 2.0 New roles for me gravitated toward places I didnt expect to go, pushed my capabilities

Particularly in relation to your evolving career

In each story there is a part of an archetypcal roles strengths that was relevant (theyre not mutually exclusive)

31Role of technology has changedIT no longer about reducing operational cost and more about IT as an enabler to achieve organisational goals Its about managing information, communication and knowledgeThis is a good industry to work in:Its constantly changing and challengingLots of opportunities to capitalise on your strengths

Its not all about pizza and programming From my examples you can see working in IT over the last 5 years or so, and even longer being involved with on the sidelines, its not about pizza and programming32 Business vs Technical BA rolesExciting range of IT jobs available that arent just about technical skillsProvides opportunities to work in dynamic and creative environments (medicine, movies, fashion) Increasing need for skills such asCommunication, Collaboration, Ability to organise, Driving change, delivering outcomes, Problem solvingMany women working in IT also come from non IT backgrounds Backgrounds of IT Consultants I looked at the background of a lot of the female (and male) consultants There are former teachers, scientists, nurses, administrators, psychologists, army officers What is common is that they are great communicators, organised, they can take on just about any problem that comes their way, and they get things done. Not all have IT degrees, but they do have experience in IT (business and system) and certification in areas of IT management So what does an IT job look like today?Business analysis and process re-engineeringCollaboration, communication, diplomacy, design & analysisIT strategic analysis and planning architectureAnalysis, decision making, vision, business savvy, influence, persuade User-centred apps & web designTeam-player, collaboration between tech/graphic designers, business and users centred, design

People Mentored MeLack of senior females in my area didnt deter me, it just made me look to other sources for mentoring I learnt from one of my staff I learnt from one of my colleagues I learnt from thought leadersI joined female IT networking groups (W

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