What aspect of the industry do you think has the most potential for growth, and, on the other hand, which aspect do you think needs the most improvement?
An area that has the most potential for growth is the use of technology to improve people's lives. This has always been very apparent for those who work in the health care IT industry. I have always been inspired by the impact technology can have on enabling safe, effective, and transformative patient care. Technology is an essential and enabling service that is critical for delivering patient care — we have proven that more than ever at UPMC during the COVID-19 pandemic. I envision that the use of technology to improve people's lives will continue to grow in health care and every other industry.
Making the technology industry an inclusive place for all is an opportunity area. Diversity is what yields innovation, and we know that representation matters. This is one of the reasons why UPMC launched our Women in Technology (WIT) initiative in 2017 with support from Ed McCallister. Through our WIT efforts, we are making great strides to promote female technology career paths at UPMC and in the community. We are reaching groups, such as middle schools, high schools, colleges, post-grad, and women reentering the workforce. We also recognize the importance of having engagement and support from men. Our initiative is all about bringing together men and women to focus on this important work for the future.
When you imagine the future of the technology industry, what does it look like?
Technology will continue to be integrated into all we do. In the future, I imagine technology will continue to be seamlessly embedded into our lives. My hope is that we can find a balance that will allow for this integration without it being so all-encompassing that we lose our sense of connection with each other.
What is the most valuable life lesson you have learned so far and how has it helped you in your career?
The most valuable life lesson I have learned is the importance of believing in myself. When I began my career working in the IT industry, I struggled with self-imposed “imposter syndrome." Despite having an incredibly supportive and amazing team, I had this self-limiting belief that I did not deserve to have a seat at the table because I was young, inexperienced, and, oftentimes, the only woman in the room. With the help of my mentors, I realized that I needed to improve my confidence. To do this, I worked harder than ever before to learn, grow, and develop into the role. I started to take small steps to speak up at meetings and to go outside of my comfort zone by "raising my hand" for challenging new projects. In addition to bolstering my professional growth, I also pushed myself to remain positive and to believe in myself. I had to truly examine myself and my goals so I could get into a mindset where I could position myself for continued growth, happiness, and success. This made me recognize how important it is to believe in myself, to have courage and confidence, and to be grateful for everything around me. It was not always easy to do this, but I found that the more I believed in myself, the easier it became to be courageous and to ultimately project poise and confidence to those around me. I finally recognize how powerful it is to have this confidence. This has led me to my passion for giving back through mentorship opportunities to help other women who may struggle with what I did . This is also why I am so passionate about our WIT initiative.
What three adjectives come to mind when you think about your future path?
Impactful, inspiring, and happy.