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Women in Business: A Formula for Success

  • Friday, September 24, 2021
  • 7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
  • Virtual Meeting


    Women make up half the workforce and yet we are only 24% of the global IT population. We are smart, we are competent, capable and brilliant at what we do and how we engage. We have a style of leadership that is different but so needed, especially today. 

    The challenge is most of the time, women truly don’t know their brilliance.They are certain they “aren’t ready” to take on that next bigger role. They are more attuned to the ways they aren’t qualified than to the ways that they are. They are waiting for someone to validate, promote or discover them. Sound familiar?

    Whether we heard the wrong messages growing up, or struggled to navigate our careers and get that next big promotion, women around the world, across every sector and industry have the universal struggle of not feeling “enough”, or being uncertain about the possibilities that lie ahead.

    In spite of being incredibly talented, qualified for the job and more than ready to take on the next opportunity we often self-select ourselves out of the running, or we put incredible pressure on ourselves to perform far beyond the expectations of the role.

    In this session, we will explore some of the critical issues facing women in business today, whether you are an individual contributor or a seasoned executive.

    We will spend some time with the co-authors of Please Stay: How Women in Tech Survive and Thrive, Debra Christmas and Kelley Irwin who will shared their combined experience of over 75 years in this industry working their way up the ranks, taking chances, raising families, standing tall and strong to their own definition of success.

    We know the issues are universal for women around the globe.  Please join in the conversation to unlock the principles that will enable us to step up to our brilliance and thrive in the career of our choice.

    About the speakers: 

    Debra Christmas is a seasoned leader in the high-tech field. Her 40 plus year career has encompassed sales, consulting, support channels and managing all aspects of information technology. Prior to joining Gartner Canada, Debra was Vice President of Hewlett-Packard Software Technical Sales for North and South America.

    Her current role as Senior Executive Partner provides her the honour and privilege of working with senior leaders – both technology and business focused - on their strategy, execution of their initiatives, organizational challenges and their own professional development.

    She is the co-author of Please Stay: How Women in Tech Survive and Thrive released in the fall of 2020. She has travelled the world as a facilitator for Manager Milestones, an innovative leadership development program and recipient of the Brandon Hall Gold Excellence Award for Learning. She has engaged with hundreds of leaders across continents and cultures to help them develop leadership skills to drive business results and enhance employee engagement. She is the Co-Creator of PACE an award-winning presentation and communications program. She is founder of Stiletto Gladiators, a not for profit organization delivering mentorship services, leadership assessment, professional development and diversity coaching and a co-founder of Women in Tech Tribe, focused on helping women in technology excel in the field. Her goal is to see equity and inclusion in this field. Debra has been involved in diversity, equity and inclusion work in the corporate world since 1990 sitting on working groups, DEI committees and ERGs like WOW (Women on the Way Up). She is a trained Co-Active and John Maxwell Leadership Coach and is certified in Tilt365 and Leadership Circle, a comprehensive leadership assessment framework based on “Mastering Leadership”.

    Kelley Irwin is a senior technology executive who has led teams as small as five and as large as eight hundred. She is a CIO by experience, a martial arts black belt by training, and an optimist by nature. She is currently Chief Information Officer (CIO) at the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA) focused on evolving the digital and cyber mandates for business value. She is value-driven, leading with a strong sense of responsibility to create positive change.

    Kelley started her technology career 30 years ago as a developer and has CIO experience at TD Bank, Sun Life Financial, and Economical & Sonnet Insurance. She is passionate about the power of technology and the positive impact it enables on a large and small scale. Kelley is an active supporter of women in tech through mentoring, coaching, blogging, and speaking events.

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    Women In Technology Wisconsin Inc. is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. 

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