In the lead up to Women in Tech Texas, we caught up with Evelyn Anderson, Distinguished Engineer at IBM to hear more about what she’s looking forward to at Women in Tech Texas, her advice to other women in Technology and what the theme of resilience means to her!
Firstly, tell us a little bit more about you and what you’ll be discussing at Women in Tech Texas
Hi! My name is Evelyn Anderson, I work for IBM and I’m a Distinguished Engineer and Master Inventor. During the conference, I will be discussing Cyber Threat Trends and How To Respond To Them.
What are you looking forward to at Women in Tech Texas?
One of the things that I’m looking forward to in attending the Women in Tech conference is interacting with the other ladies, understanding some of the obstacles that they have to overcome, understanding some of the cyber security issues they’re experiencing with their company, and making sure that we’re staying relevant. We’re always trying to understand the obstacles that other people are experiencing, so that we can make sure that as we’re building out our new technology across IBM, we’re addressing our customer needs.
What advice would you give to a woman looking to step up their career in tech?
One of the biggest things that I look at is - whatever your journey is, make sure that you’re actually creating your journey and defining your roadmap. One of the problems that I think a lot of women have is that we’re always trying to emulate someone else and oftentimes that may not be the right journey for us. My background was that I did not start in IT - I actually started as an accountant - but I knew that I wanted to get to IT, so I found a way to reinvent myself, change careers and actually go down the path that I wanted to go down. So one of the things is to make sure that you stay the course, and don’t let other people define your journey.
What do you see as the biggest challenge currently facing women in technology?
There’s not a lot of us! You know, we’ve made great strides over the last couple of years but one of the things that my mentor always taught me is that, as you move up in your career and you overcome some of the obstacles, always reach back. Don’t close the door behind you but always reach back, and try to help and pull other women through. One of the biggest areas where I focus on with my mentoring with minorities and with women is helping them to understand some of the things that they may be looking at as they can’t do, but that they can do it. It’s just that they need the right influence and people helping them with sponsors and so forth.
The theme of the event is Resilience, as a woman in tech, what does resilience mean to you?
When I think about resilience I think about never quitting. I think about some of the things that I mentioned before in staying the course. Sometimes we may not be able to achieve the results the first time that we try to do something but staying the course and never giving up and never quitting.
Catch Evelyn’s session Cyber Threat Trends and How to Respond at Women in Tech Texas on 19-20th May 2022.