Q1: I'd be curious to learn how the panelists may have navigated situations or work cultures where there’s good evidence to suggest there is an "old boys" network.
There is no doubt that the ‘old boys club’ still exists; it may not be as prominent as before but it is there. Frankly, people like to work with folks that are similar to them or they already know since they have a good working relationship and common ground has been established. There is no need to navigate any cultural aspects and you have to worry less about your opinion in your trusted circle. To break the cycle, when I’m in a hiring position, I would hire based on qualification and ability, if I have two candidates that have similar credentials, I would actually take a chance on someone who is new to the country and give them the opportunity, regardless of gender.
Q2: How do you approach a male co-worker who always repeats what you just explained? For example, in a meeting, they would say the same thing you just said and end up taking the credit for it.
If it happens once or twice, I would probably let it go. However, if this happens constantly, I would invite them out for coffee and bring up my concern. I would find out if there’s any specific reason why he is acting this way. I would not act differently if it’s a female co-worker either.
Q3: As a male, I am sometimes unsure if I should join and/or if I'm welcome to female communities like "Women in Tech" or "Move the Dial". Sometimes this steers men away from these important conversations and we are not able to learn from the experiences of our female counterparts. What can I do to create better environments and be more involved?
Being inclusive means that everyone is welcome! The more we learn from each other, the better off we are. Please continue to be engaged and please keep attending all events, as they are not ‘exclusive’ to women.
The events that are featuring women in tech are created with women in mind, to discuss topics that cater more to women specifically. We want to demonstrate that even in a male dominated tech field, there are successful women out there and the career can be rewarding. As male leaders in tech, we definitely need your support. By attending these events, we hope you come to understand the challenges faced by women and the value of having a diverse team with different perspectives.
Q4: Adina, as the CISO for an organization that’s going through a major transformation, what are some of the challenges you have had to deal with as a very integral part of the tasks needed to meet the IT requirements for Ontario Health?
Change requires focus, prioritization and the ability to adapt; Transformation requires an open mind and continuous calibration. The intersection between the two, underpinned by a strong, engaged and committed team will enable us all to succeed.