Inspiring Success

A blog from Creating IT Futures

Back to Listing

June 3, 2016

IT-Ready Pioneers In Pursuit of Successful IT Careers

Nancy HammervikLast month, CompTIA senior vice president of industry relations, Nancy Hammervik, spoke with the first ever women’s-only IT-Ready class and offered tips on not just how to enter, but succeed in the male dominated IT industry.

Hammervik began the discussion by saying she does not play the woman card and does not think of herself as a successful woman in IT, but as a successful employee in IT. She noted that she recognizes more men than women while attending industry events, yet is not intimated. She said “it empowers me knowing that I can hold my own with everyone else due to the confidence I have in what I know.”

The Creating IT Futures Foundation, EMERGE Community Development, Mayor Betsy Hodges and the City of Minneapolis offered the free, women-only class of the Foundation’s IT-Ready career program as part of the Minneapolis TechHire initiative. IT-Ready trains and certifies information technology workers and helps place them into their first paid IT role. To close the workforce skills gap in the high-tech economy, the TechHire initiative enables diverse workers to access training, support, and tech jobs across the greater Minneapolis region.

Hammervik described misconceptions about entry-level positions and reminisced about her first paid IT role. She said “an entry-level position is a pretty good place to be because it’s a great way for you to interact, build relationships, and prove yourself.”

She went on to talk about the fears she had going to her boss and asking for a promotion from her entry-level role since she was a woman in technology. She stressed that all employees should “keep stock of your own accomplishments and successes because the best representative you have for yourself is yourself.”

Building off this, Hammervik congratulated the class on making the decision to join the program, noting how much it reflected the character of each woman. “You are all pioneers by making the challenging, yet lucrative decision, to join the first ever women-only IT-Ready class,” she said. “Information technology has less gender pay gap than any other industry, as dollar for dollar, women make are 97 percent of the average male salary while other industries are at 60 percent.”

Hammervik advised the women to find a mentor that inspires them and made a shameless, yet highly beneficial plug to join the CompTIA Advancing Women In IT Community, which empowers women with the knowledge and skills necessary to help their pursuit of successful IT careers.

Tom Liszka is Manager, Social and Digital Media, at the Creating IT Futures Foundation.