IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems Edition - September 2012 - (Page S14)

The IT is right where IBM’s Zarina Stanford wants to be BY EVELYN HOOVER arina Stanford’s path to an ITrelated career began with her first post-college job. After graduating from the University of Texas with a degree in journalism, she landed a technical writing and sales support role in the telecom industry. With the convergence of the telecom and IT industries, Stanford found she was intrigued and energized by technology in her early career and hasn’t looked back since. As IBM vice president of marketing, Power Systems*, Stanford finds a perfect medium where business and technology blend seamlessly. Z Q. What do you like most about a technology-related career? A. First I’d say the notion of continuous Evelyn Hoover is executive editor of IBM Systems Magazine. 14 SEPTEMBER 2012 WOMEN IN TECHNOLOGY PHOTO BY BOB MARTUS Q. How did your IT-related career come about? A. My first job right after college was as a technical and proposal writer. I never thought that this first job in my career would immediately get into technology, but that’s how it happened. Before joining IBM, I spent 15 years in the telecommunications field selling technology and solutions in the roles of sales engineer and architect. I learned on the job, as IS/IT degrees were not prominent at that time. My journalism background taught me the inquisitive skills needed to learn in-depth concepts like pulse code modulation, time division multiplexing and eventually IPbased telephony. improvement and progress. We have all witnessed technology having the steepest curves in advancement; for example, Watson, a computer system leveraging technology similar to what a human would do. That’s progress, that’s innovation and technology is at the center of it. The second thing that excites me about technology is it’s cognitive, logical and easily understood thinking. It’s very rational. Third, we can’t do without technology. We live in a world of technologies–the way we communicate; the way we process things. It is also at the heart of IBM’s vision for a Smarter Planet*. nology, engineering and math (STEM). It is a self-fulfilling prophecy if we let that notion continue. Q. What challenges have you encountered being a woman in your chosen field? A. You know, that’s a really good question. The only real challenge I’ve personally experienced as a woman in this field is being a minority member. Let’s accept the reality that there are more males than females in the technology field—less so today than it was a few years back. What it takes is to be competent and confident on the subject. I remember when I first graduated, I was writing technical proposals describing modulations. I didn’t know anything about modulation but when the engineers sat me down, I was able to quickly absorb that concept. It is just simple math and science. We need to beat the general notion that girls don’t want to focus on science, tech- Q. Do you have any thoughts on why girls have that notion? A. This is a strong philosophical debate. I personally believe that it’s not because of how they’re wired. It’s during the first formative years. We give dolls to the baby girls and give airplanes to the boys. A doll is a distinctive departure from an airplane or car. Therefore as parents, mentors and advisors, we—in particular women in technology—need to extend ourselves and serve as role models to encourage the exposure of STEM education and of diversity. Q. What advice would you give to girls considering IT-related careers? A. I would tell them two things: First, think of what is possible; second, understand what’s underneath what’s possible, using analytic skills and reasoning skills. That, to me, is not just a school program; it’s not just a school discipline; it’s a life skill.

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems Edition - September 2012

IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems - September 2012
Editor's Desk: It's the Economy, Genius
IBM Perspective: Myths and Truths About Cost
Dashboard: Big Bang to Big Data; A Wooden Light Bulb?; CEOs Going Social; Bubble 'Bots
Insider: Virtualization Blends the Best of Disk and Tape
Case Study: Mobile Defender: Jacksonville Public Defender's Office better serves clients with document imaging and mobile access
Cover Story: A Pivotal Position: CFOs link up with CIOs to move business forward
Feature: A New Lease on Your Business Life: Analyst Cal Braunstein offers economic perspective and advice
Focus on Storage: Store More Data With New Real-time Compression Technology
Next: Biometric Identifiers Will Soon Allow CIOs to Worry Less About Authentication Issues
FYI: Hot, Warm and Cold Data Find a Home With Storage Groups
Solutions: SafeNet/i; STORServer Backup Appliance; Robot/SCHEDULE Enterprise; SignHere 1.3.3; Double-Take for AIX 4.0; Presto 4; ARCAD 8.15; Compleo Designer; JD Edwards World A9.3; Change Tracker
Advertisers Index
Snapshot: Enselman Books Through Application Modernization
Reference Point - Global Events, Education, Resources for Power Systems
Women in Technology
Publisher's Letter: Leaders in Technology
CIO Jeanette Horan steers Big Blue into newly charted waters
FIDM's Roxanne Reynolds-Lair explains what makes her tick
IT is right where IBM's Zarina Stanford wants to be
Technology runs in the blood of zNextGener Kristine Harper
Susan Gantner works magic as a programmer and educator
Kirsten Craft enjoys taking on the challenges that come with an IT position
On the Move: These women have also pursued notable IT careers
2012 Power Systems Buyer's Guide Index

IBM Systems Magazine, Power Systems Edition - September 2012