Breaking through gender barriers in campus tech

UB Tech® 2020 pre-conference preview: Women in Technology

Despite all the talk and action about diversity and inclusion on campuses, many women working in higher education IT find they are—still—among the few women, or the only one, in the room. This is particularly true as they climb the ladder. Women’s representation in higher ed CIO positions has hovered between 21% and 28% for the past decade, points out Amy Diehl, associate vice president and chief information technology officer at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania. But women can break down such barriers to improve their personal work experiences and even change organizational culture.

Diehl, also a researcher on women in leadership and a frequent speaker on bias and other challenges women leaders face, will kick off UB Tech® 2020’s Women in Technology pre-conference on June 15 in Las Vegas. Her keynote talk will cover “Making the Invisible Visible: Recognizing Unconscious Gender Bias in the Workplace.”

Pre-conference attendees, both women and men, will gain an understanding of unconscious bias, learn to recognize gender barriers contributing to bias for women in the workplace, share experiences of bias, and find out strategies for mitigating bias.

Diehl merged the IT department with Institutional Research and Assessment, creating an Office of Educational Intelligence & Technology. She was named one of the 2019 Central Penn Business Journal’s Women of Influence and received the 2016 Outstanding Scholarship for Emerging Scholars Award from the International Leadership Association’s Women and Leadership Affinity Group.

UB Tech’s Women in Technology event will feature the career stories of other higher ed IT leaders as well, including Elizabeth Clark, deputy CIO of Harvard Business School. Clark oversees strategy, planning and governance, and she previously co-chaired the Harvard Women in Technology + Allies group, which she now serves in an advisory role.

In “Agents of Change: Women Reshaping IT, One Story at a Time,” Clark will share her own and other women’s experiences as well as data to explore practical ways women in campus tech are changing conversations around diversity, inclusion, equity and belonging that have been ignited by the #MeToo movement and other social factors. Such efforts can lead campus IT organizations to achieve proportionality and become inclusive and innovative places. Clark describes her message as one of honesty and hope.

Also read: Why mentorship and advocacy are key to women in tech leadership

Other speakers at UB Tech’s morning of Women in Technology will include accomplished women executives at higher ed tech companies and Marilyn Delmont, the administrator and CIO of the Information Development and Processing Division for the Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation. Also an adjunct professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Delmont was previously interim vice chancellor of IT and associate vice chancellor of system computing services at the Nevada System of Higher Education. In addition, her career path includes three years at Minnesota State University, Mankato, as vice president of information services.

To be part of the conversation about women in technology at UB Tech® 2020, register for the conference via

Melissa Ezarik is senior managing editor of UB and co-chair of the Women in Technology event.

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