It is a pleasure to introduce you to SIM
Women - a network inside the Society for Information Management to promote
communication, mentorship, leadership and career development amongst the female
members of SIM. My name is Kristen Lamoreaux and I am the group’s
SIM Women evolved as a result of my
attendance at the 2006 Tri-State CIO Event, where I made a point to speak with
as many female attendees as possible. In dialoging with those ladies, I
discovered that some of the differences between female CIOs and the women who
were direct reports to CIOs consisted of soft skills, mentoring and confidence.
Post-conference, I continued to reach out to women in technology and found
who were direct reports to CIOs clearly stated they would go outside their
company and/or SIM Chapter to ask a woman for help versus asking a male
- Female members of SIM indicated they did not attend regular chapter meetings often because they believed they’d be one of only a few women there.
member companies inside SIM have mentoring programs for IT leadership, yet many
do not have the budget or culture to foster this type of development.
In addition to addressing the items
mentioned above, it’s always been a personal goal of mine to increase the
diversity inside of SIM. I also believe that each individual needs to actively
support the next generation of technology leaders. If we don’t take action, we have no one to
blame but ourselves for the diminishing IT talent pool.
January 2007 we began a phased roll out of SIM Women starting with the New
Jersey, NY Metro and Fairfield-Westchester chapters. We added chapters one by
one over the course of the next two years. As of today, there are over 400 SIM
members active in SIM Women across the US and Canada. We hold monthly webinars
and multiple face-to-face networking events. We bring in executive coaches,
successful female CIOs, and networking gurus to facilitate the calls and
meetings. An Executive Editor from Computerworld mentioned that this was the
first technology conference where she heard, "I love your shoes!” Topics
covered in webinars have included: Internal/External Visibility, Personal
Accountability, Defining Your Personal Success, Internal Networking/Peer
Communication, "Motivate Like a CEO”, Boardroom Bound, and Mentoring
have also several programs active inside SIM Women: "Ladies who Lunch” is
a networking program for those ladies who are more comfortable in smaller
networking groups. "Call a Coach” for those ladies who would like
situational Executive Coaching advice, but whose companies may not provide this
benefit. "1:1 Mentoring” program connects CIOs and IT Leaders with women
who are coming up the IT ranks. Mentoring is a critical success factor in
career advancement because it fosters open communication, increases
self-awareness, and inspires individuals to new levels of achievement. Not
every company has strong leadership development or mentoring programs; SIM
Women looks to fill in those gaps.
Women is a women-based vertical inside the SIM organization, but it is meant to
be inclusive, not divisive. All SIM members can share knowledge, request help
or brainstorm on issues important to them via our events and discussion boards.
Success stories can be shared by all involved. We are not looking to form a
separate organization, but to bring together the men and women of SIM to
leverage our common interests as well as our differences.
welcome the opportunity to discuss SIM Women with you. If you, or women in your
IT organization, would benefit from SIM Women membership, simply contact me for
details. "Women Helping Women” is a long-standing concept. We hope you
will participate in and benefit from SIM Women. We can’t do it without you!
Founder, SIM Women