Be Brave, Not Perfect!

On Wednesdays, Supply Chain Nation will shine a light on the role of women in the world of technology and supply chain. We will feature interviews with successful women at JDA, talk to some amazing women who also happen to be our customers, share perspectives from JDA associates and more! Today, JDA’s Jamey Miller, VP of Operations, Consulting Services, writes about how a TED Talk gave him a new perspective on girls and women in technology.

We’ve all been in in situations where our personal and work lives come together in some way.  This happened to me when I watched a TED Talk titled Teach girls bravery, not perfection.  In this talk Reshma Saujani, the founder of Girls Who Code, speaks about the societal pressures placed on girls at a young age to be perfect, resulting in a mentality of “perfection or bust.”  As a father of a 11-year-old daughter, I saw this surface during a parent-teacher conference where we discussed my daughter’s reluctance to speak up and ask questions during math because she was afraid of being wrong.  To be honest, I was disappointed in myself for not doing a better job of making my daughter more comfortable with imperfection and discussing how making mistakes are part of the learning process.  Let’s just say that since this new learning, I’ve made it a point to have an open dialogue with my daughter on this topic.

 

Jamey and daughter, who is not afraid to be brave!

 

I also observed this when I led a software development team at a past job, where less than 10% of my team were women; there were even less than that being interviewed by me and my team as part of the recruiting process.  I understand gender diversity within the technology industry is a pervasive issue that requires a broader coordinated effort; however, Reshma references a specific example from an HP report regarding the likelihood of men compared to women to apply for open positions.  She said that men will apply for a position if they meet 60% of the qualifications outlined in the job, where women will only apply if they meet 100% of the requirements.  This was eye opening, and I again found myself disappointed that I wasn’t more aware of this issue.  However, like my experience with my daughter, I have since used this newfound learning to examine my approach in actively recruiting women within technology to drive different outcomes.

JDA also shares my passion for creating greater awareness and is committed to building a diverse workforce—including supporting women in technology—which is one of the reasons why JDA is a great place to work.

Interested?  Read more of our Wednesdays for Women blog posts.

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