Noelle Johnson, My Interview Buddy - CEO, Johnson Squared Consulting, Co-founder and Learning and Development Partner
How did you start your career in technology?
I started working in tech at CompTIA as an administrative assistant in the Public Sector arm of the organization. I had a background in operations and was so excited to apply that to this role. It gave me an opportunity to be in the room with leaders of some of the largest tech companies in the world and learn about how technology and the public sector come together.
What is your guidance for girls and women looking at technology as a career?
You are WANTED! I have worked in career services and diversity recruiting for some time and over and over I am hearing how badly companies are looking for women in STEM roles. Even if you start from scratch you can grow in your career quickly. We are miles away from the “IT pros in the basement” days. While there is still work to be done, there is great job security and companies dedicated to getting it right in making women in tech feel as valuable as they truly are.
Also, as a woman who has been a Salesforce Administrator and has been responsible for other basic IT support, even if you don’t have a tech background, getting into it is easier than you think. Do some research on roles you may be interested in and have an informational interview with someone who has those roles so they can give you a real deal of what a day in their work-life is like.
What do you think is the biggest misconception about women in technology?
That there is no sense of community and you are on your own. There are incredible organizations, just like this one, to support women in technology. This network can be the lifeline you need to reach out to when you're facing a challenge, troubleshoot with someone, celebrate wins, and learn what new and emerging technologies are coming to the surface.
If you could be mentored by any woman in technology who would it be and why?
Maria Santos, Executive Officer of the Office of the Chief Scientist, NASA Headquarters. Maria’s background is so amazing, but her career journey in HR and shifting into technology, and leading on a DEI ERG group is parallel to my passions. I would love to pick her brain and see how she balances her passions and what she is doing next.
What questions do you have for the AWIT Town Hall in January?
What would you suggest to women who are not sure certain if a company values diversity? How can they make sure that they are walking into a psychologically safe department?
What is your prediction for women in technology in 2021?
I think that last year companies were really starting to understand the dynamics of working parents/guardians and caretakers. I see more of an effort to help support women who are balancing taking care of children or loved ones and their jobs.