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ISACA Celebrates Volunteer Participation

Melissa SwartzIt’s my favorite week of the year at ISACA – Volunteer Appreciation Week. It is a time when we all reflect on the important and impactful contributions members of our professional community have selflessly made to advance our organization and our industry. It is also a time to invite those who have not yet joined our volunteer corps to participate in ways that align with their interests and availability.

In this, ISACA’s 50th year, we acknowledge all the volunteer leaders who have established and run the organization as national and then international leaders, expanding our business lines and knowledge base, and responding to an ever-changing landscape of technology and technology governance. Have you visited ISACA’s 50th anniversary webpage? The volunteer 50th Anniversary Advisory Panel and ISACA’s Strategic Communications team have created an array of resources to celebrate the anniversary and invite you to get involved, too.

Did you know that nearly 3,000 chapter leaders serve members locally by organizing networking and professional development activities? Or that in 2018 nearly 1,300 volunteer roles were filled in international working groups and task forces, and by independent contributors?

Without the time and expertise shared by these dedicated volunteers, game-changing ISACA products and initiatives such as our certifications and conferences, the CSX platform, COBIT 2019, the Awards Program, SheLeadsTech, and so much more would not have been possible in the past 50 years. ISACA hears the needs of the membership, engages diverse thought leaders, and creates solutions to help bring these services to fruition.

Why do our volunteers do it? So often we hear that ISACA has helped people advance along their own career path, and they want to return the favor and help someone else. That altruistic attitude, passion for their profession, and interest in service not only exemplifies ISACA’s values but also helps to fulfill our purpose and promise. Of course, there are intangible benefits, too – things like developing leadership skills, expanding your global network, continuing your education and, of course, obtaining some free CPEs, which are all excellent benefits. Whatever drives you to give back, we welcome your participation and will help you achieve your goals.

Over the years, the volunteer program has evolved with the organization. We know that personal and professional commitments make time a scarce resource, so ISACA’s flexible engagement model seeks to align with your interests and availability. We heard that volunteers wanted shorter time commitments, more targeted and impactful contributions, and a way to track their participation. Therefore, ISACA is thrilled to launch a new volunteer engagement portal through Engage, which also houses our online discussion forums and other networking tools. Log in, update your volunteer profile, and check out the volunteer opportunities that need your help!

As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, “Everybody can be great because everybody can serve.” We thank and appreciate our great volunteers of the past and present and invite everyone to continue to serve ISACA as we look to the future. Happy ISACA Volunteer Appreciation Week!

View The National Volunteer Week Infographic >>

Editor’s note: To learn more about volunteering at ISACA, log into Engage. To help ISACA recognize outstanding volunteer leaders in international and chapter roles, submit an ISACA Award nomination by 15 August.

Global Passion for ISACA Comes Through Loud and Clear

David SamuelsonAs I begin my time as ISACA’s new chief executive officer, having just completed my first week in the role, one thing continues to impress me – the passion our professional community feels for ISACA. It is immediately apparent how meaningful ISACA is to our individual members’ careers, as well as to the organizations we serve in IT audit, governance, risk and security.

Since my appointment was announced, I have received a steady stream of well-wishes from ISACA fans around the world, a great example of how swiftly technology connects us. I find this encouragement energizing, but perhaps more importantly, the outpouring illustrates the enthusiasm of our robust network of members, chapters, volunteers and professional staff. The solidity of this foundation – the people of ISACA – bodes so well for our future as we continue to build upon ISACA’s 50 years of important contributions to the standards, credentials and training that benefit technology practitioners and organizations globally.

ISACA is essentially a learning organization, and I have spent my career leveraging technology as a catalyst to help people learn, grow and succeed through education. Providing excellent, modern learning opportunities empowers people to unlock their potential in a way that can be transformative on both a personal and a professional level. I love that we help people prosper in reaching their goals through ISACA’s educational and community resources. In today’s digitally transformed landscape, it is essential that ISACA create professional learning communities and programs in an increasing array of formats, both electronic and in-person. I hope that individuals and organizations can engage with ISACA in ways that best meets their needs, as we evolve into the professional learning network that everyone in our fields aspires to join.

I have a 2-year-old grandson (also named David) who constantly comes to mind as I think about the future and the world he will live in. Our purpose – to help people and organizations realize the positive potential of technology – has such profound relevance. Even now, we depend heavily on technology in both our personal and professional worlds, but for future generations the need to boldly yet responsibly integrate technology into our lives will only become more important. We need to provide the support, credentials and services that will help our professional community lead the way forward.

I am grateful for the tremendous contributions of the volunteers, staff and leadership from ISACA’s past 50 years that have situated this organization so favorably going forward. It is a privilege to come aboard at such a key inflection point in ISACA’s history as we honor our past and look ahead. A global and connected future will drive even more demand for effective and secure technology deployment – a core area of expertise for ISACA – positioning us perfectly for accelerated growth and impact in our increasingly digital (and digitally vulnerable) world. I’m reminded of the most encouraging moments of one of my favorite hobbies, sailing, as I can clearly see the wind is in our sails as we navigate forward into exciting new waters.

There is so much I look forward to as I begin this journey, but at the top of the list is the opportunity to meet and connect with you – the ISACA community – whether in person or digitally. As I strive to learn everything there is to know about our organization, I will be doing a lot of listening, and will value your honest observations about how ISACA can become the thought leader for our sector’s future.

Already, though, your passion for ISACA has come through loud and clear – and that is a terrific place to start.

Happy 50th to the Organization That Keeps Me Ahead of the Curve

R.V. RaghuRecently, I celebrated a birthday (no, I am not going to tell you which birthday), and my 6-year-old niece who called to wish me a happy birthday asked me if I was wise now. Considering her usual propensity to ask intriguing and seemingly irreverent questions, this was not unusual, but it prompted a line of thinking as to what makes us wise and when we become wise. Of course in the midst of this heavy pondering, work and life intervened, and the original question was pushed to the backburner, though not forgotten.

Questions are the bread and butter of my life considering I spend my waking hours as an auditor, and asking the right questions can go a long way toward making a good auditor. Of course, occasionally auditors do get asked questions, and this is what happened a few days ago when someone asked me a seemingly innocuous question but with deep implications, especially for someone in my profession. The question was simply this: “What does the future of audit look like?” Now, this might not seem earth-shattering on the surface, especially considering that we do not spend time on such topics in the usual course of things, for a host of reasons, including there is nothing much we can do about the future, and the future does not pay the bills today. But, like any good auditor, I did not let go of the question. It might have started out on the backburner, but it moved to the top of the list soon enough.

There is an old saying that the idle mind is the devil’s workshop, and this probably needs to get updated to reflect that an idle mind with access to a search engine is the devil’s forge, because one day recently I found myself with some time to kill and decided to go back to the question on the top of my list regarding the future of audit. In my personal context, I paraphrased to “What is the future of IT audit?” because, more often than not, I am involved in IT audits. So, I did what anyone with access to the internet would do, and I asked the internet what the future of IT audit would look like. Much to my glee, one of the top links led to an ISACA report titled The Future of IT Audit, which explored various advances one could expect, especially touching upon key skills shortages and the implications that emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc., might have in the field of audit and especially to auditors.

As I went through the report, I was kicking myself that I had not thought in the first place that I could find some of the answers by simply going to the ISACA website. I have been an ISACA member for more than 15 years, and if there is one thing of which I am sure, it is that ISACA more often than not has helped me stay ahead of the curve. Reports such as the Future of IT Audit and the Digital Transformation Barometer (a personal favorite) are testimony to this. In my 15-plus years of being an ISACA member, this has been reinforced to me many times, especially as I carried out audits and wanted access to resources such as audit and assurance programs or the COBIT framework, just to mention a few. This might seem like a plug for ISACA, but in all honesty, ISACA has been a key part of my life these past 15 years, and as ISACA celebrates 50 years of existence, I feel fortunate to be a part of this organization.

Having some free time also means that one is able to indulge in time travel, meaning that I went back to my first-ever meeting among ISACA volunteers here in Bangalore, India, where I live. I remember the passion and commitment these volunteers brought to the room and how they ran what was called an introductory program – in short, talking to a room of about 100 people about ISACA and the various certifications ISACA offered, especially CISA, which I was interested in. I am now a CISA and CRISC, and the rest, as they say, is history. In its 50th year, ISACA is going strong with around 450,000 engaged professionals and 221 chapters in 180 countries. As with the stock market, while past performance may not be an indicator of future performance, I am sure that the strong foundation that has helped ISACA thus far will continue to enable ISACA to stand the test of time, remain relevant and deliver value over the next 50 years. Being relevant and continuing to deliver value are the two fundamental tenets, in my view, that will determine the future for ISACA and its continued success.

While I am not sure how things will take shape in the future, I am sure that some of the foundational elements that have enabled ISACA to rise to this stature will continue to be important in the future. Of primary importance, of course, is the volunteer spirit that was responsible for bringing the founders together in 1969 to form what was then known as the Electronic Data Processing Auditors Association (EDPAA), because everywhere within the ISACA ecosystem, the volunteering spirit is what brings people together and keeps them together as chapters, regions and as ISACA in the big picture. Second is the trust that ISACA builds by way of everything that is does. ISACA’s Purpose and Promise calls for working to ensure that society at large continues to be able to use technology for the betterment of humanity as a whole.

Now, what does this mean to you, to me, and to us, one might ask? I think it means that each of us needs to take it upon ourselves to spread the message to take ISACA to the next generation (which is likely what happened to you when someone introduced you to ISACA in their own way). It also means that we need to give back and contribute in whatever way possible, be it by adding to the knowledge base or volunteering at whatever level possible (chapter, local, regional or global), so that the next time you have a child like my niece ask you if you are wise, you are probably able to answer in some way. In my view, wisdom comes from being able to take the insight from hindsight (yours or someone else’s) and foresight (from those who are better than you), and in being able to apply that to your situation. While this may seem difficult, it is made easier by being part of something larger than yourself and simply following the path others have blazed, and also making sure that the path can be shared with others who might benefit from it.

As ISACA celebrates its 50th birthday, it is time to ponder what the future could look like. Each and every one of us has a say in how the organization can take shape and continue to remain a thriving global association, not only to the professions and professionals it serves, but also to remain relevant in the bigger picture of society.

Happy 50th birthday, ISACA!

North America CACS Keynoter Sekou Andrews: Technology Pros Should Be Storytellers, Too

Sekou AndrewsEditor’s note: Sekou Andrews, a prominent poetic voice performer who blends inspirational speaking and spoken word poetry, will be the closing keynote speaker at ISACA’s 2019 North America CACS conference, to take place 13-15 May in Anaheim, California, USA. Andrews recently visited with ISACA Now, discussing why technology practitioners should also consider themselves to be storytellers and how changes on the technology landscape will lead to “a rediscovery of what it means to be human.” For more of Andrews’ insights on these and other topics, listen to his recent appearance on the ISACA Podcast.

ISACA Now: You’ve performed for a range of luminaries – Barack Obama, Quincy Jones, Maya Angelou, to name a few. What has been your favorite performance of all time, and why?
There are so many favorites for different reasons. There are my favorites because of the amazing audience energy. Favorites because of the impact I made on people. Favorites because of the sheer magnitude of the event. And favorites because of how proud I was of the work I delivered. But if we’re talking events with luminaries, then it would have to be performing for Dr. Maya Angelou and Oprah Winfrey. Norman Lear brought my creative partner, Steve Connell, and I to the event as his gift of poetry to Maya Angelou (no pressure.) Three minutes into my performance, Maya was shouting “Yes!” and stomping her cane in excitement. Directly behind her was Oprah, squeezing the hands of the gentlemen to her left and right, and leaning forward with tears streaming down her cheeks. At the end, Maya jumped up (without her cane) shouting our last line of the poem with us and rushed over to hug us. Oprah came over, held my face in her hands, and whispered through tears, “Thank you.” And I thought, “OK, if there is ever an ‘I can die now’ moment … this is it.”

ISACA Now: When did you first realize you had a gift when it comes to spoken word poetry?
I can’t say there was one single moment when I first realized I had a gift with spoken word, but there is definitely a notable moment, early in my career, that stands out. It was the night three days after quitting my job as a school teacher, when I did my first CD release show as a full-time poet. I stepped out onto the street after my set, surrounded by fans, and I made my rent in CD sales that night. And, standing alone in the street later that night, I thought to myself, “Wow. I can do this.” A few weeks later, I won the National Poetry Slam championship, becoming the number one slam poet in the nation, and my career has not stopped growing since.

ISACA Now: Technical practitioners sometimes struggle to translate their knowledge into effective communication with business leaders. For those with that challenge, what is the best starting point to become more comfortable sharing their expertise?
Tell stories! Tell stories! Tell stories. When you think of yourself as a technical practitioner, you assign your greatest value to the data and information you deliver, which often doesn’t move or engage listeners. But when you step out of that version of yourself, and allow yourself to do the thing you’ve been doing naturally and effortlessly since you were a child – telling stories – you engage people on a human level and you get people invested in what you have to say to them, which is the exact state you want them in when you circle back to the technical information and data. At that point, they are wide open, connected to you, and welcoming of what you have to say. So, stop telling yourself you are not a storyteller. You’re lying to yourself. Instead, start working on giving yourself permission to tell strategic stories in business settings. You’ll be amazed at how effective it is toward meeting your business goals.

ISACA Now: What are the most intriguing aspects of working with some of the big brands for which you have shared your insights?
I think the most intriguing aspect of working with big brands is discovering how similar their struggles, hopes, challenges and needs are to everyone else’s. Not only are they all grappling with the same challenges as each other, but they're grappling with the same challenges as we tiny brands. I realized a few years ago that I was going out and inspiring the world’s leading brands, but I wasn’t doing the same for my own company. So, I made the commitment to apply the inspiration to my team as well. When I did, I realized I didn’t have to change the messages much at all. I could take the same speeches and presentations, tweak them slightly and share that content with my team, and not only did it apply to us, but it inspired my little team as much as it did the audiences of 10,000 and 15,000 at the Microsofts, Intuits and Toyotas of the world. At the end of the day, when you make it a point to never speak to people like they’re business cards, then you are always talking to real people. Whether it's in marketing, sales or HR, whether it's B2B or B2C, they're customers or partners. Real people are the same beneath departments, and functions, and brand, race, gender, religion, etc. So, that’s how I approach every listener, no matter how big or small the brand. Human first.

ISACA Now: ISACA’s 50th anniversary will be celebrated at North America CACS – which aspects of technology in the next 50 years do you think will be most exciting for society?
Well, I have to say that AI is pretty high on my list. Assuming we don’t launch Skynet, society is going to be impacted by AI in some radical and exciting ways. But, I’m also excited to see how exponential technologies like AI, machine learning and robotics force us to unearth the things about us that are most human. As technology continues to disrupt industries and replace jobs, I think we’re going to go through a rediscovery of what it means to be human and how to make our humanity our greatest asset. I think this will redefine certain industries like customer service and sales, shifting the value of people power from things like speed and efficiency to things like connection and relationship. So, how the dance between high tech and high touch will play out is very exciting to me.

Technology a Key Driver in UN Conclusions

Jo Stewart RattrayIt’s a wrap.

At approximately 7.30 p.m. in New York City on Friday night, the final gavel fell on the negotiations at the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women at United Nations headquarters. The negotiations around the session’s theme of social protection systems, access to public services and the needed infrastructure to advance gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls were long and difficult. Reaching agreement on a road-map for the next six years and having all 193 member-states agree to each and every paragraph is huge!

ISACA’s SheLeadsTech program worked closely with the Australian National Rural Women’s Coalition (NRWC) and the Australian Government Delegation to ensure that our constituents’ requirements were not lost during the negotiations. Access to reliable, inexpensive and consistent technology infrastructure can assist in keeping women and girls safe, provide them with access to educational opportunities, and connect women entrepreneurs with access to global markets, leading to financial empowerment. We fought hard to ensure the right language was adopted into the road-map so that member-states can be kept accountable to these provisions. Notably, in the final agreed conclusions, there were no less than 14 inclusions related to technology.

Having left New York at the end of week one, the SheLeadsTech team was able to continue to be part of the negotiations remotely through the auspices of the Australian NGO contingent, which remained on the ground at UN headquarters, and of course through the prudent use of technology – even from my rural home in Australia.

For this inclusion in such an important achievement, we must thank the NRWC, which has become a much-valued part of the SheLeadsTech global coalition.

Editor’s note: For more background on SheLeadsTech’s involvement at the 63rd session of the Commission on the Status of Women, read this blog post by Jo Stewart-Rattray.

SheLeadsTech Returns to United Nations

SheLeadsTech was back this week at the United Nations for the 63rd Session of the Commission on the Status of Women to continue the critically important work of empowering women and girls by providing access to social protection and appropriate infrastructure, including technology infrastructure. This annual meeting attracts delegations from each of the UN’s member-states and up to 4,000 civil society representatives.


There are a range of events and presentations that take place in parallel to the main business of the Commission, which is to agree a set of conclusions that will form the roadmap for all 193 member-states in relation to the theme of the session. Winning the right to run such an event is highly competitive and not all proposals are accepted, but ours was! We were very excited and just a little nervous.


SheLeadsTech proposed a panel discussion, "Building a Global Alliance to Empower Women through SheLeadsTech.” Our panelists were chosen because they were either working in collaboration with SheLeadsTech or are experts in creating coalitions or alliances. Even though our session was scheduled at 8.30 a.m. Wednesday after a big reception the night before, we need not have been concerned ... we ended up with a full house and our panel discussion was very well-received.


While the women’s leadership space seems like a crowded space, that just means that there are more voices, and more voices means that we can elevate those voices outside our traditional community. In order to be heard you need to first listen, and you need to be authentic and believe in what you say. The panel (pictured with this post) provided another important platform for those voices to be heard.


In addition, we have been involved in ensuring that the requirements of our global constituents are not lost during the negotiation process and will be enshrined in the final roadmap to move the member states toward greater equity and empowerment for women and girls.


Editor’s note: Find out more about SheLeadsTech’s involvement in the Commission on the Status of Women last year in this blog post.

North America CACS Keynoter Guy Kawasaki Sizes Up Innovation, Entrepreneurship

Guy KawasakiEditor’s note: Guy Kawasaki, a Silicon Valley-based author, speaker, entrepreneur and evangelist, will be the opening keynoter at ISACA’s 2019 North America CACS conference, to take place 13-15 May in Anaheim, California, USA. Kawasaki recently visited with ISACA Now to discuss some of the themes he will explore at North America CACS, including innovation and entrepreneurship. The following is an edited transcript. For more of Kawasaki’s insights, listen to his recent interview on the ISACA Podcast.

ISACA Now: At North America CACS, ISACA will be celebrating its 50th anniversary. Of all the technology-driven changes during that time, which do you consider to be the one that will have the longest-lasting impact?
It’s an all-encompassing change, but the internet by far will have the longest-lasting impact. And not all of the impact may be positive.

ISACA Now: How can practitioners be evangelists in their own right in support of innovation at their enterprises?
It would take a book to answer this question (which I have written). But the gist is that your innovation has to be “good news” that improves the life of your customers. It’s easy to evangelize good stuff. It’s hard to evangelize crap. Then you have to believe it’s good news and develop the skill set to do great demos to show, as opposed to tell, people why it’s good news.

ISACA Now: Which aspects of successful entrepreneurship tend to be most misunderstood?
That it’s fast, fun and easy. Entrepreneurship is slow, painful, and hard – and that’s if you succeed. Also, people vastly underestimate the role of luck and overestimate the impact of their skills.

ISACA Now: Your career has included time with Goliaths such as Apple and Google – what lessons from enterprises of that size are most applicable to smaller and medium-size businesses?
The lessons that Goliaths can teach are:

  1. Anything is possible. Two guys/gals in a garage can create the next big thing.
  2. Engineering counts more than marketing. We’re not talking about selling sugared water here.
  3. Trees don’t grow to the sky. Every company hits a wall or two. What matters is what you do after you hit the wall.

ISACA Now: What should organizations focus on to make sure they are bringing in leaders with the right skills for today’s fast-evolving business landscape?
Organizations should add a third parameter to what makes a good candidate. The first two are always work experience and educational background. I would make the case that a love of what the company does is just as important. Honestly, I’d rather have a candidate with imperfect experience and background who loves the product than a perfect candidate who “doesn't get it.”

New Cybersecurity Pilot Program to Expand Career Pathways for Women in Chicago

Women in the Chicago area who are interested in exploring a career path in cybersecurity, particularly those who are underrepresented in the field, will now have the opportunity to join a pilot program launched last week by ISACA, along with AnitaB.org and the City Tech Collaborative.

At an event announcing the pilot program last week at The Connectory in Chicago, ISACA’s Tara Wisniewski, senior vice president, global affairs, and Alisha Wenc, manager, corporate programs, shared details about the pilot that will test the impact of free cybersecurity training on the workforce outcomes for women entering tech, alongside AnitaB.org, City Tech and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

Emanuel praised the launch of this program, speaking about the ongoing need for a strong cybersecurity workforce and for underrepresented groups to be reflected in this talent. “This program will provide endless opportunities—there are no limits,” he said. “It doesn’t require four years. It doesn’t require six years. It doesn’t require a Ph.D. In six weeks, we can get people part of a digital economy who, for a whole host of reasons, would have been cut out.”

With weekend classes, industry partnerships, and mentorship opportunities, the pilot program is designed to be accessible, holistic, and supportive for participants. It will leverage ISACA’s CSX Training Platform and last eight weeks. Students will also be exposed to job skills, mentorship opportunities, and role models to help accelerate their careers.

During the Q&A, Wenc emphasized that the goal is to extend support for trainees beyond the training period of the program, noting that they welcome hearing from organizations that are interested in offering internship or employment opportunities.

The Cybersecurity training pilot was spurred by a $60,000 grant from City Tech’s Connect Chicago Innovation Program, which is a fund supporting bringing collaborative new ideas to life that ultimately increase tech access, skills and engagement in Chicago.

“The structural and cultural issues causing the gender imbalance in the tech industry are incompatible with the very values the industry espouses—innovation, creativity and diversity of thought,” said Wisniewski in her remarks. “Together, the organizations here today are committed to fixing that imbalance and restoring those values.”

To learn more, read the full press release here:  www.isaca.org/About-ISACA/Press-room/News-Releases/2019/Pages/city-tech-launches-new-cybersecurity-training-pilot-for-women-in-chicago-alongside-key-partners.aspx.

Those who are interested in applying for the pilot or in getting involved can visit https://community.anitab.org/event/anitab-org-chicago-isaca-cyber-security-training-program/.

ISACA Anniversary Celebration – and Social Media Campaign – Are Underway

ISACA’s yearlong 50th anniversary celebration is underway around the globe, and one of the best ways to be part of the global celebration is through social media.

ISACA members are encouraged to visit www.ISACA50.org, click on “Participate,” and then follow the brief instructions to join the social media campaign, wherever you are in the world, using #ISACA50.

Here are a few examples of the #ISACA50 social posts that have been streaming in from around the globe:

Phil Zongo celebrates in Sydney, Australia.

Members of the Belgrade Chapter celebrate ISACA’s 50th anniversary together.
Laszlo Dellei celebrates in Budapest, Hungary.

The Guru family celebrates in Chicago, USA.

For more content related to ISACA’s 50th anniversary, including a story gallery, listing of anniversary-related events in 2019 and a timeline highlighting ISACA’s history, visit www.ISACA50.org.

How Tech Roles Provide Women Great Career Paths

JJ DiGeronimoI am often asked by women young and old, “Were you intimidated by technology or afraid to start your first job in tech?”

The answer: YES!! My internal concerns swirled around my head, increasing my fear and anxiety:
   • Am I good enough?
   • Can I do the work?
   • What if I fail?

All of these fears and more crossed my mind. Like many first times, it may be intimidating from the peripheral but once inside the world of tech, it is more about making connections, solving business problems, and creating opportunities.

Although these thoughts often appear, I have learned not to let them get the best of me, in large part thanks to my Mindfulness Teacher. In my Mindful Actions to Manage Career Fears article that I wrote for Thrive Global, I address some examples of things you can do to overcome these types of fears.

What I have learned along the way in my journey, and in the journeys of other impactful professionals, is also what I share in books and keynotes across the country to help make the journey easier for others. I believe a career in tech is not only fantastic, it is also an amazing opportunity to make a difference while experiencing a plethora of career paths.

Some things to think about as you look to advance your career or start a new initiative:

We need you. Tech and related fields are growing, which is likely no surprise! Talented professionals like yourself could have opportunities to step up or, in this case, step into roles for which you may not be 100 percent ready. Emerging solutions and new technologies such as IoT, big data, cloud and blockchain companies are looking for people that can jump in and learn, provide ideas and solve problems. Even if you are only 60 percent qualified, I encourage you to apply, as many companies are eager to train talented professionals to fill their positions.

Your viewpoint is valuable. All companies and teams can benefit from diverse thought, so even if you are unsure about speaking up, consider sharing your ideas, opinions or experiences. Many of us wait until it is too late or until others provide similar suggestions.

Align your champions. There will be times you may feel unsure or even unqualified, as many people do, which is why there are so many articles on self-doubt or impostor syndrome. I encourage you to take the time to build your network and advisory board (see article, The One Thing in Business Women Need to Succeed) to keep you focused and motivated. One type of professional that has been instrumental in guiding and encouraging me in my career is my sponsor. Sponsors often provide great insight and may even leverage their networks to help you advance to the next level.

Take the leap. I could list several more tips and strategies that I have included on www.TechSavvyWomen.net, but if you take away nothing else, I encourage you to leap! I am sure you will find things that excite and scare you, but I say leap anyway. I have learned that it is possible to create the momentum you need to foster a career that excites and motivates!

About the author: JJ DiGeronimo, the President of Tech Savvy Women, authored Accelerate Your Impact and The Working Woman’s GPS to retain, develop and advance diverse talent in STEM-based organizations. JJ has been quoted in numerous publications, including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and Fox Business. For more of her insights on the topic, listen to her recent interview on the ISACA Podcast.

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