CIO World IWD Series – Women Have A Place In Tech

CIO at Endava

Meet Helena Nimmo, an experienced professional with over two decades of expertise in change and organizational design, product development, data management, and technology transformation. With a passion for technology and leadership, Helena is driven to motivate those around her, recognizing the importance of technology in different aspects of life. As a woman in the tech industry, Helena has navigated through workplace challenges and advocated for greater equality. In this article, Helena shares insights on her journey and offers advice for women looking to succeed in the industry. She also sheds light on how the role of a CIO, traditionally a male-dominated role, has evolved over the years from a woman’s perspective, and how an increasingly digital environment will shape the way technology companies support women in the workplace.

CIO World Asia Spoke with Helena Nimmo, CIO at Endava about women in the technology industry.

Experience in Change and Organizational Design: How It Shapes Perspective on Technology’s Role in Different Aspects of Life

In today’s world, technology has become an indispensable part of both our personal and professional lives. The fast-paced advancements in technology require companies to constantly adapt their organizational structures to keep up. This is particularly important for leaders in the C-suite, whose roles are becoming increasingly complex and cannot be confined to traditional norms. To stay ahead of the curve, it is crucial for leaders to have a comprehensive understanding of the organization as a whole. This includes having knowledge of end-to-end processes that are implemented, which is vital for continuous business transformation.

Overcoming Challenges as a Woman in the Tech Industry

Throughout her career, Helena has faced various gender-related obstacles, including one particularly challenging instance when she returned from maternity leave. Despite her previous role, she was offered a position that was significantly more junior, which made her feel that her company did not believe she could manage the demands of her professional responsibilities while being a mother. However, she refused to accept this impression and worked hard to overcome the setback. This experience taught her a valuable lesson that all career women in the technology industry or other fields should remember – stereotypes and opposing views should never be ignored, and it is essential to focus on proving such biases wrong.

Advocating for Workplace Equality: Strategies and Goals

Despite the significant changes in the technology industry over the years, women remain significantly underrepresented. To address this issue, it is essential for both individuals and teams to take an active role in promoting greater workplace equality. Leaders in senior positions must lead by example and demonstrate that it is possible to achieve their goals regardless of factors such as gender, ethnicity, or social status. Creating a workplace culture that champions equity and inclusivity is the responsibility of every employee, and organizations must take concrete steps to eliminate any biases or barriers that may impact their employees’ success. At Endava, the company is dedicated to building an inclusive workplace culture that supports all employees. The company has implemented a code of conduct that outlines the expectations for all employees and has established a platform where employees can voice their concerns in a safe space. Additionally, Endava established the Endava Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (D&I) Forum in 2021, which brings together employees from diverse backgrounds to drive sustainable organizational inclusion.

The Journey to Becoming a CIO and The Evolution of CIO For Women in The Future

The pandemic has presented significant challenges for the CIO of Endava since assuming the position in 2019. She and her team had to quickly adapt and transition to remote work while maintaining their efficiency. As they anticipate a hybrid workplace as a post-pandemic norm, sustainability and employee collaboration were prioritized to ensure effective contribution and collaboration in a virtual work environment.

Over the past two decades, the role of the CIO has undergone significant changes and will continue to evolve. Previously, the position was highly technical, but it has become increasingly similar to any leadership or C-suite role. In addition to technical expertise, the CIO must have strong leadership skills to motivate and lead their teams while accurately forecasting and addressing a diverse range of business challenges.

In the view of the Endava CIO, women can make significant contributions in areas such as encouraging open business conversations and inspiring teams, which are critical to continuous innovation and progress. The advancement of technology careers presents significant opportunities for women, and this trend is expected to continue as the digital acceleration revolution continues.

Advice to Women Starting Out in The Tech Industry

“For all who are set on having a career in technology, I’d say go for it! More importantly, you need to know what you want to achieve and how you plan on achieving it.” Helena said.

Throughout her career, Helena stressed to her colleagues the importance of being true to oneself. Helena has always been passionate about her work in technology and leadership, and finds motivation in enabling and motivating others both at work and in her personal life. She believes that discovering what sparks passion in oneself is key to achieving success in one’s career. According to Helena, there is no single right way to achieve one’s goals, and one must find their own path.