Home M3AAWG DM3Z Blog Lucy Sanders, CEO and Co-Founder of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), Speaks with M3AAWG about Sharpening Inclusive Leadership Skills

Author: Janet Jones, M3AAWG Board of Directors Vice Chair; Diversity and Inclusion Chair; and Data and Identity Protection Committee Co-Chair

 

Supporting the development of inclusive leaders and diverse teams is a priority at M3AAWG. Our mission has long been to work together to solve complex cybersecurity anti-abuse challenges, sothe participation from our diverse body of members to reflect the broadest range of experiences is critical to our overall success. 

In 2019 M3AAWG members viewed an advanced screening of Pioneers in Skirts, a film that examines gender parity in the workplace. This helped open a dialogue about diversity and inclusion among our employees and association members, and help us better understand how embracing diversity can strengthen our collective work.

Earlier this year M3AAWG became a member of the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT), a non-profit community that convenes, equips, and unites change leader organizations to increase the influential and meaningful participation of girls and women — at the intersections of race, ethnicity, class, age, sexual orientation, and disability status — in the field of computing. 

We are looking forward to partnering with NCWIT on diversity and inclusion initiatives in the future and were honored to have Lucy Sanders, CEO and co-founder of NCWIT, open M3AAWG’s 48th General Meeting in February. In her keynote, Lucy covered best practices that technology leaders should adopt to support inclusion and create more creative, innovative workplaces to accelerate innovation. 

Citing research from social scientist Scott Page, Lucy explored why diverse teams, when properly led, often solve complex problems faster and arrive at better solutions than less diverse teams. She also spurred important dialog among M3AAWG members around how we can be alert to and reduce biases in the workplace and develop inclusive leaders who create cultures in which people can contribute their best work. 

We sat down with Lucy, a lifelong student of leadership, in San Francisco to learn more about what it means to be an inclusive leader in today’s workforce. We also discussed strategies that leaders can use to embrace inclusivity. 

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Why don’t we start with an overview of your background, your current role and where your passion for leadership originates from? Tell us a little bit about the National Center for Women & Information Technology (NCWIT).

The underrepresentation of a range of populations is a massive issue in technical fields. What kinds of work is NCWIT leading to solve this problem?

Why do diverse teams have the potential to solve complex problems faster? And for a leader looking to sharpen inclusive leadership skills to build and better manage a more diverse team, where should they start?

If you had to offer one piece of advice to a professional operating in M3AAWG’s interest groups who wants to develop inclusive leadership skills this year, what would you say?

The views expressed in DM3Z are those of the individual authors and do not necessarily reflect M3AAWG policy.