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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I may as well ask this actually. I've been in the IT industry for around 10 years or so. Specifically the ERP elements of the industry. I have worked in both consultancies, and also in individual companies. I just wanted to know how female IT personnels are seen by male colleagues ?

I noticed that a lot of the time, I get the impression that the females are pushed more towards the Service Desk area, rather than the development, than the implementation side of the projects.

Do you actually prefer female managers, because of their communication skills, and do you prefer sometimes having some female colleagues which makes the communication style different ?

Also, within the realms of the business analysis area, do you prefer a female in this area as there often than not will be conflicts, but a female may strive for that win-win situation ?

An ex-colleague once adviced me that he would probably prefer a female boss. I asked him why and he mentioned that the female boss may think about the working conditions more than the male boss. Is this something that you would consider? I have indeed seen more and more project managers being female, but I was not overly sure if this was ever a good idea.

What are your opinions of females in the various tech positions ? If you do not mind, please be honest with your personal experiences for enlightenment ? Thank you. :happy:
 

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I have never had a female boss but honestly I could care less as long as they are competent. That also goes for coworkers. As of right now I have to deal with a lot of incompetent management and coworkers who make my life miserable (I work on the operations side of the house and their poor decisions and pool implementations blow up in my face).
 

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I may as well ask this actually. I've been in the IT industry for around 10 years or so. Specifically the ERP elements of the industry. I have worked in both consultancies, and also in individual companies. I just wanted to know how female IT personnels are seen by male colleagues ?
I'd like to believe that I enjoy seeing different perspectives that can happen when the genders mix for a short answer on that level.

I noticed that a lot of the time, I get the impression that the females are pushed more towards the Service Desk area, rather than the development, than the implementation side of the projects.
While I do know of women in Service Desk, I've seen more women be in various Analyst and Management positions. Business Analysts and Quality Analysts tend to be rather common from what I've seen as well as the Project Managers and in some cases administrative management.

Do you actually prefer female managers, because of their communication skills, and do you prefer sometimes having some female colleagues which makes the communication style different ?
On the subject of managers, I have no preference other than there being a friendship on some level so that there is a connection there. I've had good male and female bosses and lousy male bosses.

Also, within the realms of the business analysis area, do you prefer a female in this area as there often than not will be conflicts, but a female may strive for that win-win situation ?
No preference but I have had some fiery female Business Analysts in some cases. Thus, while I do wish more people would go for win-win, it is interesting to see how well does this fly at times.

An ex-colleague once adviced me that he would probably prefer a female boss. I asked him why and he mentioned that the female boss may think about the working conditions more than the male boss. Is this something that you would consider? I have indeed seen more and more project managers being female, but I was not overly sure if this was ever a good idea.
I have considered though there is something to be said for some men also valuing family enough that they wouldn't want someone pushing the midnight oil. In a previous job I had a male boss that would send people home to maintain peace on that front as he knew what kind of trouble would come from some people staying too late.

What are your opinions of females in the various tech positions ? If you do not mind, please be honest with your personal experiences for enlightenment ? Thank you. :happy:
I welcome females in all tech positions and I've seen more than a few of them. Female developers, while rare are usually a great asset to have though there can be something to be said for how feminine these devs are. Some female developers I know are tomboys in the sense of doing a lot of activities and things that guys do so that it isn't that feminine at the end of the day. On the flip side, some men may have a well developed feminine side that can be quite interesting to see. Female analysts are good as that second set of eyes as well someone catching things can be useful to ensure that the blind spots get minimized. Female managers tend to be good at the details and handling things being passed around. Female administrators are where I can almost see a motherly side at times though I'm used to seeing database admins that are women managing the database servers to run well. Female managers can be great at handling people which is part of why I can enjoy female bosses at times.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you all so much for your inputs and perspectives. I'm just kind of at a cross road of sorts and wondered which direction to take my career really. On the service desk, more often than not, one feels like they are counselling others, or to provide a service but I guess there is indeed a kind of limit on how long can handle such nature of work as well. What I was hoping for was to take the issues from frontline back into implementation. As I originally came from implementation first. Now having done part analysis, system analysis work as well, I was not sure which direction to take this, as I noticed that in the past 5 or so years, there had been an increasing number of business analysis positions and that most companies have now adopted a more formal project management business re-engineering direction?

So this was kind of interesting to me, in a way.. and I was not sure if what I thought the nature of the work, what used to be around 10 years ago has now changed. Hence I wondered if diplomacy skills are more revered in those nature of work as well. Cos I also noticed something new classified as "change management" has come out of the wood work and I can see that most of these types of managers are very old, and indeed look more "seasoned" in the industry. I noticed this in reality and I wondered that if as a female, who also look young would give off that credibility vibe and to command your clients to listen.
 

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Cos I also noticed something new classified as "change management" has come out of the wood work and I can see that most of these types of managers are very old, and indeed look more "seasoned" in the industry. I noticed this in reality and I wondered that if as a female, who also look young would give off that credibility vibe and to command your clients to listen.
Can you define what you think change management is? I want to make sure we're on the same page.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Can you define what you think change management is? I want to make sure we're on the same page.
Ok, I have not investigated into this yet. But from what I understand so far to date. Project management to manage the changes which is introduced into the company as a whole. When there is organisational changes or operational changes, it has to go through a formal project management introduction, especially if the area of change is likely to impact the steady business flow as a whole. It can include new business goals, or objectives etc. Refined of a certain department etc. Hence the typical term of it being outside the scope of the "business as usual" status. Though as I understand it, the PM cycle differs from company to company but the concept remains more or less the same.

As for Change Management, if I understand this correctly, it sits within PM itself, whereby it covers the responsibility of people changes, or business unit changes? Getting the co-operation of the employees, possibly switch people over to cover the different areas if there is a need to opt for a super user or a specialist that is required to be on the project? Or to organise and manages the changes that will be introduced with the respective affected stakeholders ?

Is that correct?

I don't think that Change Management is like those in IT, whereby it actually just monitors and administrate the various changes that is put forward for scheduling and so forth.

I have read that these change managements in adverts more and more, and they do not exist within IT depts... so.... as I understand it, these are "Business Change Management" and not IT change managements. i.e. changes to systems, and data etc.
 

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I have read that these change managements in adverts more and more, and they do not exist within IT depts... so.... as I understand it, these are "Business Change Management" and not IT change managements. i.e. changes to systems, and data etc.
If you are an IT department of any size and you don't have a change management procedure, you are asking for a disaster. Change management just doesn't involve just projects, although in a lot of cases projects drive changes and should go through a change management process. Any time something is changed in an environment, it should be documented. That is change management in itself. You need to know what changes so if something breaks, you can easily pinpoint what changed and also who changed it. Often changes do break things. Also, if there is a good change process in place, you have peer reviews of changes to catch things before they cause issues within the environment and also make sure you get the proper management approval.

I work on the operations side of the house and even for me to restart services on servers, I need a changelog. For me, the majority of my changelogs are break fix and more of documentation that I did something. There are certain things non-emergency things that need different approvals so you go through the peer review process and then management approval. A good change management process keeps everyone in sync with each other and informed what is going on in an environment. I would highly recommend learning about it (read on ITIL and such). I would run away from any organization that doesn't have a good change management process in place.
 

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Going back to the earlu sixties and not a specific industry, alot of the work groups reflected male bonding. Group metings about projects are highly stylized with jargon that is a shortcut to giving and getting information. For instance, a young female engineer who stayed up late polishing her presentation went to the meeting with a one -page concise summary. The group leader started off with, "Well Joe, how do your numbers look?" "My numbers look good. I talkd to tom, he's st a clients place, his numbers are good too." when thre group leader ask the newbie, she handed out her summary, and started to go over the salient points. The group leader cut her off, and said, 'we need to get back to work. I will look this over later. Everythinhg OK?" She nodded yeas as everyone else left otalking to each other.

"numbers referred to being on time and within budget. That was all the group needed to know. It was a ritual weekly meeting: he met one on one to discuaadetails, passed on information the same way. The female engineer, top grades from a top school, was left out because she was female.

There have been many changes but male bonding seems to still be a factor.
I have had female bosses in social work, we got along fine. I had one male boss I often wanted to smother and bury in a manure pile. He wanted to be the alpha male. I wanted to do my job.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
If you are an IT department of any size and you don't have a change management procedure, you are asking for a disaster. Change management just doesn't involve just projects, although in a lot of cases projects drive changes and should go through a change management process. Any time something is changed in an environment, it should be documented. That is change management in itself. You need to know what changes so if something breaks, you can easily pinpoint what changed and also who changed it. Often changes do break things. Also, if there is a good change process in place, you have peer reviews of changes to catch things before they cause issues within the environment and also make sure you get the proper management approval.

I work on the operations side of the house and even for me to restart services on servers, I need a changelog. For me, the majority of my changelogs are break fix and more of documentation that I did something. There are certain things non-emergency things that need different approvals so you go through the peer review process and then management approval. A good change management process keeps everyone in sync with each other and informed what is going on in an environment. I would highly recommend learning about it (read on ITIL and such). I would run away from any organization that doesn't have a good change management process in place.
The methodology that you described does not exist in all companies before in the past. ITIL really only solidified itself in the past 10 years or so. In some areas, it is actually more cumbersome than it is helpful, especially if the company is in a state of change, or merge. RFCs, or change control processes over IT changes, which is outside the scope of disaster recovery indeed did exist.

This kind of formal strict change control processes from my experience only really exist in traditional software houses, or outsourcing companies. I know that this has slowly migrated into various international businesses which is more strict.

I guess you indirectly answered my question. There are more "change management" roles now because ITIL is used more within more businesses... I wondered if there is an area which also part of the business change and not necessarily IT changes...
 

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I guess you indirectly answered my question. There are more "change management" roles now because ITIL is used more within more businesses... I wondered if there is an area which also part of the business change and not necessarily IT changes...
If a company re-organizes itself, it may shuffle around personnel and change its org chart without changing the technology that the company runs for an example here. There can also be various HR components around succession planning that could also be viewed as change management so that if someone unexpectedly leaves, there is someone to step into that role without causing the company a big disruption.
 

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The methodology that you described does not exist in all companies before in the past. ITIL really only solidified itself in the past 10 years or so. In some areas, it is actually more cumbersome than it is helpful, especially if the company is in a state of change, or merge. RFCs, or change control processes over IT changes, which is outside the scope of disaster recovery indeed did exist.

This kind of formal strict change control processes from my experience only really exist in traditional software houses, or outsourcing companies. I know that this has slowly migrated into various international businesses which is more strict.

I guess you indirectly answered my question. There are more "change management" roles now because ITIL is used more within more businesses... I wondered if there is an area which also part of the business change and not necessarily IT changes...
Where I work the IT department started around 1965. We develop all or own Electronic Medical Records stuff and the department is around 500 people (mainly developers). There is talk of going straight to ITIL but overall we have a homegrown process for the time being. Like I said, it depends on the size of the company. If there's only a handful of people, having a large change process is definitely cumbersome and the overhead from that doesn't justify for the benefits received. In a large organization of 500+ people, you need something or you have chaos.

ITIL and other processes weren't meant to be rigid. They were meant to be flexible and scalable depending on the size of the organization. Like I said, the overhead has to be justified for the benefits received. The thing is there should be something in place to keep people in sync with each other. Whether it's a meeting among the 3 IT people to keep everyone on the same page or a large formal process to keep hundreds of people in the loop, some sort of process should be followed. If there isn't any process being followed, I would run from a company like that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Going back to the earlu sixties and not a specific industry, alot of the work groups reflected male bonding. Group metings about projects are highly stylized with jargon that is a shortcut to giving and getting information. For instance, a young female engineer who stayed up late polishing her presentation went to the meeting with a one -page concise summary. The group leader started off with, "Well Joe, how do your numbers look?" "My numbers look good. I talkd to tom, he's st a clients place, his numbers are good too." when thre group leader ask the newbie, she handed out her summary, and started to go over the salient points. The group leader cut her off, and said, 'we need to get back to work. I will look this over later. Everythinhg OK?" She nodded yeas as everyone else left otalking to each other.

"numbers referred to being on time and within budget. That was all the group needed to know. It was a ritual weekly meeting: he met one on one to discuaadetails, passed on information the same way. The female engineer, top grades from a top school, was left out because she was female.

There have been many changes but male bonding seems to still be a factor.
I have had female bosses in social work, we got along fine. I had one male boss I often wanted to smother and bury in a manure pile. He wanted to be the alpha male. I wanted to do my job.
Thank you so much for this feedback. It does add to my understanding of the workplace as well. For me, I started in late 90s, in an outsourcing company with a female boss. I was not sure if IT was a more male dominated industry or not. I was led to believe that was the case, but I do see some females here and there, but I do notice that the culture can differ slightly.

My first female boss was I think ESTJ. She was prompt, direct, and ask for feedback and dish out work. Very simple. We do have discussions. So this was a different change. Then when I entered a few US companies thereafter, I found that the culture had changed. One manager told me to "take this offline", and by British standard, that is quite rude? He was an Indian guy but we both worked for a US company, so I was so unsure of his style of management and mannerism. As when outside the meeting, he was so much more himself and friendly.... This was what baffled me for a long while. Plus his minutes were not as precise, but then he expected the meeting to cover a lot of things, but when asked to elaborate, he often say take this offline.

Yes.. I noticed that guys do not bond. But how do you know who is doing what ? You assume each person will know? I've worked with a Dutch manager, and I noticed that their style is also different as well. He expected IT to know a lot more and help him deliver his objectives. This is what draws my confusion at times...
 

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One manager told me to "take this offline", and by British standard, that is quite rude? He was an Indian guy but we both worked for a US company, so I was so unsure of his style of management and mannerism. As when outside the meeting, he was so much more himself and friendly.... This was what baffled me for a long while. Plus his minutes were not as precise, but then he expected the meeting to cover a lot of things, but when asked to elaborate, he often say take this offline.
"Let's continue this offline" is a bit softer but the same idea that I've heard rather frequently at times since some meetings can be easily sidetracked by a tangent. Someone starts talking about some new technology and someone has to pull the meeting back to being on-track. I generally work in web development teams and so while someone may enjoy their new iPhone, it isn't the place to have a half-hour show and tell of the new phone and so some people may say, "Continue that off-line." The other case where this pops up is in Stand-up meetings in Scrum where the "Let's take this offline" is a way of saying that while there is more to say on this, it isn't necessary for everyone else on the team to hear the conversation. Some people can put on different masks at different times. If someone is the organizer of a meeting, they may put on a more professional "just the facts" type of persona than they would normally be to get through the meeting in a reasonable time.

Yes.. I noticed that guys do not bond. But how do you know who is doing what ? You assume each person will know? I've worked with a Dutch manager, and I noticed that their style is also different as well. He expected IT to know a lot more and help him deliver his objectives. This is what draws my confusion at times...
Communication within IT can be its own interesting story. In some places, people will bond over lunch and other places it is more by doing projects together. There is also the question of how well does management communicate its vision down the line so that those on the front line can know what are the important objectives.

In one of my previous workplaces, there was the theory that IT is supposed to understand the business and technology so we can be the experts to know how to put the two together for the company to thrive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
@jbking - Ok. This makes sense... Thanks for this info. This differentiates from what powershell mentioned.



@PowerShell - I see. I did not realised that ITIL went that far back in time. Even when I was a graduate, it was mentioned over this side of the ocean. I don't think the certification thing was that readily available here in the UK back then. I know that large formal entities will use this, like the banking industry here in the UK.


The sizes of companies I have worked for are mostly <5000 employees. Their change control processes are less complex, and you are able to perform and authorise changes within a short timeframe as well.


Most companies I have worked for have really informal ITILs ! lol.... Not everybody even uses it correctly nor do they care, and they also do not follow up strictly either. lol. To me, I do not mind, as I can achieve so much more, but yes, it does add to the chaos, A LOT.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
"Let's continue this offline" is a bit softer but the same idea that I've heard rather frequently at times since some meetings can be easily sidetracked by a tangent. Someone starts talking about some new technology and someone has to pull the meeting back to being on-track. I generally work in web development teams and so while someone may enjoy their new iPhone, it isn't the place to have a half-hour show and tell of the new phone and so some people may say, "Continue that off-line." The other case where this pops up is in Stand-up meetings in Scrum where the "Let's take this offline" is a way of saying that while there is more to say on this, it isn't necessary for everyone else on the team to hear the conversation. Some people can put on different masks at different times. If someone is the organizer of a meeting, they may put on a more professional "just the facts" type of persona than they would normally be to get through the meeting in a reasonable time.
You really got me thinking here, cos I find it rude and often than not, I end up feeling even more alienated. Maybe my Fi kicks in quite highly. In that same company but in the UK, I think the manager let people govern themselves and die down. Cos he stops talking and looks around. He does a "round robin" so to speak. We all summarises, then end.

Communication within IT can be its own interesting story. In some places, people will bond over lunch and other places it is more by doing projects together. There is also the question of how well does management communicate its vision down the line so that those on the front line can know what are the important objectives.

In one of my previous workplaces, there was the theory that IT is supposed to understand the business and technology so we can be the experts to know how to put the two together for the company to thrive.
IT is supposed to understand the business ! lol... I pride myself in understanding the business needs you know. Also, because I started to specialise in distribution and the supply-chain side. But I do understand what you mean, cos I still do not see many CIO knows the business aspect as well. But that is the thing, I mean, I was mentored to even expect that I can actually explore new technologies as well in my workplace? I used to be quite well supported by my manager in my first outsourcing company to know what is needed and what is required etc? But I have talked with some ex-colleagues recently, but they have to now find themselves the free tools to do some of the job, which is quite ridiculous in a way... Hm, you got me thinking there. So if the IT dept expects this, then they should train or provide the resources for this too?

I just realised something... I do too much for the respective roles... I see what you mean... Hm.
 

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Communication within IT can be its own interesting story. In some places, people will bond over lunch and other places it is more by doing projects together. There is also the question of how well does management communicate its vision down the line so that those on the front line can know what are the important objectives.
There is an official structure and an unofficial structure. People tend to communicate and work with people who makes their jobs easier. It's like an unofficial law.

@PowerShell - I see. I did not realised that ITIL went that far back in time. Even when I was a graduate, it was mentioned over this side of the ocean. I don't think the certification thing was that readily available here in the UK back then. I know that large formal entities will use this, like the banking industry here in the UK.
ITIL goes back to the 80's in the UK and didn't gain momentum until about 10 years ago here. I'm just saying a lot of IT departments have been around way longer.
 

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Thank you so much for this feedback. It does add to my understanding of the workplace as well. For me, I started in late 90s, in an outsourcing company with a female boss. I was not sure if IT was a more male dominated industry or not. I was led to believe that was the case, but I do see some females here and there, but I do notice that the culture can differ slightly.

My first female boss was I think ESTJ. She was prompt, direct, and ask for feedback and dish out work. Very simple. We do have discussions. So this was a different change. Then when I entered a few US companies thereafter, I found that the culture had changed. One manager told me to "take this offline", and by British standard, that is quite rude? He was an Indian guy but we both worked for a US company, so I was so unsure of his style of management and mannerism. As when outside the meeting, he was so much more himself and friendly.... This was what baffled me for a long while. Plus his minutes were not as precise, but then he expected the meeting to cover a lot of things, but when asked to elaborate, he often say take this offline.

Yes.. I noticed that guys do not bond. But how do you know who is doing what ? You assume each person will know? I've worked with a Dutch manager, and I noticed that their style is also different as well. He expected IT to know a lot more and help him deliver his objectives. This is what draws my confusion at times...
Also bear in mind that not much thought goes into selecting a supervisor other that picking the rejects.. Those that are left -well, friends, word from upstairs, wives know each other, golfing buddy -who can say the determining factor?
 

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IT is supposed to understand the business ! lol... I pride myself in understanding the business needs you know. Also, because I started to specialise in distribution and the supply-chain side. But I do understand what you mean, cos I still do not see many CIO knows the business aspect as well. But that is the thing, I mean, I was mentored to even expect that I can actually explore new technologies as well in my workplace? I used to be quite well supported by my manager in my first outsourcing company to know what is needed and what is required etc? But I have talked with some ex-colleagues recently, but they have to now find themselves the free tools to do some of the job, which is quite ridiculous in a way... Hm, you got me thinking there. So if the IT dept expects this, then they should train or provide the resources for this too?
We can dream would be my answer to some of this. There are companies like Gartner that can provide some research material on some technologies that can be used to determine which products will be used within a company though there is something to be said for the workers being prepared to pick up some technologies on their own or with minimal training. I can remember almost a handful of years ago, we were putting in a new Content Management System(CMS) and got 2 days of training on the new software that while it did demystify some of the components, we still spent 2 years getting the first phase of the project done so there was a new site, new templates in the system and everything worked well enough that we could shut down the old CMS. We did get some help from a Systems Integrator that joined our development team for a while to help with knowledge transfer though it was quite a wild ride that I wonder how well did the business stakeholders understand what we developers discovered in trying to build that site from various components.

Companies can provide some training though often there will be a big expectation on tech teams learning the technology on their own as I've had to learn classic ASP and ASP.Net on my own which has had its share of ups and downs. There is the challenge of how much does one let employees play with new tools and how much is directly to deliver value to the business? It's an interesting Catch-22 at times since developers can be expected to stay on top of all the new stuff but also work with some of the really old stuff.

From my view, ITIL is a nice framework for getting some common sense of how some processes should work. It doesn't really go into specific details of exactly how you log things or diagnose a problem, that is left to the organization to interpret and implement as they see fit. Thus, ITIL is rather vague on some points and takes years for a company to fully implement and have mature processes that people understand and use.
 

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In my very limited IT experience so far the idea of female colleagues seems to go one of many ways: HR manager or recruitment, sales or accounting workers, female colleagues assigned easier tasks as 'the less technically interested [or 'technically minded'], 2 coders, 1 tech support helpdesk type perceived or imagined to know less than a male counterpart, a police service researcher, administration roles, an Information Systems database top class graduate that split off to become a special ed teaching aide, 1 IT teacher, 1 seeking to advance as a HR-marketing business graduate and the typical perception that female colleagues either don't seek help or 'play to their feminine dainty charms' to get support.
 
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