In our new Women in DevOps blog series, you’ll learn about talented women in DevOps. They will share their experiences in DevOps, their thoughts on leadership, lessons learned and also how we can encourage more women to focus on an IT career.
In this post, you'll learn more about Jayne Groll. Jayne is co-founder and CEO of the DevOps Institute (DOI). She carries many IT credentials including ITIL Expert™, Certified ScrumMaster, Certified Agile Service Manager, DevOps Foundation and is a Certified Process Design Engineer (CPDE)™. Her IT management career spans over 25 years of senior IT management roles across a wide range of industries.
Jayne is very active in the DevOps, ITSM and Agile communities and is the author of the Agile Service Management Guide. She is a frequent presenter at local, national and virtual events.
Tell us a little about your experience in the DevOps industry.
As CEO of the DevOps Institute, I have been very fortunate that I have been afforded many opportunities to speak and participate as both a woman and thought leader in DevOps. However, I am very concerned about the huge gap in the ratio of men to women at events such as DevOpsDays and others. This is very representative of the state of IT today, which is unfortunate. I have been involved in the IT space for several decades. I’m frankly very disappointed that we are still addressing the lack of more women in technology fields after all these years.
What has made you a leader in DevOps?
I was fortunate to be invited to an early DevOpsDays in 2012 where there were literally five women and 200 men. When DevOps Institute was co-founded in 2015 with Alan Shimel and Lisa Schwartz, we were able to start researching emerging practices in DevOps and engage with many thought leaders and education partners and convert those into sustainable learning, courses and certifications. DevOps Institute now accredits seven certifications, has over 100 global education partners and has now introduced free membership in the Continuous Learning Community.
Given the lack of females in the industry, how can we encourage more women to get into IT?
I think there are several ways that we can encourage more women to consider careers in software and tech. First, we have to take substantive steps to make work a safe place for women. Unfortunately, there are too many instances of sexual harassment and discrimination in primarily male industries such as tech. Until that happens, it will be difficult to encourage girls and women to consider careers where there is concern about respect and equality. I also think role modeling, mentoring and reaching out to young women about careers in DevOps and tech would help inspire others to get into the industry.
What skills are needed to become a DevOps leader?
The most important skills for a DevOps leader revolve around people. Transformational leadership inspires teams to embrace the goals of the organization. Servant leadership inspires individuals to grow. Both approaches are necessary. Not everyone is going to accept a new way of working or thinking at the same time. Leaders have to coach, nurture and serve their teams. The other important skill of a DevOps leader is courage. Courage to think disruptively, to innovate, to question the norm and to experiment often - without fear of failure.
What can we do as an industry to encourage more gender diversity?
We have to recognize that diversity means diversification. I think we have to stop expecting women in tech to act, think, dress and have the same approach as men in tech. Too often in my experience, women in business are expected to emulate their male counterparts in order to fit in (regardless of what that emulation may be). Having a woman on the team is not diversification. Diversification means respecting the insights, knowledge and individuality of everyone on the team.
If you could have given your younger self some advice for the future, what would you tell her?
Embrace every experience as a learning opportunity. Continually grow your skills. Network actively. Don’t be afraid to try new things or think new ways.
How can women build each other up and support each other in this industry?
More networking, peer to peer and mentorship would certainly be helpful. Hearing the experiences and successes of other woman is encouraging both to those in the space and those considering it. I also think having more events with men and women to openly discuss diversity and hear each other’s perspectives would go a long way.
What do you love most about being a woman in DevOps?
It's a great day to be in DevOps, whether you are a man or a woman. The innovative thinking, the open communities, the continuous learning opportunities and just being part of the transformation is fantastic. It’s hard work but hopefully, if done well, the results will help enterprises reap real benefits. I am really fortunate to participate in Women in Tech events and to interact with other women (and men).
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