Three dynamic women who have staked out successful careers in information technology will inspire your female students to explore new career pathways.
Female role models help get this career on the radar of women and girls because they're able to see someone who looks like them on the job. The video reveals the personal experiences and insights of successful women working in this field.
Information technology and related industries employ millions of people. Increasing numbers of women are establishing rewarding careers in the traditionally male-dominated information technology field.
Career Options for Women -- Information Technology:
This 24-minute video features profiles of three women with successful careers in information technology:
- Coraleigh Hine, a computer service support technician specializing in sales and installation
- Shawna White, a desktop support analyst who troubleshoots and repairs client problems
- Nancy Nadeau, a software developer producing high-end tools for digital image creation
Additional information from co-workers and supervisors supplements each job profile.
Meet the role models featured in the Information Technology video:
Coraleigh: Computer Service Support Technician
Coraleigh Hine is a Computer Sales and Service Support Technician who works for "Business Pro Computers." Her duties include on-site customer support, installing desktop systems, software and user interfaces, peripheral maintenance (printers, palm organizers, scanners), server software upgrades and user network administration, diagnosing and dispatching of all system problems, responding to customer requests for hardware/software quotes and customer follow-through to ensure needs are met.
After she had graduated from high school, Coraleigh went straight into a two-year program called Automated Business Equipment Technician. In her second year, she specialized in computers.
There are three things that Coraleigh likes best about the field: She enjoys the problem solving, she likes interacting with people and she enjoys the challenge of learning new things. The benefits of being in the computer industry are great. There are tremendous opportunities in all areas and new ones arise quickly as the industry changes extremely fast. It offers a range of salaries based on knowledge and technical skills. "Educate yourself first, then look for a company that offers the opportunity to grow and learn. Follow your passion and the money will come."
Shawna: Desktop Support Analyst
As a Desktop Support Analyst for TELUS Communications, Shawna provides Tier 2 support, which is the level after the help desk. This means that she actually goes to the client's computer to troubleshoot and repair the problem after the help desk has received the call. With most calls, she fixes software and assesses hardware problems.
Shawna finds it very rewarding to fix a really tough problem quickly and make the customer happy with the solution. Another reward for her is the personal interaction. Everyone has her number and they all call her! When she gets a thank-you from her customers, that's also a bonus. On average, she deals with 25-30 in-house clients a day.
After high school, Shawna took a year off and did some part-time art courses in art and design. She discovered that Art & Design wasn't going to make her happy financially. Her compromise was Computer Graphic Design, but she had no idea how to use computers. She knew how to turn a computer on but not much more! To increase her computer knowledge she enrolled in a Computer Systems Technology program. Two years later, she graduated with a diploma in Computer Systems Technology and went to work "on" computers rather that "with" computers.
"There are so few women in my area of expertise. This career choice not only offers great potential for growth and diversity, but it is ever changing. The technology and the type of work is always expanding which means we need more women in it."
Nancy: Software Developer
Nancy Nadeau works for Softimage as a software developer engineer. Softimage is a provider of high-end tools for creating digital images. Nancy develops tools that facilitate the work of the software users, so they can create better, more realistic special effects or images. These tools are mainly used for special effects in movies such as The Matrix or in game creation at Sega and Nintendo. The company also works with Industrial Light & Magic, which did the special effects for Star Wars. Nancy has a bi-disciplinary in mathematics-computer science.
Directly after university, Nancy started working at Softimage. She was the first woman to join the Research and Development team at Softimage. Nancy never really saw herself as a woman working in the midst of a group of men, but rather as a person working with colleagues, trying to make the best software on the market. Nancy encourages other women to enter the field of computer science, but also recommends other fields outside of this realm. Computer graphics can be one option, and there are also other fields such as Artificial Intelligence, Operational Research, or Speech Recognition, just to name a few.
Computer science in general is a field where people are paid fairly well. Benefits can also include stock options. "Things change so fast that there is always new technology to learn, new algorithms created...I was once a project leader. I liked it a lot, but I also like to be close to the code."
Run time: 24 minutes total, including three segments of approximately 8 minutes each.
Format: DVD. Closed-captioned.
Note: Videos are interspersed with Canadian salary and labor statistics, which are similar to the numbers in the United States.
Policies: There is a no-return policy on these videos.
Grade level: Middle School, High School, Two-Year College, Four-Year University