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On Your Mark

Women IT Leaders Take Center Stage
Cultivating visibility can help all professionals achieve greater success, but it’s a particularly important task for women who remain underrepresented in tech.

Judy Balaban has seen firsthand how stepping into the professional spotlight, even on a small stage, pays dividends.

Early in her career as a program management specialist at AT&T, Balaban became an active member with the Project Management Institute’s New Jersey chapter, which put her front and center at plenty of events. She considered her commitments to PMI as a way to give back to her professional community. But they also brought her increased recognition which helped her land a job, in 2003, as director of the Dow Jones project management office.

That turn of events taught her the importance of visibility to professional success.

“People say with hard work you’ll be recognized. Well, yes and no. You may get a pat on the back, and the recognition might last 10 minutes. But for true recognition, you have to have a presence beyond your company,” says Balaban, who has had multiple senior-level IT positions and was most recently a director in the Office of the CIO at waste management company Covanta.

Others can learn from Balaban’s insights.

“All leaders need to be visible: You cannot brand yourself as a thought leader if you’re not publicly sharing your thoughts,” says Kristen Lamoreaux, president and CEO of Lamoreaux Search and founder of SIM Women, part of the Society for Information Management.

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