I graduated college with all the confidence in the world. However, I then entered Corporate America, and I had a rude awakening. My college studies equipped me with knowledge and skills to achieve tasks thrown at me, but what I had to do next is establish my credibility.
I felt like the puppy in this picture. I was handed an oversized K-9 Unit vest that I had to grow into as I was again starting from the bottom. In the audit profession, building rapport is key. When I entered meetings, I knew people were probably thinking, “She looks like a student, what does she know?” They were correct – I looked like any recent graduate, and I didn’t have the experience to provide feedback to well-experienced process owners who have been in their position for 25-plus years. To overcome that, I had to start building credibility.
IT auditors new to the profession may hear references to a time when the internal audit function was viewed as the “police.” Years ago, it was not uncommon for organizations to perceive internal audit’s responsibilities of assessment and evaluation as being similar to that of a policing function. Operational errors or deficiencies identified and reported were analogous to crimes in the world of law enforcement. To be fair, there were some personality types within the internal audit profession who didn’t object to that characterization. If the characterization were true, however, most auditors did not favor that characterization and probably all of the IT function and management wished for it to go away. So, auditors worked to counter that perception and management continued to provide feedback on what it wanted from internal auditors. One big ask from management was “If internal audit surfaces issues that are either already known or that could be easily corrected, what value does internal audit provide?”
More than 60 women and men gathered on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on 7 October for the SheLeadsTech program’s second annual Day of Advocacy. Featuring presentations on issues facing the tech workforce and women in the field, plus congressional visits, the Day of Advocacy allowed SheLeadsTech professionals to connect their own experiences with policy and expand their networks. ISACA also launched its “Tech Workforce 2020: The Age and Gender Perception Gap” study at the event.
The mission of SheLeadsTech is to increase the representation of women in technology leadership roles and the tech workforce through raising awareness, preparing to lead, and building global alliances. In addition to visiting 19 congressional offices representing nine states and the District of Columbia, SheLeadsTech professionals met with staff from the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology (Subcommittee on Science and Technology) and the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation (Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, Innovation and Internet). The SheLeadsTech delegates were able to share their experiences with members of Congress to bring to life the issues that women face in the technology workforce as well as discuss three proposed pieces of legislation: the Building Blocks of STEM Act, the 21st Century STEM for Girls and Underrepresented Minorities Act and the Cyber Ready Workforce Act.
There has been significant progress in technologies that can be utilized in the livestock industry. These technologies will help farmers, breeders associations and other industry stakeholders in continuously monitoring and collecting animal-level and farm-level data using less labor-intensive approaches.
Specifically, we are seeing the use of fully automated data recording based on digital images, sounds, sensors, unmanned systems and real-time uninterrupted computer vision. These technologies can help farmers tremendously and have the potential to enhance product quality, well-being, management practice, sustainable development and animal health, and ultimately contribute to better human health.
I am the product of a liberal arts education. On the surface, what I learned in school has very little relevance to my day to day right now, yet, when you dig deeper, the communication and critical thinking skills that education instilled in me helped in ways beyond measure. To be fair, though, I am not protecting an organization against a cybersecurity attack, writing the next AI algorithm, or planning security measures for my organization’s network. Those skills would likely have to come from different places.
In 2019’s Inside Higher Ed survey of chief academic officers at public and private colleges and universities, the percentage of provosts rating their institutions as very effective in preparing students for the world of work ranged from 41 to 45 percent, with community colleges giving themselves the highest marks. This is down significantly from 2014, when the number of those strongly agreeing hovered around 56 percent. Is academia beginning to realize what hiring managers already know? In fact, many of us are surprised that the number is even that high. At this point, companies are hiring for fit more than anything else, accepting the fact that most skills have to be taught on the job.
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