Five Questions with Symantec’s Sheila Jordan
Welcome back to our Women in Tech blog series! As you may know, Aragon is gearing up for its second annual Women in Technology (WIT) Awards, so we are highlighting the extensive contributions of last year’s winners.
This week’s interview with Sheila Jordan, SVP and Chief Information Officer at Symantec, dives into the work-life balance myth, the importance of support networks, and equal opportunity.
1. Please describe yourself in three words.
Intense, generous, and loves to solve complex problems.
2. What do you find most interesting about the technology field in which you work?
I love change and you have to love change to be in tech. It’s constantly evolving and offering ways to become more productive and improves knowledge and insights within our companies.
3. How do you find work-life balance?
I think work-life balance is a myth. It implies a perfectly balanced scale. As a mother of two children who are now 23 and 25, there were days [when] everything was out of balance. Some days, the entire focus is the kids or the family. Some days, work. I really believe in work-life integration as with the advancements in technology, namely our phones. You don’t need to be tethered to the physical location of work, but [can] work wherever you are. I love that freedom.
4. Are there enough opportunities for women in tech? How would you assess the progress women have made in the tech industry?
I really do believe there are enough opportunities for females in tech, and that is growing. As women, we must raise our hand for those opportunities, build a board of directors for sponsorship—men and women who can provide feedback and also identify opportunities for you. I don’t believe we have made as much progress as we need to. We still have a fair amount of women opting out of the industry mid-career. We still are at around 26 to 28% female in tech across all levels, which isn’t great. We have to attack multiple vectors: early in career, hiring pipeline, and retention. All are critical to move the needle in a positive trajectory.
5. Please provide a WIT call to action.
We must help each other. Both in current jobs, but also as opportunities for other roles. We should consider WIT a network of women [that] can support other women, and it has to be a dynamic and evolving network.