Janet Foutty - Deloitte
National Managing Director
Janet Foutty is the National Managing Director for the 16,000 strong Deloitte Consulting US Technology practice. In this role Janet leads Deloitte’s technology business across advisory, implementation and sustainment services, with professionals in the US, India and Mexico. She is a member of the Executive Committee and the Board of Directors of Deloitte Consulting and is chairperson of the Deloitte Consulting India Private Ltd Board of Directors. Janet sponsors Deloitte’s Women in Technology group and in the community she is a member of The Chicago Civic Alliance Board and the Chicago Metropolitan YWCA Board.
What can we do to assure more women leaders in STEM?
Regardless of gender, as leaders in business, we should be doing everything we can to encourage more women to build careers in any of the STEM fields. To that end, over the years, I have developed a few recommendations that cut across science, technology, engineering and mathematics.
I believe in, and have personally benefitted from, active mentoring. I think that leaders have a responsibility to share their experience, insights, and networks with those coming up. The inspiration I received from those who took the time to spend with me both on their journey and guiding me through mine was (and still is!) invaluable.
Current leaders need to work closely with their Human Resources organizations to make policies more adaptable and enlightened for career/life balance. If there is one question I receive more than any other as I talk to women in the STEM workforce, it is “How do I manage it all?” I tell them that it is possible, but I also advise them to use every benefit available and work within the system to make the best decisions for their own specific situation. Be selfish and bold on this front. The system is there to help!
Work the networks more than casually. With the instant and always-on communication channels we have at our disposal, we are more connected than ever before (especially true for technology-types). Social media is an effective means of keeping women connected to prospects, openings and development opportunities.
Finally, I believe that encouraging and working with high school and college women in the sciences, mathematics and engineering fields can only help drive more and more into the degrees that will pay off in the future – for them and for our businesses. I personally spend significant time with young college women and it is highly energizing and our future!
If there is to be a STEM worker shortage in the future, I suggest the answer (and the workforce) is out there – we just need to double down on our efforts to encourage, engage, and empower them – and there’s no better time to start than today.
Of what one initiative you are most proud?
Our Women in Technology (WIT) program has grown significantly in the last few years and I am exceptionally proud of the team’s accomplishments. The work of the all-volunteer WIT team each year culminates in a day-long international program that promotes the attracting, retaining, and developing of women in our profession.
In 2011, we spent the day discussing the power and use of an individual’s network and strategies for utilizing it to strengthen and develop our careers. On April 28, 2012, we will spend the day discussing effective approaches and tactics for making the most of the many social networks.
I have heard from a great many of the participants who tell me that the WIT program has truly made a difference in their careers and I take great pride in the very visible results across our practice.