This post and video is part of a series exploring Leaders in Technology: Women in IT. As we look forward to the upcoming event hosted by our Toronto chapter, Women in Technology: Words into Action, we are pleased to share the insights of Arlene McDonald, VP Corporate Technology Solutions, PointClickCare.
Arlene believes there are two parts to being a great leader. The first is understanding the vision or goal of the team. The second is how a leader treats their team. Arlene believes a great leader understands what their team is trying to achieve and how to help the people around them achieve their goals. As a leader you have an obligation to understand what motivates people.
A great leader is able to sympathize with people and understand that they have a life outside of work. Arlene believes in leading from behind, which means supporting a team and promoting their success.
Arlene has been a part of women in IT program since early on in her career. She worked for IBM and there were few studies as to why women weren’t choosing IT as a career. A number of the studies pointed to young girls, stepping away from math and sciences. Arlene began to facilitate little engineer programs with schools. These programs would show kids what careers they could have if they stayed with math and science.
About Arlene McDonald:
Arlene McDonald is proven team builder, executive sponsor and advocate for her team and for her business partners. In her current role Arlene oversees the Corporate Technology services team, Business Intelligence, Risk Management (including Security and Business Continuity Management) and Facilities Management. She possesses a very strong ability to think about technology from a business impact perspective and not just from a technology view. Arlene is a true people leader with a proven ability to manage change across an organization.
In the past few organizations she has been with, Arlene has succeeded in changing the organizational perspective of the IT/IS teams. Identifying the goal of improving internal NPS measurements, Arlene encouraged her teams to improve the levels of services provided, resulting in significant increase in respect for the department.
As well as being a successful IT leader, Arlene’s strong communication skills and confidence make her an effective executive.
Arlene has been a member of the CIO association of Canada for over 3 years. She is currently filling the Marketing Director and VP roles for the Toronto Chapter of the association. Arlene is a member of the association because she wants to give back to the community, provide an example of a strong female leader in a tech role, as well as continue to build her own network of peers.