In 1993, when I joined the Masters in Computer Applications (MCA) program in my small hometown in India, my only motivation was - if and when I get a job in the computer industry, I would work in an air-conditioned office. To people who cannot relate to why it was such a big deal, just know that my hometown gets really hot in summer (frequently it is over 100 degrees). In those days, to be able to work in an air-conditioned office, one had to be in a highly paid job.
I had no idea that what I was going to learn would revolutionize, not just my life but would almost completely change the way things would be done across many industries. Computers were not as commonplace and the internet was in its infancy.
I started by learning programming using COBOL. My interest piqued every time I learned a new syntax and command. I watched in amazement how well it executed on the monitor and the results being displayed. I still remember writing a game program in Pascal where I had to arrange and sort numbers. The sense of accomplishment I had is something I can still feel.
Let’s fast forward to today. After having a successful career as an entrepreneur and working in the talent industry for 20 years, I founded a program called Mom Relaunch (MR) a couple of years ago. At MR our goal is to nurture women who have been on a career break and to help them get back into the IT workforce.
We have created a robust process and have amazing success stories of women finding fulfilling careers in multiple technology platforms. Our 4-step process consists of a career assessment, followed by a personalized career action plan and customized training. Our 4th step of real work experience and mentorship helps them leap their career gap, makes them ready and relevant, and provides them with a renewed sense of confidence, often lost during a career break.
When we approached IBM earlier this year to expand our technology offerings in enterprise computing using IBM Z, it brought back memories of the feeling of excitement I had years ago, of learning new things, and my first love of COBOL. The only difference now is, this time, I will be able to share this love and knowledge at a larger scale, with women across the world. Both MR and IBM Z are aligned in our goals of providing career options to people from diverse backgrounds.
At MR, we are very excited to collaborate with the IBM Z platform because we want the women who come to MR not just to find a job, but to discover a rewarding career. This is truly possible with an Enterprise Computing career.
I just read an article by Dusty Rivers, a lifetime champion of IBM Z, on what advice he would pass on to those who are beginning to think of learning about IBM Z. He answered beautifully - the skills which help him even today are - “the ability to think, the ability to analyze and solve problems, the ability to adapt, and, finally, the ability to communicate”.
I firmly believe that most moms who come to our program have already mastered these skills. Getting this opportunity to be trained in the IBM Z platform will enable them to have a fulfilling and sustainable career in the IT industry.
Thanks IBM Z for showing your trust in the Mom Relaunch program and for helping us fulfill our mission - “making every woman financially independent”.