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ITSMF President’s Message February 2023

Dawn Jones |
February 28, 2023 |

Greetings, Family!

Black Tech Leaders are still under-represented in the senior most levels of leadership in Fortune 500 companies. The researchers and futurists cap this number at about 9%. When ITSMF was founded in 1996 this statistic was a startling 3%. Our Founders were alarmed at the lack of representation at the top back then and we still have a long way to go.

Robert Scott, ITSMF’s Dean of the Global Institute for Professional Development and myself recently contributed to an article in CIO.com about the value of mentoring and its impact on changing the startling statistics about Blacks in Tech leadership. The article is now available on our website Press – ITSMF. The article goes into the specific reasons why mentoring is such a critical component for elevating Black Technology Leaders.

The value of mentoring includes, the encouragement received from mentors, the relevant and timely feedback, the guidance on organizational functions, processes and protocols, the referrals, and access to networking and community are critical. The importance of mentoring and the impact that it has on the leadership journey is chronicled in story after story of our ITSMF members.  Mentoring is important and valuable to technologists throughout their career journey. This is why we launched our College Mentoring Program three years ago. Engage – ITSMF

According to the Pew Institute, overall, sixty-nine percent of Black college graduates working in a STEM job say that someone made them feel excited about their abilities in STEM subjects.

  • Sixty-eight percent say someone helped them see the relevance of these fields for their job or career, in their most recent school experiences; roughly seven-in-ten.
  • Fifty-nine percent say that someone encouraged them to keep taking more classes in these subjects.
  • Eighty-one percent of Black college graduates working in STEM fields say they had at least one of these positive experiences listed above.

We have all benefitted from mentors and we must continue to be mentors. As I reflect on the last 25 years of my professional career, I reflect on whether or not I did enough to develop other leaders. My proudest moments are the moments that I saw a professional that I mentored get a promotion, a raise, or new position, achieve a lofty goal, get an award, or launch a business. Moments that I am the least proud of are the times that I did not give someone who needed me to mentor them enough of my time.

Let us all commit to doing more, Family. The future of Black Tech Leadership needs us!



President and CEO, ITSMF


About Information Technology Senior Management Forum

Since 1996, Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF) has been dedicated to increasing the representation of Black professionals at senior levels in technology to impact organizational innovation and growth. We do this by developing and nurturing these dynamic leaders through enrichment of the mind, body and soul. At its inception, only 3% of senior-level positions in the technology industry were held by Blacks. With a half-million new computer-related jobs expected by 2028, ITSMF is committed to increasing the number of qualified Black professionals for these positions. For more information about ITSMF, visit www.itsmfleaders.org.

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