Nasdaq Women in Technology: Cynthia Stoddard, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Adobe

Donna B. Jones

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Cynthia Stoddard Tower Shot

As Senior Vice President and CIO of Adobe, Cynthia Stoddard oversees Adobe’s World wide Information and facts Engineering and Dependability Engineering teams. In her leadership purpose, Cynthia spearheads a world wide method for offering companies and functions that sort the spine of the enterprise. She has 25-as well as many years of small business practical experience and IT expertise primary significant world wide corporations such as Adobe, Netapp, Safeway and APL Confined in supply chain, retail and technological innovation improvement. Cynthia is a recipient of the 2017 CIO 100 Award, Adobe It is really 2018 ground breaking means to produce business value and named a CIO Corridor of Fame inductee in 2019. She holds a BS degree in accounting from Western New England University and an MBA from Marylhurst College.

Remember to converse to us about your purpose at Adobe. What are your major plans in this role for this 12 months? 

As Adobe’s CIO, my position is distinctive in that I have a horizontal, cross-purposeful check out of the corporation and an close-to-conclude watch of the business enterprise approach. This vantage position provides me with a wonderful platform to affect improve throughout the enterprise. I’ve extended been an advocate for consumers in my IT leadership roles and I’m passionate about making alternatives that fulfill customers’ needs and drive efficiencies. 

As we proceed to navigate new strategies of functioning, our aim is on how we can use inventive systems and procedures to make businesses much more agile and resilient. A major priority for Adobe is comprehension what the future generation of the hybrid workplace appears to be like like, and how persons are adapting to it. It’s not just about providing our workforce new equipment. As a substitute, we are rethinking our procedures to guarantee workflows are appropriate with how our staff members are approaching perform currently.

Finally, our target is to just take IT out of the equation by leveraging expert services and procedures that can be automated or shifted to a self-therapeutic system.

This 12 months, I am energized to go on our perform with Lab 82, which is a partnership among Adobe, my Digital Office Knowledge crew and the HR Personnel Working experience crew to take a look at and develop far more collaborative ways of working. The crucial locations of target include neighborhood and wellbeing, strategies of doing work, setting and technological innovation. Lab 82 enables us to experiment with a variety of answers to help deliver a holistic and human-centered staff practical experience.

For illustration, we are seeking at the most slicing-edge systems like electronic whiteboarding answers, short throw projectors and AI powered cameras that will empower our hybrid workforce. We are also experimenting with stress tests, which will optimize the activities of our workforce.

What is distinctive about remaining a lady in tech at Adobe?

Our Adobe founders, John Warnock and Charles Geschke, considered that very good suggestions can occur from anybody, any place in the corporation, so fostering new and diverse perspectives is really a portion of Adobe’s culture.

As a lady in tech, I appreciate that Adobe aims to invest in persons that have a collaborative state of mind, even if that usually means letting go of some manage in the pursuit of collaboration. We really encourage workers to tactic complications with an open intellect, empowering our people to share new views that lead to far better innovation.

While the buyer expertise is a major emphasis for me and my crew, I believe that our success is rooted in generating constructive staff encounters as nicely. Recent several years have presented an possibility to thoughtfully reexamine our group lifestyle and lean into how we can superior help our people today. For example, the shift to distant function has available a exceptional option to even more inclusivity by equalizing individuals in a meeting and necessitating new types of collaboration.

I am very pleased to be section of an firm that is dedicated to DE&I as a strategic precedence. I imagine this assists individuals really feel valued and secure at get the job done whilst aiding everyone be more inventive and ground breaking.

What are some troubles you’ve had to overcome as a female in tech all over your profession?

As a girl, it’s more challenging to build trustworthiness in regions that are stereotypically male dominated. Early in my career when I worked in the transportation and logistics field at a freight/trucking company, it was closely dominated by adult males at all levels. While the expectation was diverse for my male counterparts, I felt that to build have faith in and reliability with some of my colleagues and leaders, I wanted to spend excess time in the evenings to read through, exploration and master. As a consequence, I created up my assurance and knowledge, which permitted me to floor my views in evidence points and information. This extra perform, and my dedication to becoming a existence-extended learner, produced me stand-out and solidified valuable relationships.

It’s crucial to choose time to foster relationships with other people to create have faith in and reliability. This is a person of your most potent property and it puts you in a stronger position to make an effects faster—especially in the course of crunch time or when presented with a tricky situation.

From your experience, what can tech do to greater uplift women in the field?

Over the previous couple of many years, gals in S.T.E.M. have designed a ton of development, but there is nonetheless operate to be completed. Initial, we want to admit and recognize that inequality gaps exist for women of all ages and other underrepresented groups.

Just about every corporation really should be offering a platform for gals to voice their opinions and share their ideas. Making a area to brazenly focus on the troubles that personnel are going through is important to solving that challenge. Then, companies need to have to assure what is realized from people discussions are turned into meaningful steps.

At the exact time, strengthening the knowledge for gals in tech and enterprise must not fall entirely on the shoulders of the women in tech. To generate a far more inclusive and supportive workforce, every single worker—from the CEO down to the interns—needs to work on eliminating individual biases and advocating for those people who may not truly feel relaxed speaking up.

At last, the uncertainty and volatility of the earlier pair several years through the pandemic has experienced a disproportionate and challenging effects on ladies. We are normally caregivers, wives, moms or grandmothers, when simultaneously balancing our skilled duties and aspirations. However, I consider the classes discovered all through the pandemic give specialist women with a one of a kind prospect transferring forward—we really should feel empowered to test new methods of working to enable us define the right harmony between our private and specialist lives. I strongly believe that a hybrid and adaptable “future of work” is the right answer, and the best chance and environment for us to thrive as females in technological innovation and organization.

What is your assistance for females seeking to go after a profession in tech and organization?

“Don’t turn out to be a mushroom and do not be in the darkish.” As I was rising as an IT chief, a single of my mentors gave me this information. To be a potent leader, you will need to be well-connected and perceptive to small business desires and the morale of your team. Major with empathy can aid encourage a supportive group dynamic that enables men and women to grow whilst assembly, or exceeding, small business objectives.

I motivate each individual person—but specially gals in tech—to identify solid mentors and leaders who can assist foster your interests and develop self-confidence. Getting to know many others may well uncover encounters, values, or capabilities that you may well not see dependent on just their job.   

At last, evolve with the company. Transform is frequent in the electronic era, so tech and organization leaders will need to consistently believe about how they will evolve their talent sets to drive impression. They will need to continually appear all over the corner to keep abreast of rising technological know-how traits and reveal how revolutionary tech can be powerful small business enablers. Modify is powerful, embrace it.   

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