Women in STEM: Diane Rogerson

We are starting off the New Year 2016 with our very first interview here at FemmeTek, kicking off a series where we interview a women in the STEM field every month! For the month of January, we got the chance to ask Diane Rogerson, of Chase Bank, some questions pertaining to her experiences in the STEM career that she currently holds, as well as her past experiences. We would like to thank Diane and Chase Bank for allowing us to have and post this interview! Rogerson Photo

 What is your job and what do you do?

 I am the Managing Director for Chase Technology Risk, Controls and Cyber Security.  My organization is accountable for assessment and remediation of our internal application and external vendors in terms of compliance with our internal and industry technology risk & control standards, as well as protection of our customers from Cyber security risks.

 How did you get started at your current job? I was requested / re-assigned to my current job, which was based on my 15+ years of experience in various Technology roles and my leadership skills in many different technology areas.  I had proven myself as someone that could build / re-build new teams and create new processes and services for a broad array of technology consumers.  To that end, this new role was a great fit for my skillset, but also a good stretch for me personally, and would assist in my career growth in the long term.

Did you go to a University and, if so, what was your major?

I attended University of Richmond for 18 months, and completed my education at University of Delaware. I graduated, Magna Cum Laude, with an Accounting degree.

Did it take you a long time to figure out what you wanted to do with your career?

Yes! I pursued a career in Accounting, right out of college, as someone who truly enjoyed math and science, and had exceeded at both areas of study.  But after a few years at a big accounting firm, and lots of travel, I made the move to work at a local Delaware firm, the First USA Bank, but entered in an Accounting role.  I eventually moved to Finance, as I thought that might be a bit more interesting, but quickly learned that I did not like the repetition of monthly Accounting and Finance deadlines, and therefore, leveraged my contacts in Technology to obtain a role in a process and quality assurance governance role.  This was the most important change in my entire career, although it took me 6 years to make the decision that my original area of study was not substantially challenging and innovative to sustain my interest long term.

Is there anything that wish you had done differently in your journey to your career path?

I truly don’t have many regrets in terms of my career path, as all of the twists and turns have proven to be beneficial in terms of the different experiences and what I learned from each of the many roles that I have held in the last 20 years.  I do wish that I had greater self-confidence, earlier in my career. Although I was being recognized as successful in many roles, I doubted myself too often, and only over many years did I clearly gain my “footing” and felt confident in taking on any technology role that I considered or was asked to take on.

What advice would you give to women (either in high school or in University themselves) about being in the STEM fields, and or finding their career paths? My advice is three-fold: First, be patient and don’t expect that your first job will be your “final resting place”.  There are many, many facets to technology, and therefore, many different jobs in technology that you might want to experience – i.e. application development, infrastructure engineer, business systems analyst, risk & controls, cyber security, etc.

Second, don’t be intimidated, and don’t doubt yourself – EVER!  Just like in sports and your academic career, to date, there will be obstacles, non-believers, and really, really hard days … but never “let them see you sweat”, and know that you can compete in any role, at any level, side by side any other computer science major or technology professional.  NOW – this is easier said than done, so find some confidants and peers or family members that you trust, so that you can talk through your fears or just simple “vent”, when needed, and use that as your outlet.  It’s normal to have fears and uncertainties, but work through those outside of the workplace, as it will only serve to empower you in the work environment and be confident in the completion and delivery of your tasks and responsibilities.

Lastly, be sure to do whatever job you have, at any time, very well!  Even if you know that the role you are in is not the best fit for you in the long term, be sure to come to work every day to do the best job that you can, while you perhaps explore new opportunities either internally or externally to the current company or firm.  Your performance in your current role will be your “ticket” to your next great opportunity !

Lastly, is there anything else you would like the readers to know or anything else that we haven't discussed here?

My final thought is realize that as a woman in technology you are not at a disadvantage, and instead, you are actually working with an advantage.  Women bring diversity of thought and leadership to the table, and leaders and managers in technology firms across every industry need the unique skills and insights of women to remain competitive.

Thanks again to Diane Rogerson and Chase Bank for helping us kick off 2016 with some great advice!