In the next Q&A Ehrhardt shares advice to the coming generation of IT leaders, as well as the steps to be taken in order to address the Hispanic Technology' pipeline shortage and how Latino representation in this industry can be improved.
LL: How did you arrive to your current position?
ME: The road to arrive at my current position was long and arduous, as I describe in my book From Leaning in to Kneeling Down, but what I consider the most important asset to move up and down the glass ceiling are character traits, not skills, such as determination, endurance, patience, courage, leadership, trust worthiness and integrity. I started my career as a NASA Engineer for the Space Shuttle Program, and continued in the Information Technology path of Corporate America at Digital Equipment Corporation and then Oracle. I moved to the side and started my own company and then became an entrepreneur--and through the all ups and downs, I never gave up my dream.
LL: What was given to you in terms of advice or mentorship that pushed you to where you are today?
ME: I have always sought out the advice of experts in the area I want to make progress in, and in that path I have found key people that inspired me when I was looking for the next step, people that encouraged me when I had a kneel down moment. People that believed in me when things were foggy, and people that allowed me to be on the spotlight and get the visibility required to move forward. I am forever grateful for these people in my path.
LL: Now that you have made it--what advice would you share with the upcoming generation?
ME: I would say 4 things: First, to focus on the Character Ladder and not on the Career Ladder because it is in the first ladder you find treasures that last forever in your life, that is why I state in my book that women are more precious than rubies. The second advice I would give to this generation is that STEM careers are at the tipping point of explosion, this is the future, so don't be shy to join Science, Math, and Technology--the future will depend on them more than ever before in the history of humankind. Third, nothing of value comes easy and fast. And last we are always compelled to have a purpose bigger than us, so make sure that you find your purpose, and that it impacts the lives of others in a positive manner. No reward is greater than that.
LL: Which steps do we need to take to address the Hispanic Technology pipeline shortage? How can we improve Latino...