3. When looking for leaders at the highest levels, what skills and qualities are often missing?

Workman: “Decisive decision-making.”

Schwartz: “Transparency–as people climb the leadership ladder, they can feel as if they have to keep to themselves, meaning information-sharing relationships aren’t necessarily as strong as they could be.”

4. How do you create equity? I’ve been told I have to learn how to speak to my male colleagues.

Schwartz: “Being told you have to know how to speak to your male colleagues says to me there might be something wrong within the institution or department. People are people and everyone has their own approach to communicating with one another. As long as it’s respectful and honest … I feel bad hearing that question.”

5. What are the top 3-5 key skills that matter most on path to CIO?

Celeste: “Relationship-building. It’s not really about being the most brilliant technologist in the universe; it’s about knowing how to build relationships. Those relationships will make a difference in your success.

Pitt: “Communication. You have to be an effective communicator. You’ll have to communicate over and over again to multiple groups, and communicate clearly.”

Workman: “Initiative and innovation. You have to get people to follow you and you have to be a good leader. You’re not going to do most of these initiatives and projects; you’re going to inspire others to do them.”

Related: Do women in STEM experience hostile work environments?

Woo: “Empathy and cultural awareness.”

6. If you had to give female higher-ed IT leaders a single piece of advice today, what would it be?

Workman: “You have to love what you do.”

Woo: “You can’t always change what happens, but you can change how you respond to it.”

Pitt: “Take a moment to breathe. It helps you re-group, re-frame, re-center, and re-energize.”

Schwartz: “Follow yourself, your heart, and do not let go of the importance of integrity as you move forward with your work.”

About the Author:

Laura Ascione

Laura Ascione is the Editorial Director, Content Services at eSchool Media. She is a graduate of the University of Maryland's prestigious Philip Merrill College of Journalism. Find Laura on Twitter: @eSN_Laura