Human Resources Management Systems Manager at UITS
Melanie Ebdon is the Human Resources Management Systems Manager at UITS and a new member of the Advisory Board for CEWiT’s Staff Affiliate, Indiana University Women in IT (IUWIT) and has participated in CEWiT’s staff/student mentoring program.
Ebdon said she enjoys working in a technology department because she is fascinated with the interconnectedness of technology. She coaches and mentors her team members as their IT manager and encourages leadership growth. Mentoring women in the STEM field is one of Ebdon’s passions.
“Determining how to retain women in STEM fields as their primary long-term career is key as well, since that is a continuing impediment to encouraging young women to enter STEM fields in the first place,” said Ebdon. “They don’t see enough role models for themselves out there who have achieved recognition and financial/commercial success in technical fields.”
Ebdon believes that the future of advancing women in STEM fields must include men. Inspiring young men in the technology field to include and empower their women peers is a critical way to achieve equality. Ebdon sees the opportunity to involve men in the conversation while also encouraging women to advocate for themselves.
“Focusing on women’s behavior alone will not achieve the desired result, since it implies that it is women’s responsibility alone to figure out how to succeed in technical fields –the barriers have to be removed by men and women working together,” said Ebdon. “Being strong also means knowing when you need to ask for help.”
Ebdon advises young women to involve themselves in the development and technical side of technology. She suggests networking in classes and in professional settings in order to help implant the idea that women are technologically capable.
“In your own way, help to make it a cultural norm for a woman to be treated as a full
member of a technical team, which is how her male counterparts automatically expect to
be treated,” said Ebdon. “There’s just no question in their minds about that, and there should be no question in women’s minds either about the importance of their own
contributions and achievements.”