Lindsay Cicenas of SoftwareONE interviews Holly Baumgart of Sargento Foods Inc. on the topic of Women in Technology at the 2018 CIO Forum.
February 16, 2018
Written by Katie Kuhn, United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County
SoftwareONE, Inc. doesn’t always sponsor events, but when they do…it’s the IT United CIO Forum!
The Waukesha-based company has offices all over the United States, and North American President Neil Lomax gets weekly requests for sponsorships. However, the Wisconsin-based CIO forum stands out. “It’s our home,” says Neil.
The IT United CIO Forum is an annual breakfast networking event featuring panel discussions with prominent CIOs on key technology trends and strategies, with proceeds benefitting United Way’s Community Fund. Topics discussed at the 2018 event included “The Changing Role of Technology” and “Cloud.”
Lindsay Cicenas, enterprise software portfolio advisor at SoftwareONE, found both topics to be relevant to her business. “From an advisory standpoint, keeping up with changes in technology is so important so we can advise our customers and lead organizations through those transformations.”
During the event, Lindsay interviewed Holly Baumgart of Sargento Foods Inc. on the topic of Women in Technology. She used SoftwareONE as an example in her opening remarks, “we are comprised of about half women among our whole staff, but have very few women in leadership positions,” says Lindsay, “Holly and I discussed why having women in those positions is so important – not only from an empowerment standpoint, but the fact that it is a good investment. Empowering women to move into upper management will increase engagement, retention, and help us be an ultimately more profitable company.”
To this end, SoftwareONE started a Women in Technology group last year. “I was surprised that we had almost 100% participation from our female staff, but also a large amount from our male staff, particularly men in leadership positions,” says Lindsay.
In reflection, Lindsay noted that “United Way always does an amazing job (at the CIO Forum), not only at attendance, but at choosing very relevant topics.”
Another reason SoftwareOne decides to sponsor the event year-after-year lies in the quality of interactions that Neil and his colleagues have with attendees of the event, all potential customers for the company. “It’s amazing how many times you can sponsor an event and not be treated well by attendees,” says Neil. “(At the CIO Forum) attendees know we are spending the money to be there, and they are thankful. They take time to talk with us, and they have a refreshingly positive attitude.”
“That’s what makes it worthwhile and what keeps us coming back every year,” says Neil.
SoftwareONE is also a sponsor of the upcoming IT United Technology Career Fair. Find out how you can get involved.
Check out photos from the CIO Forum on Facebook, and learn more about how you can attend the event by becoming a member of IT United.