by Emily Sprewell

The University of West Georgia’s Women in Technology (WIT) Campus recently hosted a panel that encouraged open dialogue between students and women who are successful in the technology field.

Anne Marie Colombo
Anne Marie Colombo

WIT Campus is a national organization, and this panel served as the first event for UWG’s new chapter. The event, designed to promote women's involvement in the technology field, featured panelists Annemarie Eades, Kimberly Putnam and Anne Marie Colombo, who shared their career experiences.

The event began with a short introduction from each panelist where they provided students with details about their current positions in the technological field.

The first panelist, Anne Marie Colombo, works with the CIO of the software company SAP where she focuses on cyber security.

“I work with customers and try to help them figure out how to protect their SAP systems because usually that holds most business critical data,” Colombo said.

Kimberly Putnam, who serves as the corporate quality manager for quality systems at Southwire, explained that her job has multiple dimensions but detailed what she is currently working on for the student audience.

Kimberly Putnam
Kimberly Putnam

“Right now my main focus is working with our quality managers at all 19 of our manufacturing locations to find out what they need, what they want to be and what data they want to see,” Putnam said.

Annemarie Eades, who currently serves as vice president for Information Technology Services and chief information officer for UWG, went into detail about the multiple departments that she is responsible for such as information solutions, infrastructure and operations, and cyber security. She explained that her experience in the technology field taught her that confidence was essential.

“Over the course of my career I’ve really had to step up and ask for what I wanted and insert myself so that opportunities would not pass me by,” Eades said.

The introductions were followed by questions from students in the audience. The panelists gave advice to students based on their own experiences and the challenges they faced as women in the technological field.

Annemarie Eades
Annemarie Eades

The panelists also gave advice to women on ways to cultivate confidence in the workspace.

“Put your ideas out there and don’t be afraid,” Colombo said. “I think the more you share your ideas with different people within an organization, you kind of build it so you’re not just relying on one group.”

Putnam also spoke to students about the importance of being authentic in the process of your career.

“Be true to yourself, be honest with who you are and pursue that diligently,” Putnam said.

Photography by Julia Mothersole

Posted on November 19, 2019