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Becky Blalock’s Big Dare, by Peter High in CIO Insight Article

Peter High

04-15-2014

Except from the article:

When Becky Blalock entered the U.S. workforce more than 30 years ago, there weren’t many female leaders for her to emulate. As a result, Blalock had to create her own career path, starting at Southern Company, the third-largest utility in the world, where she rose through the ranks to become a senior vice president and CIO. Blalock spent nearly a decade running IT operations at Southern Company where she was nationally recognized for her innovative practices before leaving the company in 2011. Now a managing partner at Advisory Capitol, a strategic consulting firm, Blalock recently published a book, DARE: Straight Talk on Confidence, Courage, and Career for Women in Charge, with the aim of providing career and leadership advice for women. Blalock spoke with CIO Insight contributor Peter High about DARE, mentoring, the difference between leading and managing, and what she learned from one of the biggest disasters in her tenure as a CIO.

What led you to write DARE?

Becky Blalock: The top jobs in corporate America were once reserved for men. I was fortunate to be among the first women to break this tradition when I became CIO of one of the largest utility companies in the world. Getting there was not easy, and during my career journey, I learned many important lessons. As a result, I’ve strived to mentor other women seeking the same career path and to help them find their own way to success.

I saw writing DARE as my chance to mentor women beyond my immediate circle. We still see a big gender gap in the IT field, and DARE gives me a platform to talk about what an exciting field this is and to encourage more females to pursue this career path. Some of the fastest growing and highest paid jobs are in IT, but this field does not have a positive image. I hope to change that with this book.

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