Nasdaq Women in Technology: Cynthia Stoddard, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Adobe

Cynthia Stoddard Tower Shot

As Senior Vice President and CIO of Adobe, Cynthia Stoddard oversees Adobe’s Worldwide Details Technologies and Trustworthiness Engineering teams. In her leadership function, Cynthia spearheads a world method for delivering products and services and operations that form the backbone of the corporation. She has 25-as well as many years of enterprise encounter and IT expertise main significant world businesses including Adobe, Netapp, Safeway and APL Confined in source chain, retail and engineering growth. Cynthia is a receiver of the 2017 CIO 100 Award, Adobe It can be 2018 progressive approaches to produce enterprise worth and named a CIO Hall of Fame inductee in 2019. She retains a BS diploma in accounting from Western New England College and an MBA from Marylhurst College.

Be sure to discuss to us about your job at Adobe. What are your leading ambitions in this function for this calendar year? 

As Adobe’s CIO, my job is exceptional in that I have a horizontal, cross-functional watch of the firm and an stop-to-conclude see of the organization approach. This vantage stage delivers me with a terrific platform to affect alter throughout the organization. I have lengthy been an advocate for shoppers in my IT management roles and I’m passionate about creating alternatives that satisfy customers’ requirements and drive efficiencies. 

As we go on to navigate new techniques of doing work, our emphasis is on how we can use inventive systems and processes to make organizations far more agile and resilient. A best precedence for Adobe is comprehension what the subsequent era of the hybrid place of work seems to be like, and how people are adapting to it. It’s not just about giving our workforce new tools. Alternatively, we are rethinking our procedures to be certain workflows are compatible with how our workers are approaching get the job done nowadays.

In the end, our target is to just take IT out of the equation by leveraging services and procedures that can be automated or shifted to a self-healing platform.

This year, I am fired up to continue on our work with Lab 82, which is a partnership among Adobe, my Digital Office Encounter group and the HR Employee Working experience crew to exam and build much more collaborative methods of operating. The vital regions of concentrate incorporate neighborhood and wellbeing, strategies of operating, environment and technological innovation. Lab 82 lets us to experiment with a variety of remedies to aid produce a holistic and human-centered worker practical experience.

For instance, we are wanting at the most reducing-edge systems like digital whiteboarding solutions, small toss projectors and AI driven cameras that will empower our hybrid workforce. We are also experimenting with stress tests, which will optimize the encounters of our workforce.

What is exceptional about staying a woman in tech at Adobe?

Our Adobe founders, John Warnock and Charles Geschke, considered that excellent concepts can occur from everyone, wherever in the organization, so fostering new and numerous views is definitely a section of Adobe’s lifestyle.

As a woman in tech, I enjoy that Adobe aims to make investments in people that have a collaborative way of thinking, even if that signifies allowing go of some handle in the pursuit of collaboration. We stimulate staff to tactic issues with an open up mind, empowering our persons to share new views that lead to greater innovation.

Even though the purchaser experience is a major aim for me and my crew, I consider our results is rooted in creating favourable employee experiences as effectively. Modern a long time have furnished an opportunity to thoughtfully reexamine our workforce tradition and lean into how we can improved aid our persons. For illustration, the shift to distant do the job has supplied a special possibility to even further inclusivity by equalizing participants in a meeting and necessitating new varieties of collaboration.

I am very pleased to be aspect of an organization that is committed to DE&I as a strategic priority. I believe this helps persons really feel valued and safe at function while supporting everyone be far more creative and revolutionary.

What are some issues you’ve experienced to defeat as a female in tech throughout your job?

As a woman, it is more challenging to construct reliability in locations that are stereotypically male dominated. Early in my profession when I worked in the transportation and logistics business at a freight/trucking corporation, it was seriously dominated by adult men at all concentrations. Even though the expectation was various for my male counterparts, I felt that to construct belief and credibility with some of my colleagues and leaders, I wanted to spend extra time in the evenings to read, analysis and find out. As a final result, I built up my self esteem and know-how, which permitted me to ground my thoughts in proof factors and knowledge. This added function, and my motivation to becoming a everyday living-extensive learner, built me stand-out and solidified important associations.

It’s significant to just take time to foster associations with other individuals to create have faith in and believability. This is one particular of your most strong belongings and it puts you in a much better placement to make an affect faster—especially in the course of crunch time or when introduced with a tricky problem.

From your practical experience, what can tech do to better uplift girls in the sector?

Over the earlier number of decades, women of all ages in S.T.E.M. have designed a great deal of development, but there is nevertheless operate to be completed. 1st, we need to acknowledge and fully grasp that inequality gaps exist for girls and other underrepresented groups.

Each group really should be giving a platform for women of all ages to voice their thoughts and share their strategies. Generating a house to overtly go over the troubles that workforce are facing is crucial to solving that issue. Then, corporations need to have to assure what is learned from these discussions are turned into significant steps.

At the very same time, strengthening the knowledge for females in tech and business must not tumble solely on the shoulders of the gals in tech. To make a more inclusive and supportive workforce, every single worker—from the CEO down to the interns—needs to function on reducing own biases and advocating for these who may not feel comfortable talking up.

Lastly, the uncertainty and volatility of the previous couple a long time for the duration of the pandemic has experienced a disproportionate and complicated impression on women of all ages. We are frequently caregivers, wives, moms or grandmothers, even though at the same time balancing our skilled obligations and aspirations. Nonetheless, I believe the classes learned during the pandemic provide experienced ladies with a unique possibility shifting forward—we really should sense empowered to attempt new techniques of doing the job to assistance us determine the proper equilibrium between our personalized and skilled lives. I strongly think a hybrid and flexible “future of work” is the appropriate answer, and the perfect option and atmosphere for us to prosper as girls in engineering and organization.

What is your advice for women on the lookout to pursue a profession in tech and organization?

“Don’t grow to be a mushroom and do not be in the dark.” As I was emerging as an IT leader, one of my mentors gave me this information. To be a strong chief, you require to be perfectly-connected and perceptive to small business desires and the morale of your group. Major with empathy can help encourage a supportive team dynamic that makes it possible for folks to grow when conference, or exceeding, small business goals.

I motivate each individual person—but primarily gals in tech—to establish robust mentors and leaders who can aid foster your passions and make self-self confidence. Acquiring to know other people may uncover ordeals, values, or skills that you might not see based on just their job.   

Last but not least, evolve with the small business. Adjust is continual in the electronic era, so tech and small business leaders need to frequently think about how they will evolve their ability sets to travel influence. They will need to frequently look all around the corner to stay abreast of emerging technological innovation tendencies and show how modern tech can be strong small business enablers. Change is highly effective, embrace it.