Through to the Keeper
Around 5 years ago, the CIO of our organisation said to me, 'we have a problem with gender diversity in technology, I want your ideas on what we can do to change it'.
An open invitation from the CIO to make a difference for gender diversity in technology, a subject that I hold so dear now. I can't imagine needing any more permission to act, or a larger opportunity, than what was given to me that day.
Do you know what I did with that opportunity? Absolutely nothing. Seriously, I did nothing at all, in fact I made a conscious decision not to act on the opportunity that was handed to me on a platter.
I'm ashamed now to admit that I remember thinking that it wasn't my job to fix the issue of gender diversity. I'm also ashamed that I didn't respond to a direct ask from our CIO. The thing I am most ashamed about is that I ignored an opportunity.
I can make all sorts of excuses. I did at the time & have done since. The organisation wasn't ready for a diversity & inclusion program, I wasn't in a position in the organisation to influence for change, ideas I put forward wouldn't be heard, (I know, the CIO had just asked for the ideas, who else did I want to hear them), and more.
It's all irrelevant though, in fact even the subject of the opportunity is irrelevant. The fact remains that I was handed a golden opportunity & I let it go through to the keeper. I reflect now that the thing I missed was the hard work involved when an opportunity arises. I know now that a vision without a plan & without the hard work, is just a wish.
Opportuntiies are everywhere, they aren't always as obvious as an open invitation form the CIO, but they are everywhere. Watch out for them, recognise them, catch the ones that align to your personal vision and passions, then plan & work hard to achieve them. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.
I may have let that opportunity go through to the keeper years ago, but I have picked it up since. I am making a difference now, beyond what I thought possible back then when I shunned the whole idea.