Advice for Companies on International Women’s Day

On International Women’s Day, Directions Training President and CEO Jennifer Didier reflects on her journey and offers some advice to other leaders:

Early in my career, I was accustomed to being the only female in the room while instructing a class full of male IT professionals. But, I always knew I was capable of leading others outside of the classroom, too. Determined to carve my place in the male-dominated industry, I founded Directions Training in 1991. With the support of coworkers, friends and mentors, I began building the company into what it is today—delivering training in more than 70 countries and training more than 500,000 people.

I will always be grateful and dedicated to other women who share the entrepreneurial spirit, and through organizations like International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners Women in Technology, I try to foster that spirit in another generation of women leaders.

I’d also like to offer some advice to IT companies this year. In 2018, more than any other year, we must continue to target women hires and to build programs that support and mentor women in the office. As strong, resilient, and loyal employees, women bring unique perspectives to the industry. Still, we are underrepresented in the male-dominated industry. IT companies must work to encourage more women to join the industry and to pursue leadership roles.

With women’s contributions, we all will continue to advance. According to, Fortune 500 companies that had at least three women directors saw an average return on equity increase by at least 53%, and return on sales increase by at least 42%. The return on invested capital increased by at least 66%. In today’s modern workplace, women often have longer lifespans in companies than their male counterparts. They are also often more successful in initial stages. This crucial bit of insight will make the difference this year as companies work to create fresh solutions and evolve their business.

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