Her actions make an impact: Synovus CTO Jennifer Baker
Jennifer Baker is a member of a small but growing club in America. Women who hold the title of Chief Technology Officer. As of 2019, reporting showed that at the top 1,000 U.S. companies by revenue, the percentage of women with that title was only 18%. To encourage more women to join a field historically dominated by men, leaders like Jennifer are taking a hands-on approach.
“Pursue every decision, obstacle, new situation, responsibility or challenge with Grit. Accept every failure, missed opportunity, compliment and criticism with Grace.”
Jennifer’s been with Synovus for six years, and her impact on the company’s culture and IT services in that amount of time is striking.
In 2020 alone, she spearheaded valuable initiatives like creating a standard code of conduct for the Application Development and Delivery team, which focused on delivering quality IT services. Jennifer also established Synovus’ Women in Technology internal community, which she currently leads.
Jennifer saw the need for an internal community that constructively tackles stereotypes about women working in the technology field. Now, some of the most rewarding parts of her day include hearing stories of how Synovus encouraged someone to think differently about how they can network and add value in their unique way after being introduced to the WIT community.
As if that wasn’t enough, she kept her team focused on Here Matters efforts like the “Stuff the Bus” campaign, during which the Technology team raised $12,000 for Title I school supplies. All the while leading her team through the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s no wonder then that she was one of this year’s recipients of the Synovus Chairman’s Game Changer Award.
It would be easy to think that someone as accomplished as Jennifer is impervious to things like self-doubt. However, she’s the first to acknowledge that people in positions of leadership still face moments of uncertainty. For Jennifer, an effective way to overcome that challenge has been to form strong partnerships with other women in business or allies that focus on leveraging their combined unique perspectives. Her goal from those partnerships is to create a culture where women in business are less of an occurrence that defines them and more about each woman’s responsibility to foster, mentor, and advocate.
Given the advancement of women in the workplace is a cause near and dear to Jennifer’s heart, she’s encouraged by the steps Synovus has taken to face and actively tackle areas of opportunity to increase female representation in leadership roles. For her, part of the solution is continuing to foster a culture of allies to women who are eager to make an impact. And we’ll get there, with a little grit and grace.
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