Jane Moran, Global CIO, Thomson Reuters has been working in Information Technology in the finance sector for the last 25 years, but it is not where she started out. “After college I became a business analyst for a venture capital firm where I learned that my skill set was better suited to networking our office. I became known as the go-to person who could fix any PC or server,” recalled Moran.
The president of the company, who Moran had the opportunity to work with directly, recognized her ability and sponsored her to take computer science classes. This set the foundation for Moran’s career in tech as she went on to earn her MBA with a focus on IT from Boston University. Moran then went on to work for a consulting firm, where she spent five years developing portfolio management and trading platforms for financial institutions.
“I consulted for about eleven years, but when I was pregnant with my second child, I couldn’t continue to travel for work as much. I ended on a consulting assignment for a small dotcom firm in Boston and they actually offered me a CIO position, which I accepted since it was based in Boston,” explained Moran.
The company was eventually acquired by Thomson Financial in 2004. “In 2005, I became the Global CIO of Thomson Financial, which was a two billion dollar company at the time,” said Moran.
In 2008, Moran’s career advancement continued when she became the Global CIO of the Markets division for the Thomson Corporation, which had recently acquired Reuters. Moran said, “In 2010 the company centralized all of IT, and that is when I became the Global CIO for Thomson Reuters.”
Moran added that she graduated from Brown University with a degree in History and full intentions of entering the legal field. “You don’t need a technical degree to be technical,” explained Moran. “You just need to enjoy what you do. That’s the most important thing.”
Pride in Her Work
Moran’s career is filled with key moments and highlights, but her current role as the Global CIO for Thomson Reuters, a thirteen billion dollar company operating in 130 countries worldwide, is a professional achievement that she indicated as a big source of pride.
Currently, Moran is spending a lot of her time thinking about new ways to approach IT in a workplace, which involves maximizing the benefits of both on premise applications and cloud computing. “Working out the integrations between these two platforms is an exciting part of my job right now,” said Moran. “I am also excited about exploring the ways we can leverage social media on our internal platforms to improve our customer experience.”
Moran is also very involved in working on ways to get more out of big data. She said, “There is a new skill set emerging where you need to understand social behavior as well as mathematics to analyze big data in a new way.”
Her accomplishments certainly do not end there. In 2012, Moran was awarded with the honor of being selected the top woman in IT in the United Kingdom. She was also honored on CNN’s list of the top ten women in technology last summer. “It’s nice to be recognized for being good at what you do,” said Moran, “And it’s nice to inspire other people to be good at their jobs.”
“The business case around having a gender diverse technology team leads to better decisions, better problem solving, better team productivity, and greater innovation within an organization,” Moran noted, “And I am proud to be part of creating that.”
Gender Diversity in Technology
Moran indicated that attracting women to careers in tech is not as much of a problem as keeping them engaged during their career. “We need to work on helping women make the leap from individual contributor roles into more senior roles within an organization,” she said.
According to Moran, technical women need to exude more confidence at work by advocating for themselves, negotiating, and taking the initiative on accepting new projects or positions even if they don’t quite meet 100 percent of the qualifications.
“One of the best pieces of professional advice I received was to find my own voice and take my place at the table,” recalled Moran. “Women need to have the confidence that they can do the job just as well as anyone else.” She added, “You need to literally and figuratively take your place at the table. Contribute at meetings. Speak up. And when you sit at a board table, take up some real estate and let people know you are there and ready to be active in the conversation.”
At Thomson Reuters, Moran noted, there is a Women’s Advisory Task Force that looks at developing female leaders within the company. There is also a lot of emphasis placed on managing the talent pipeline. “We partner with our recruiting teams and with organizations like Anita Borg in order to create a diverse candidate slate early in the recruiting and hiring process,” explained Moran.
She continued, “I am a big advocate of internships and apprenticeships in technology. Leveraging the creativity of recent college graduates is so instrumental for organizations.”
Having mentors is something that Moran said has always played an important role in her own career advancement. She encouraged all women to seek out mentors, within their companies and outside of their companies as well. These professional relationships, according to Moran, can really influence your career path if you are open to receiving honest feedback and constructive criticism that you can in turn use to improve yourself.
Outside the Office
In her spare time, Moran enjoys doing activities with her husband and two boys, who are ten and twelve years old. “In the summer we sail and participate in competitive swimming leagues,” said Moran. She also recently took up tennis, which she is enjoying very much.