MYRNA SOTO: PROVIDING FEMALE TECHNOLOGY LEADERSHIP
BY YOJI COLE | © 2008 DIVERSITYINC
Myrna Soto recommends young female executives go
beyond their comfort zone and seek male mentors,
especially if they’re in fields in which there are
“Very often, what I’ve found is that male executives
are fathers of daughters and they understand that their
daughters will be in the workplace one day, so they
want to be fair,” says Soto, vice president of IT governance and chief information-security officer at MGM
MIRAGE. “That’s a pivotal shift. People think male
counterparts don’t care or don’t understand the female
perspective. I think they do. I think they need to be
given a chance to express themselves.”
Soto entered the information-technology industry
when there were few women in the profession, so she
didn’t have a female mentor. Having male mentors
benefited her growth, she believes.
“It was an unknown benefit because they gave me an
awareness of how I was perceived and how I was incorrectly or correctly perceiving them,” she says.
Soto is trying to further diversify MGM’s IT department
and, by extension, the industry
as a whole. She tries to attract
women and people from other
groups through partnerships
with community organizations.
She also makes it her mission MGM MIRAGE, one of
to mentor women and recruit
students from underrepresented groups for IT internships.
Soto grew up in a Spanish-speaking household with
Cuban and Puerto Rican parents who emphasized the
individual’s responsibility to family and community.
She advises young women to not box themselves
into a traditional role. “Go after your passion,” says
Soto. “If what you’re passionate about is nontraditional
and maybe something your family is not familiar with,
don’t let that scare you.”
DR. AMY BATISTE: STRATEGY CRUCIAL TO DIVERSITY EFFORTS
BY ZAYDA RIVERA | © 2008 DIVERSITYINC
DR. AMY BATISTE
When it comes to diversity
strategies, Dr. Amy Batiste
has a deep understanding of
what it takes to bring diversity to an organization and
why it’s so important.
in any line of their business
have to have a solid strategy,”
explains Batiste. “It’s the ‘Why
are we doing it?’ and ‘How do we get there?’ And so as
a proponent of diversity as a strategic element of an
organization or a strategic imperative, I believe in function with the idea that it has to work and be held to the
same scrutiny and the same kinds of planning processes
as any other aspect of business.”
As a leadership, organizational and diversity strategist and the former founding executive director of
IDEAL (Institute for Diversity Education and Leadership), Batiste is a proven leader who leads by example
and is humbled by the success that has been a direct
result of the work she’s done.
“I would describe [my leadership style] as collaborative,” she says. “I think when I was both internal and
external, my job really focused on an ability to bring
multiple stakeholders to consensus to get things done.
That certainly requires an ability to assess needs and
bring multiple parties together in sometimes creative
and strategic ways and to come to agreements and
decide on direction.”
More than ever, Batiste says learning how to
work as a team is utterly important to the success
of a business.
“We are living in a multicultural world, we are
doing business in a multicultural marketplace, and
finally, we are working in multicultural environments,
more so than we ever have,” says Batiste. “When you
look across all dimensions of diversity, that’s true.
Because the shifts are becoming more pronounced, to
me, the imperative stands and is more intense.”