Nasdaq Women in Technology: Cynthia Stoddard, Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Adobe

ByThomas L. Elston

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Cynthia Stoddard Tower Shot

As Senior Vice President and CIO of Adobe, Cynthia Stoddard oversees Adobe’s Worldwide Data Know-how and Trustworthiness Engineering groups. In her leadership job, Cynthia spearheads a global tactic for offering solutions and operations that sort the spine of the business. She has 25-in addition many years of enterprise experience and IT experience foremost significant worldwide companies which includes Adobe, Netapp, Safeway and APL Restricted in offer chain, retail and technological know-how advancement. Cynthia is a recipient of the 2017 CIO 100 Award, Adobe It truly is 2018 innovative ways to supply organization price and named a CIO Hall of Fame inductee in 2019. She holds a BS diploma in accounting from Western New England College and an MBA from Marylhurst University.

Remember to talk to us about your job at Adobe. What are your prime plans in this position for this 12 months? 

As Adobe’s CIO, my purpose is unique in that I have a horizontal, cross-functional check out of the firm and an finish-to-close look at of the organization procedure. This vantage issue provides me with a good platform to affect adjust across the business. I’ve extended been an advocate for shoppers in my IT leadership roles and I’m passionate about constructing options that satisfy customers’ requirements and drive efficiencies. 

As we proceed to navigate new strategies of working, our aim is on how we can use artistic technologies and procedures to make corporations extra agile and resilient. A top rated priority for Adobe is comprehending what the future generation of the hybrid office seems to be like, and how persons are adapting to it. It’s not just about supplying our workforce new resources. In its place, we are rethinking our processes to ensure workflows are appropriate with how our employees are approaching function now.

In the end, our goal is to consider IT out of the equation by leveraging companies and procedures that can be automatic or shifted to a self-healing platform.

This 12 months, I am excited to go on our do the job with Lab 82, which is a partnership concerning Adobe, my Digital Workplace Working experience team and the HR Worker Experience crew to exam and develop more collaborative ways of functioning. The critical spots of concentration include local community and wellbeing, methods of doing work, ecosystem and technology. Lab 82 permits us to experiment with a selection of options to support provide a holistic and human-centered staff expertise.

For example, we are looking at the most cutting-edge technologies like digital whiteboarding remedies, short toss projectors and AI powered cameras that will empower our hybrid workforce. We are also experimenting with force screening, which will optimize the experiences of our workforce.

What is exclusive about becoming a girl in tech at Adobe?

Our Adobe founders, John Warnock and Charles Geschke, considered that great ideas can occur from any person, anyplace in the organization, so fostering new and numerous perspectives is truly a aspect of Adobe’s lifestyle.

As a lady in tech, I appreciate that Adobe aims to commit in men and women that have a collaborative frame of mind, even if that means letting go of some regulate in the pursuit of collaboration. We motivate workers to solution complications with an open head, empowering our people to share new views that lead to much better innovation.

Whilst the consumer encounter is a major concentrate for me and my crew, I believe that our achievement is rooted in developing constructive staff ordeals as nicely. Modern many years have presented an chance to thoughtfully reexamine our staff tradition and lean into how we can improved guidance our individuals. For case in point, the change to distant function has provided a one of a kind chance to even more inclusivity by equalizing contributors in a meeting and requiring new varieties of collaboration.

I am proud to be aspect of an business that is dedicated to DE&I as a strategic precedence. I believe that this can help individuals really feel valued and secure at perform whilst encouraging all people be more resourceful and revolutionary.

What are some worries you’ve had to conquer as a female in tech in the course of your occupation?

As a female, it’s tougher to create credibility in regions that are stereotypically male dominated. Early in my occupation when I labored in the transportation and logistics marketplace at a freight/trucking corporation, it was heavily dominated by guys at all degrees. When the expectation was distinct for my male counterparts, I felt that to build believe in and trustworthiness with some of my colleagues and leaders, I necessary to make investments excess time in the evenings to go through, investigation and study. As a consequence, I crafted up my self esteem and expertise, which permitted me to ground my feelings in proof details and data. This excess work, and my dedication to getting a daily life-lengthy learner, manufactured me stand-out and solidified important relationships.

It is important to just take time to foster associations with other individuals to set up have confidence in and believability. This is 1 of your most strong property and it places you in a much better placement to make an influence faster—especially throughout crunch time or when offered with a hard problem.

From your experience, what can tech do to better uplift women of all ages in the marketplace?

Above the past couple decades, females in S.T.E.M. have built a good deal of progress, but there is nonetheless work to be performed. Very first, we require to admit and comprehend that inequality gaps exist for ladies and other underrepresented teams.

Each individual organization should really be offering a system for women to voice their thoughts and share their suggestions. Producing a place to openly explore the challenges that staff members are experiencing is important to fixing that issue. Then, firms will need to ensure what is discovered from people conversations are turned into meaningful actions.

At the identical time, strengthening the knowledge for girls in tech and business should really not slide only on the shoulders of the ladies in tech. To build a extra inclusive and supportive workforce, every single worker—from the CEO down to the interns—needs to work on getting rid of particular biases and advocating for those who may well not feel comfy talking up.

Finally, the uncertainty and volatility of the past few many years in the course of the pandemic has experienced a disproportionate and complicated impact on females. We are usually caregivers, wives, moms or grandmothers, while at the same time balancing our qualified responsibilities and aspirations. Even so, I believe the lessons realized in the course of the pandemic offer qualified gals with a one of a kind chance moving forward—we should truly feel empowered to try out new strategies of doing the job to aid us define the right stability concerning our private and experienced lives. I strongly believe that a hybrid and flexible “future of work” is the suitable option, and the ideal possibility and surroundings for us to prosper as ladies in technology and business enterprise.

What is your information for women wanting to go after a vocation in tech and business?

“Don’t grow to be a mushroom and do not be in the darkish.” As I was emerging as an IT leader, a single of my mentors gave me this tips. To be a robust leader, you will need to be nicely-linked and perceptive to small business requirements and the morale of your crew. Primary with empathy can assist inspire a supportive team dynamic that makes it possible for men and women to mature when meeting, or exceeding, company targets.

I inspire each and every person—but specially females in tech—to determine powerful mentors and leaders who can assistance foster your passions and construct self-self confidence. Obtaining to know some others may perhaps uncover encounters, values, or qualities that you could not see based mostly on just their part.   

Lastly, evolve with the enterprise. Adjust is continuous in the electronic period, so tech and organization leaders need to have to regularly consider about how they will evolve their talent sets to push impact. They have to have to continually appear all over the corner to stay abreast of rising technological innovation developments and display how progressive tech can be highly effective business enterprise enablers. Alter is effective, embrace it.   


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