A Few Minutes With Charla Berry, CISA, CISM, CRISC, IT Auditor at Great Southern Bank
Q: What is one of the biggest obstacles you have faced when stepping into a leadership position?
A: My biggest obstacle was not having the confidence in myself that I should have had. My mentor and manager certainly had that confidence in me, or they would not have put me in the position. I was almost reluctant to take my first leadership role, but my manager needed me in the role, knew that I could handle it and pushed me to do it. Looking back, it was almost like she was pushing a baby bird out of the nest and much to my surprise, I flew.
Q: What is one of the most important internal (of your own effort) factors that led you to this role?
A: My desire to continuously educate myself in any way possible about technology that continues to this day. Whether through college courses, local/regional information technology offerings, self-study via reading magazines/web articles/following industry professionals, following colleagues around to pick their brains, working on my own on off hours to learn specific areas such as infrastructure details or technical writing—I am always seeking new avenues to learn and grow. This helped prepare me to take on a leadership role in so many ways and proved invaluable in my first opportunity: leading a helpdesk/desktop team.
Q: What other challenges do you see women face in being ready to take a leadership position?
A: I really think the biggest challenge is the self-confidence issue I experienced when I took my first leadership role. I think that is why it is so important to have other female leaders/mentors and organizations such as ISACA® with SheLeadsTech in place for support.
Q: What is the most important external (not of your own effort) factor that led to this role?
A: Support from my mentor and from my manager who recognized that I was ready for the opportunity when it presented itself.
Q: What challenges do you see organizations face as they look to hire more women in leadership positions?
A: Human Resources (HR) departments may need to get more in tune with the effort and in more of a capacity than just creating diversity and meeting quotas. In my experience, there are disconnects between HR departments, recruiters and hiring managers in finding, interviewing and hiring job candidates. I definitely think HR departments should and could evolve to help tremendously in this area. Additionally, I think corporate culture is a big challenge for some organizations. Organizations must build advocacy for women into the corporate culture, where it is clear that women are treated fairly, regarding promotions, raises, etc., and that there are female role models who demonstrate that reality.
Charla Berry is an IT auditor at Great Southern Bank in Springfield, Missouri, USA. She has previously held numerous technology and leadership roles in information technology/security in the higher education and healthcare industries and has extensive experience in IT risk, audit and compliance. Berry has been an ISACA® member since 2006, obtaining her Certified Information Systems Auditor® (CISA®) designation that same year, Certified in Risk and Information Systems Control™ (CRISC™) in 2010, and Certified Information Systems Manager® (CISM®) in 2016. She is a founding member of the ISACA Springfield (Missouri) Chapter, the immediate past president of the chapter having served 2011-2015, and still active on the chapter board. Berry currently serves as the chapter secretary.