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On the ascent

Vera Alves | March 19, 2012
CIO talks to three women IT executives tipping the gender imbalance in the sector as they take on leadership and decision-making posts.

"I know that everyone in my team truly loves what they do," she says. Additionally, she says engagement with "clients" is also "very rewarding", even more so than she experienced in previous roles.

The personal gains Shubkin takes home from her role mean she no longer worries about keeping a good balance between work and leisure. "I used to worry about that and now I don't. It doesn't mean I'm working any less hours but, in the hours I'm putting in now, I feel everything I'm doing is what I want to do, not what I have to do," she says. Despite having enjoyed her previous roles, Shubkin admits it is now hard to imagine herself returning to the corporate world.

Tracy Voice: Leading transformation behind the scenes

Tracy Voice was appointed CIO of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry last November after spending over four years with NZ Post, where she was also CIO. Before becoming CIO of MAF, Voice was on a contract as programme manager for the same agency and worked on the merger with the Ministry of Fisheries.

She says that merger has, of course, impacted the business and part of her year ahead will focus on restructuring the team and some of the business applications that will need to be amalgamated, due to the merger. She reports to Nigel Price, deputy director general corporate services at MAF.

Voice sees her role as a transformational one and will lead the MAF through some key changes in the next few months. "The two main focuses for 2012 are building an effective team and developing a strategic plan, a five-year roadmap for MAF," she explains. "We need to understand what information and data we gather and how that affects the business," Voice adds.

For the new MAF CIO, "the challenge is how quickly you can transform and not impact the business". She says much of her and her team's work is done "behind the scenes" and, despite affecting how the business works, it is important that the impact is not felt as a disruption.

Voice is no stranger to business challenges and transformation, though. As NZ Post CIO, she launched the first commercial corporate deployment of Google enterprise applications in the Asia Pacific. She left the company in January 2011 and went on to provide strategic IT and management consulting services.

Voice believes having a good balance between work and personal life is fundamental to ensure her job is done correctly. She says MAF is a great institution to work for in that sense as it provides "a flexible work environment". She chooses to work from her home in the Wairarapa on Fridays.


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