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CDN Women of the IT Channel honouree: Natalie Ireland

LeadershipNatalie Ireland, Mainland Information Systems

Natalie Ireland, chief financial officer at Mainland Information Systems

For Natalie Ireland, Mainland Information Systems Ltd. was not new, but the channel was.

Before joining the solution provider as a chief financial officer, she was a “fractional” certified general accountant for her own company, with clients generally in the manufacturing industry – companies that do not have a full-time need.

The change, she said, was quite big.

“I’d gone through my entire career thinking ‘accounting is accounting,’” Ireland said. “It took some time to wrap my head around the whole reseller environment; it was quite a shift.”

However, as a former client, Mainland’s leadership team was familiar.

In the three years she has been at the company, she said, she never felt like she couldn’t get ahead because she is a woman.

“It’s a combination of approaches. I worked with encouraging people, but I also worked very hard to fit in,” Ireland said. “I felt lucky because this is not the case for everyone.”

As much as she values leaders encouraging women to take on challenging roles, the basics, like equal pay for equal work, still matter.

“I poured a lot of hard work and my soul into the work that I do and devoted a great deal of focus of my career,” she said. “But being honoured is surprising and it gives me a lot of self-satisfaction in the work that I do.”