JoeAnne Hardy’s career in IT started when she joined WBM Office Systems‘ sales team in 1996. Fourteen years later, she’s now the president of the Saskatoon-based solution provider, as well as an owner.
Throughout her 14-year career at WBM, Hardy said she was progressively given more opportunities within the organization to take on more responsibility and to learn about operations.
When she first started out in sales, Hardy said she worked “in a sales pit full of men,” noting she was “okay with that.”
“I’m completely accustomed to being one of the only women at meetings because that’s been a reality for me since day one,” she explained. “I’ve worked for and led teams of men and never found (my gender) to be an issue, or affect my ability to get things done.”
Hardy said the man who hired her at WBM eventually became her husband and was also one of three business partners who later completed a management buyout of WBM with her in October 2008. Following her role in sales, Hardy moved on to become the vice-president of organizational development. In 2003, Hardy took on the role of WBM’s vice-president of service operations. Three years later, Hardy became president of WBM.
Besides her role at WBM, Hardy is also the president of the North American Venture Tech Network industry association, which is made up of IT solution providers across the continent. She’s also a mentor in the University of Saskatchewan’s Edwards School of Business Womentorship Program.
“As an industry, we need to make sure we’re training young professionals into these (IT leadership) roles and make sure they’re accessible to everyone,” she said.
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