Necole Jackson-DeJoie started her IT career over 20 years ago, working her way from Support Operations to Global IT Director at Boston Consulting Group (BCG). While her love for her work was evident throughout our talk, she didn’t originally see herself in IT. The Brooklyn native envisioned being a medical doctor throughout school — or, at least, until she took college physics.
“I interned at Mount Sinai Hospital before starting college. However, after physics I realized I wasn’t cut out for a career in medicine,” she said.
After pivoting away from medicine, Jackson-DeJoie “fell into” a career in IT, an “up and coming industry” she found exciting because it allowed her to use both the business and STEM sides of her brain.
She says she’s always chasing “what’s next” — a mentality learned from her mom that’s allowed her to be an asset on digital teams.
Two and a half years ago, BCG became the perfect place for Necole to continue her career because it mirrored these exciting aspects of IT.
“BCG has made a significant investment in their technology organization and I wanted to be a part of building and executing the vision for digital transformation,” she shared. The positive reputation about BCG’s culture sealed the deal.
Necole, a senior advisor for Women in IT at BCG, says she often noticed women in IT feel they’re disadvantaged for having a family or carry the disproportionate burden of proving their ability. In the past, she’d felt similarly.
“IT is a very male-dominated industry. There were many times when I was the only woman in the room. That’s changing,” she shared.
BCG offered something different.
“At the time, BCG was voted one of the top places to work and I had a friend who worked there who also spoke highly of the organization…The people I met during my interview process got me excited about the culture at BCG.”
Thus far, the excitement has held up.
“My favorite thing about BCG is the culture…Every once in a while, I will ask a new employee what they like about BCG and the no. 1 answer is always ‘the support,’” Jackson-DeJoie said.
When asked what makes BCG so supportive, she mentioned that although the atmosphere is one that encourages high standards and a healthy amount of competition, BCG colleagues want to see each other succeed.
“BCG is the most data driven company I’ve worked for. People here are really good at giving factual feedback based on data. Feedback is a gift, whether it’s positive or constructive, and having people who are willing to give honest and reflective feedback is essential to feeling supported.”
Jackson-DeJoie had a lot of advice for women who are struggling in less supportive IT environments.
“Build your credibility with data,” she advised. “Find your voice and speak up in a way that’s comfortable for you. Learn how to share your opinions in a constructive way.”
When it comes to finding a career that satisfies your desire for “what's next,” Jackson-DeJoie says flexibility is critical.
“Always be willing to reinvent yourself to ensure you are building your skillset and satisfying your curiosity,” she shared.
But don’t be flexible on your values.
“I’ve had to learn how to balance my career with home. A mentor once told me: ‘You need to look at Necole as a business and think about what your priorities are.’ My number one priority is my family. My career is also important to me. I always want to make sure that I’m staying true to my priorities.”
Thankfully, she’s found a workplace that doesn’t ask her to compromise on those things that are important to her. As a result, she sees herself growing and inventing and reinventing there.
“I’m a product leader in the Digital Collaboration space, and will expand my impact in digital product transformation ” she said of her future goals. “I continue to build my toolbox.”
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