With nearly two and a half decades in the information technology sector, Tonya Bukacek talks about the importance of building strong relationships, embracing positivity and chasing dreams.
Tell me about your professional background and your current role.
I have been in the industry over 23 years. I started in the service side of the industry, where I was identified by a female colleague who was key to my early learning and success. I went on to help build an organisation with her in the conference industry – then later I worked with her again, along with other women mentors, at another organisation, ViaWest, which is where my technology acumen started to grow and mature.
More recently I joined ICD in the money market funds and short-term investments space as Chief Information Officer.
What are the biggest challenges that you are currently facing?
Obviously we are all operating in a COVID-19 environment, which in itself brings new challenges. As a new CIO at ICD, I started immersing myself in all aspects of the company.
One of my key areas of responsibility is supporting the infrastructure for creating the best tools in the industry. I am learning about our clients and the wider community that we operate in. The excitement, the brilliance, and the innovation of the team around me is incredible – it is an exciting space to be in.
What has been your experience of diversity in the workplace? How much progress have you seen during your career?
I have seen significant changes throughout the tech industry over the past two decades, especially for women, but it’s not enough. Still, some brilliant women are starting to take seats at the table, which is a lovely thing to see.
I recently joined a CIO group and was pleasantly surprised to see how many other women there are. It’s exciting to see women come together to share ideas and help each other be successful. On a personal level I think that it’s important that I am able to help build up other women in this space.
What advice would you give to women in finance who are looking to establish and develop a career?
Identify the people who can be your mentors and build strong relationships. Realising this at a young age was significant to my own career growth and success. Always make sure that you are surrounded by people who are positive and who push you to grow in different ways.
Your mentors don’t need to be women. I have had some incredibly strong and supportive men as mentors, including our own CEO at ICD, Tory Hazard. And there are specific forums out there now like Women in Treasury, so there are many more avenues that we can pursue as women. I appreciate the opportunity to continue to expand my own support system and work with new mentors.
What is your motto in life or your greatest inspiration?
I love to keep things simple, and also keep things in perspective. And as clichéd as it may sound, no matter what age you are, no matter what industry you may be in, always continue to chase your dreams.
Looking back, I am trying to make sure I give back as much as I have received. If you surround yourself with the right people, then good things will come.