Women’s History Month is celebrated in March by highlighting the accomplishments of women. For Judy Dinn, Chief Information Officer (CIO) of TD Bank, America's Most Convenient Bank® (AMCB), supporting women is a priority all year.
When Judy took on role of CIO in late 2021, she came to understand the bank's current and refreshed business strategy and created a supporting technology strategy. She also realized she needed different skills and talents in the leadership team to drive that strategy. As she looked to reshape the AMCB Technology management team, she took the opportunity to focus on diversity and transitioned her team from 100% male to 50% female. Moreover, female representation at the Associate Vice President level and above under Judy has increased by 21.9% since her arrival. As industry research and Judy's own experience has shown, a diverse team means better productivity.
“As a female in technology, I feel it is my obligation to ensure that my management team represents the communities we serve," she said. "With experienced professionals from different companies, lines of business, or parts of the world, we have a better understanding of what ‘great' looks like. Having that diversity on my team gives TD a leg up.”
Finding the right fit
Judy wanted to find women with varied experiences but recruiting executives with the right skillset in a highly competitive market was difficult. She needed to find people who understood technology on a bigger scale. Judy used her mathematics background to methodically find the right candidates. Her strategy worked well. Daphne McRae, Head of U.S. Technology Solutions Project Management Office, joined TD Bank in July 2022 and feels heard and empowered in her new role.
“Judy Dinn and her leadership team have created a culture where women are not only represented around the leadership table, but they are also given a voice and a platform to be transformative," Daphne said. "I am grateful to work for compassionate management who understands the challenges those female leaders face, partners to clear roadblocks, and creates an inclusive culture that inspires women to thrive.”
TD’s commitment to fostering a supportive culture helps Judy manage her top talent. She knows how important that is because finding places that fit her own needs helped her thrive during her 24-plus year career. “Culture influences performance of individuals and teams. It’s amazing how happy you can be and how well you perform when you are in the right environment.”
Aside from thriving in your current role, Judy also recommends switching it up when the opportunity arises. For her and her colleagues, continuing to recognize those moments when you can learn, and grow is an important key to success.
“Focusing less on promotions and more on growing a skill and talent you are interested in will help your career," Judy said. "You want to put the odds in your favor that, when an opportunity presents itself, you check more boxes than your competition. My job as a manager is to grow my team for their own development and for the good of the company.”
Judy’s employees appreciate her leadership style. It empowers them to succeed.
Maria Urani, Head of AMCB Consumer Banking Technology, joined Judy’s department in May 2022. “I feel supported, trusted, and valued at TD Bank because of the people that surround me. That means everything. I know I can contribute ideas, challenge the norm, take action, and make decisions. Having equity at the leadership table means I am given the same opportunities as everyone else. I have forums where I can contribute my experiences and opinions without being ignored. I have a voice, and it is heard.”
A vision to be the best
As much as Judy wanted to diversify her group, she wasn’t willing to make compromises that could negatively impact the productivity or success of her department.
“It's about being in a position where we are really proud of the technologies that we build," Judy said. “We want to have the best team out there. We know we are contributing to the success of the bank. We want to be excited about what we do when we get up every morning.”
TD’s commitment to diversity has helped transform the company as an industry leader. In March, and throughout the rest of the year, TD continues to support women in top positions.
“The most important thing to remember is that a woman never wants the job just because they are a woman. They want the job because they are the most qualified for it. I can assure you that when I hire my people, that is exactly why I hire them.”