Chief information officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Richmond
As executive sponsor of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s Women in Technology group, Ghada Ijam focuses on outreach, development and advancement of women in technology roles. This position is a natural fit for Ijam, who oversees the central bank’s tech and cybersecurity employees and has held similar positions with Amtrak, Intel, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
“The biggest reward — and responsibility — is being a role model for up-and-coming women leaders,” she says. “Women leaders will always be challenged with achieving the balance between life and work, and to do that well, we must start by being kind to ourselves and allowing ourselves room to grow.”
Serving in the Richmond Fed’s C-suite is no small task, yet Ijam developed a technology strategy focused on advanced cloud technologies and employing diverse people who can “lead by example.” Her efforts led to an increase in overall diversity, including 43% female hires and 40% racial and ethnic minority hires, as of November 2022.
Ijam has served as board secretary for Goodwill of Greater Washington and has spoken at conferences including MIT Technology Reviews, #Consensus2022 and CIO’s Future of Cloud Summit. Her advice to future women business leaders is to lean into new challenges.
“Throughout my career, I viewed taking advantage of challenges as my calling card,” she says. “If there was a risky assignment, I accepted it. Through these assignments, I grew, developed new skills and enhanced my leadership muscle.”