Mary Davie, Assistant Commissioner for Office of Information Technology Category, GSA
This year is big for Mary Davie and her team at the General Services Administration — there are seven governmentwide contracts they’re aiming to award. It’s the first time in the history of the program that they’ve all come together like this, Davie says. “That’s been a lot of work in the past couple years by the staff, and it’s kind of amazing that it all came together in a similar time frame. A lot of that is just trying to get ahead of the expiring contracts,” she says. Davie was also named in 2016 to manage the governmentwide IT category, in addition to leading GSA’s Information Technology Category team within the Federal Acquisition Service, which she led through a reorganization around the government’s move to category management.
What would you say to young women who are thinking about a career in technology or related fields, or just starting out in their careers? What’s the best advice you could offer for success?
The first thing I would say is: Do it. It’s a lot of fun, it changes constantly, and when I started, there weren’t a lot of women in IT, and now more and more you see more women, and in different parts of IT, whether it’s the leadership piece or coders, or just technologists. It’s a field that attracts a lot of different people. I would say figure out what you want to do, raise your hand to take on things that interest you and see where it takes you.
What/who inspired you to get into your field of work?
I literally fell into GSA and the job as a summer hire in college and I got to know some really awesome people, and they were the ones that inspired me to stay with it. So then I had some really great bosses and mentors, and it just so happened it was in the IT field, it was what i was thinking i’d get into. I was just really attracted by the kind of work they did and the kind of people they were, and that’s why i stayed with it. It’s just an exciting field to be in.
Why is it important to you to empower women and other minorities to join more technical and technology-related fields?
That applies to any field, where you just want a diversity of background, opinion, experience, thoughts to get to the best ideas and solutions. Whether it’s an IT field or anything else, the more people you have with different backgrounds and experiences and come from different cultures, the more great ideas you’re going to get.