Part of the IT Leaders 100 - a list of the most influential IT leaders in the UK in 2023.
Joanna is an accomplished international CIO. Having started her career in Pharmaceuticals, she moved into IT in the mid '80's and subsequently led large global programmes, alongside delivering IT services in Europe and Asia.
More recently she moved into the healthcare sector and has held a number of IT leadership roles for the NHS, delivering massive change programmes. Last year she took on the role of interim CTIO at debt management charity StepChange, before returning to the NHS in March 2023 as interim CIO at University Hospitals Sussex NHS Foundation Trust.
How did you get into IT?
I had been working in business in various roles until I moved to the IT Department at Roche UK, as a Trainee Analyst Programmer at the age of 25.
How do you ensure diversity is taken into account in your IT recruitment?
It's important to make the role as flexible as possible to cater for physical, domestic and personal requirements. This means being open to different working hours and locations, including remote working and job sharing.
Clearly, we appoint the best candidate for the role first and foremost, working around any personal requirements as much as possible. In the scenario where two candidates are equally suitable then we would look at the make-up of the team and diversity would then inform our final decision.
I strongly believe that we make the best decisions and deliver the best outcomes using a truly diverse team, as this ensures we have taken account of as many different views and needs as possible.
Which technology are you currently most excited by?
I'm less excited by tech as such as by what can be done with tech. This typically does mean automation, remote working and machine learning/AI, particularly the latter as the power of machines to digest, "understand" and identify patterns in data is where we will make the most difference to our businesses and the people they serve.
What would an outsider find the most surprising part of your job?
How much time I spend talking to others and how little I actually talk about technology as the main subject.
What's your secret talent?
I believe I have quite a high EQ and self-awareness, which helps me to adapt and flex my approach when dealing with others. I constantly strive for mutually beneficial outcomes - Win-Win, rather than just getting my own way.
What makes you laugh?
Relaxed conversation with interesting people - there's nearly always something humorous that emerges from that. I enjoy hearing other people's amusing anecdotes and I have a few of my own :-)