Women in tech: a chat with Tonya Peer, VP of IT Shared Services for Office Depot

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Editor’s note: From Ada Lovelace to the ladies of ENIAC, women have played an important part in driving technology forward. As Women’s History Month winds down, we’re highlighting a handful of women who are making strides, driving change and shaping the future of technology. Today, we hear from Tonya Peer, VP of IT Shared Services for Office Depot, a Google Enterprise customer.

How did you first get involved in technology?
I noticed early on that I really liked computers and I loved problem solving. I got into computers, thought I’d take a few classes, and did really well — I was at the top of my class. I went into the computer science field because I thought it was even more challenging than some of the other careers I was considering. It’s definitely an ongoing challenge, but that’s what I love about it. I’m always learning.

What are some of biggest changes you’ve seen in tech?
When I first started in tech, I was working on a huge IBM mainframe. Over time, I saw the move from mainframe to client server, client server to web, web to mobile. Technology has evolved to be much more user friendly and much more user-empowering. It’s amazing to see the shift to cloud-based technologies and the impact it has had on the industry.

Another big shift has come from the Internet — the ability to search for anything you need and the ability to get an answer to any question that you have. The fact that you can do that just with your computer, your tablet or your phone didn’t exist when I first started in tech. It’s such a sweeping change.

What advice do you for for other women interested in technology?
Make sure you go after a career that gets you excited when you wake up in the morning. Always remember to do the best you can to satisfy your customers, because ultimately, that’s the purpose of technology — to make end users happy. And don’t forget to speak your mind. Step out. Say what you think. Have an opinion. Be present.


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About Author

Colin Cooper is the CEO of Boost Your Business, the leader in marketing and business development for both large and small scale businesses. As one of the most innovative marketing specialists for over a decade, Colin and his team of business and online experts collate their years of know-how and experiences with the Boost Your Business: Body Armour for Business, an online magazine created to provide a holistic resource avenue for everything business, health, and wellness.