Women in IT: Lynette Sherrill
To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, the Office of Information and Technology (OIT) is highlighting several women across the organization who are dedicated to advancing our mission to create the best experience for all Veterans.
As the Executive Director of Development, Security, and Operations’ Enterprise Command Operations, Ms. Lynette Sherrill takes OIT’s mission personally. With over 18 years of experience in federal and municipal government operations, she is responsible for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Enterprise Service Desk, Enterprise Command Center, and Major Incident Problem Management teams ensuring VA systems are fully functional and OIT employees have the tools they need to continue to provide exceptional customer service to Veterans, their families, and their caregivers. Read on to learn about Ms. Sherrill’s experience as a female leader in IT.
Why do you celebrate Women’s History Month?
I celebrate Women’s History Month because women have the power to change the world and have done so time and time again. Looking back on the legacy of women throughout history should encourage us all, as we go forward, not to copy others but to realize that in every role we have — leader, worker, friend, wife, or mom — we lead and influence change that leaves the world different. We get to choose if that change is for better or worse and generally women choose for better. My hope is that women realize the power they have is in who they are, not who society wants them to be. They were created to change the world and my hope is that they will embrace their power to do so.
What do you like about working in OIT?
I love the mission of VA — as we all do. My husband, father and father in law are all Veterans. Growing up on Army bases throughout the country, I knew I always wanted to do something that kept me connected with the military and serving in VA gives me that opportunity. Getting to serve in Information Technology (IT) within VA is a double dose of greatness. I had always loved and understood IT — as a young child my father had me setup and configure our family’s first computer. VA has provided me an opportunity to combine two of my passions into one job.
What has helped you become a strong woman in leadership at VA?
I have always had leaders above me that encouraged and mentored me to continue to learn and grow. These people saw in me something I did not see in myself and encouraged me to pursue things bigger than what I was thinking.
How do the women in your field make an impact on Veteran lives?
The women in IT change Veteran lives through the strategic and innovative ideas that change the way VA delivers IT services directly to the Veteran. I am proud to work with a group of women who I consider to be some of the smartest I have ever worked with, and not just smart, but women who stay true to themselves. They are proud women who don’t try to change to fit an image and embrace all they have to bring to the workplace.
How do you use your voice to encourage other women in the workplace?
I make time for them. I really try to model for young women what was done for me — encouraging training, offering advice, and encouraging them to think bigger.