Each month, News Channel Six’s Dee Griffin spotlights an area woman who is using her career to make a difference in the lives of others. This month, we learn more about a woman who is the first African American to lead her department.
She’s responsible for molding Augusta’s technology footprint while creating a path for other women in I-T to follow.
That’s why she’s one of our Women to Watch.
The Department of Information Technology is a vehicle that drives the city of Augusta forward in its communications and computer systems.
For the past 17 years, Tameka Allen has served as its Director. She’s responsible for steering the department and city on the right path technologically.
Although she has to remain forward-thinking the passion for this job goes deep into her past.
“When most kids were saying what they wanted to be when they grow up, mines was always a computer scientist. So, I’ve always been intrigued with technology,” explains Allen.
That intrigue led her to earning two undergraduate degrees and a masters degree in business administration.
Along the way she has broken barriers and dispelled myths.
“Statistics show that it’s a male dominated field. so, when you’re getting into it back in ’87, 90s time i met a lot of challenges of “how did you get into it?” “why would you get into technology?” “didn’t you want to get into the medical, nursing” the things they felt most females should be in.”
While changing the stereotype, this wife and mother also changes lives by mentoring students at a local elementary school.
What started as a Christmas project she spearheaded for her staff to provide gifts has expanded into a monthly program for girls.
Allen reflects, “our youth are the future and what impacts our youth impacts our future. so, it’s always good to go give back and mentor to make sure that our future is going to be a future that we want to be in.”
She says that desire to focus on the future is a key objective during her frequent presentations to county commissioners and especially during her tenure in city leadership.
“When i was serving as deputy administrator and/or administrator, my goal was to see what i could do to help make Augusta better. that does not stop with the technology area.”
Like most people in leadership positions, Tameka Allen has faced obstacles along the road to success.
but she encourages women to use those lessons of the past to help accelerate and steer them to a greater future.
“I would tell other women to focus on what they want to do. focus on their goals and objectives and don’t let anyone tell you you can’t,” concludes Allen.
Last year.. Tameka Allen started the city of Augusta’s first “Cyber and Robotics” camp for kids.