There’s a moment that has stuck with Andrea Terhune. Fifteen years ago, Terhune was promoted to assistant vice president at her former company. Congratulations poured in from most female employees and just about every Black employee.
“They reminded me I was the first Black woman in IT they had seen be promoted to this level,” Terhune says. “I had become immune to this fact because it was rare to see women and Black professionals in executive IT leadership roles. It was then that I committed to acknowledge the significance of my representation and to be bold in my actions to drive diversity in IT and tech roles.”
Now, Terhune is the current managing director for global technology infrastructure at Deloitte, where she has been since 2019.
Terhune is accountable for the delivery and operation of enterprise technology infrastructure services that support Deloitte’s member firm network of over 150 countries. Her teams deliver infrastructure services that maintain extensive system security and operational controls that include network security, server security, database encryption, digital certificate management, and a central operations center.
The managing director is especially proud that one of her teams implemented next-generation malware and ransomware protection to more than 520,000 devices across 150 countries within only five months.
“The team encountered what seemed like an infinite set of obstacles, including data privacy, scope creep that required custom development, maintaining an aggressive pace during the great resignation, and more,” Terhune explains. “They pulled off the impossible, and our firm is more secure because of their efforts.”
Terhune is also active in supporting the careers of those around her. Each year, she mentors a minimum of four women who are currently at the manager, senior manager, or director level. The goal is to coach those executives to meet career objectives and ensure that they’re ready for leadership roles as they become available.
“It’s critically important to help people increase their networks by identifying brand ambassadors who are leaders that have power and influence over the roles they’re interested in,” the executive says.
That’s just one level of her mentorship. She also works with underserved youth to encourage their pursuit of education and careers in STEM, and is partnering with a few of her peers at an Atlanta elementary school to help the school become STEM certified.
Terhune is also an emeritus board member of the St. Louis chapter of Girls Inc. When it comes to advice for women in the space, the managing director invokes the slogan of that nonprofit: Be strong, smart, and bold.
“Technology remains a male-dominated industry,” Terhune says. “You may often be the only woman at the table. Show up, be heard, and deliver. Be smart—commit the time to know and grow your competency so that you can be bold. If you want it, go after it.”