The Linux Foundation Projects
Skip to main content
Blog | DEI | Diversity | Diversity & Inclusion | Equity & Inclusion

My favorite Mainframe and Six Women Building It

By | November 12, 2021

Written by Tina Tarquinio, Making Our Strong Community Stronger Panelist and Product Management Executive for IBM Z

This blog was originally featured on LinkedIn. You can find more articles like this here.

If you have spent any amount of time with me talking mainframes, you would know that I was the product manager for the IBM z14 ZR1. I used to jokingly asked people – what is your favorite mainframe? Knowing that I wanted them to acknowledge the great things that system delivered and allowed our clients to do. And, I do love it – what it did for our clients, our platform, and especially how I grew personally during the process. (For funny story, make sure you read the PS at the bottom). But truly,

My favorite mainframe is the next one.

And, yes, I know that is very Tom Brady of me. It’s true though. We are always working on several mainframes at any given time – in market offerings to build on current generation systems, and then designs for two future systems. And, I am not saying that the next one is my favorite because of the brilliant technology we are creating (and its so brilliant), or because of the gains in sustainability (a priority for the team) or any of the other great things that are coming …

For me, its how we do it – working as a team but also sprinting in our own SME lanes, its the lead up, the working with clients to get it just right, the building out with the rest of IBM, the excitement and the new territory. In three, five, ten years – my answer will still be ‘The next one.”

These mainframes serve our clients the enterprise technology they need to run their operations – its not just one thing, but its the combination of applications, middleware, operating systems and servers that together are the backbone of any company.

The demands on those companies grow daily – demands to keep data safe, demands to keep up with unpredictable peaks, demands to roll out new apps quickly. Its not enough to keep up – you have to see where the next jump is.

These six women are building the next mainframes, and they wow me daily. They are working with clients, and translating their demands into technology and user experiences and they are some of the finest IBMers I have ever worked with.

Kelly Pushong, IBM Z Principal Product Manager: Kelly leads a worldwide team responsible for putting together the next generation of mainframes – from chip to ship. She brings her years of IBM Z knowledge, passion for clients and product management excellence to drive data based decisions. Its one of the largest single offerings within IBM, and to lead as she does it really impressive.

Jessica Doherty, Principal Product Manager, IBM Z Security and Anne Dames, IBM Distinguished Engineer: These two women are responsible for our Industry Leading Crypto capabilities, connecting industry trends, client requirements and state of the art hardware design. This is a rapidly changing space that seems to never stop being a top focus for our clients and the world.

Elpida Tzortatos, IBM z/OS CTO and IBM Fellow: IBM z/OS is the operating system that runs on IBM z15, and is an absolutely critical part of how we deliver the great scalability, availability and security on the platform. As the CTO and IBM Fellow (which, by the way, is THE highest technical honor within IBM), Elpida leads the z/OS team to keep those tennants as table stakes while still crafting new ways for our clients to benefit (see also, zCX and System Recovery Boost).

Rhonda Sundlof, IBM Z Senior Product Manager and Fae Gholami, IBM System Hardware Design : These two are a power house driving the future of flexible infrastruture for IBM Z. Rhonda brings her unique combination of product management and manufacture engineering to Fae’s expertise as an emerging leader for System design – the results are new offerings and new ways to deliver them.

If you want to learn more about Tina and her journey with DEI, you can watch the Making Our Strong Community Stronger webinar, “Unmasking Our Whole Self” here.