Author: Prinshauna Potts
According to CIO, it is rare to see diversity, let alone women as a large makeup of the population in the IT field. Many women have had to work harder just to survive and achieve success in comparison to their male counterparts. This has been a prominent issue that women have had to face in IT, where success is often normalized as “off-limits” to them. However, this was not the case with Tracey Grace, a woman who refused to fall captive to the norm. Grace is the president and CEO of IBEX IT Business Experts, a certified 8(a), Minority-Owned (NMSDC), and Women-Owned Small Business (WOSB) based in Norcross, Georgia. IBEX is a multi-million-dollar Professional Services firm specializing in training, certification, consulting, and IT solutions for Healthcare, Military and Federal Government agencies, Fortune 500 Companies and Educational Institutions.
After a successful career in corporate America working for IT and consulting companies, Grace started IBEX with just one hospital system account in 2012. In a recent Forbes article she stated,
“When I started in business, I did 90% of all job functions myself. I was marketing, sales, accounting, everything, until I could then bring on someone else to help.”
Her drive and unparalleled attention to detail in every aspect, skyrocketed IBEX to the top. After only 8 years of being founded, in 2020, the Inc. 5000 list identified IBEX as one of the fastest growing small businesses in America for the third year in a row (#802 in the US, #31 in Georgia). As a result of her success, Grace and IBEX have been nominated for and received numerous awards such as “Small Business Person of Excellence” from the Greater North Fulton (GA) Chamber of Commerce and the “On the Rise Contractor of the Year” National Award from American Express.
Quite outstanding for a woman in IT, right? Indeed, the success doesn’t end there. Today, IBEX has grown to nearly 100 employees, with about 60% of the population representing minority people and women. Although it often seems to be impossible to achieve in diversity in corporate relations, Grace makes it of the essence at IBEX. She demonstrates that there are people in the business world who seek transformative change, by striving to make it better. Grace has spoken at numerous events for the Georgia Minority Supplier Development Council (GMSDC) on topics of Diversity, Supplier Diversity, Government Contracting, and Minority Business Interests. In 2017, she won the GMSDC “Eagle Award” for her commitment to Supplier Diversity, as well as an award in the Capital One Catapult Competition for the development of Supplier Diversity Vendor Management System, “Certifiably Diverse”.
Grace originally created Certifiably Diverse for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) to improve its supplier diversity program. Certifiably Diverse is now being launched to the open market to help organizations of all sizes connect with, and increase spend with, diverse suppliers.
“What truly makes us different, though, is that Certifiably Diverse is designed to work for enterprise companies as well as promote small, diverse vendors, not just one or the other. It’s a system for improving the state of things, not just maintaining the status quo,” says Grace.
Grace has also served as a mentor in leadership and diversity mentoring programs including Magnify Mastermind, a program created by the Michigan Minority Supplier Development Council and EY. She also attended the 2018 Goldman Sachs 10K Small Businesses program and the Georgia Mentor Protégé Connection. Her advice for future minority and women business leaders is to,
“Hang on to those contacts you have that you met along the way who really impacted you or provided you with some sort of guidance. Even if you just touch base once or twice, every other year, you may never know when you need to reach back out. Those people can be pivotal, and you only meet a finite number of people in your lifetime.”
Grace has proven herself as a living representation of a pivotal woman in IT, that you only meet once in a lifetime. #IBEX #diversity #womeninIT #weappreciateyou
Is your organization in need of services, solutions, or consulting? Contact us for a Capabilities Briefing to learn more about how IBEX can help your organization.