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A gender diverse workforce, relative to a homogeneous one, is beneficial for business. Increased sales revenue, more customers, and greater relative profits are all associated with gender diversity. Companies in the top quartile for gender diversity are 15 percent more likely to have higher financial returns than their national industry medians.

While women have made stunning breakthroughs in technology, there is still a long way to go before the gender gap is closed. Notably, the gender pay gap remains quantifiably significant, and the unconscious cultural biases that women engineers face and navigate daily remain omnipresent. However, all is not bleak.

As women continue to form a higher percentage of representation in the technology industry, the more often we hear the voices and experiences of these women. To celebrate National Women’s Equality Day, tech industry leaders share insights into their experiences and the importance as it manifests and relates to their work within the channel. 

April Taylor, Vice President, ConnectWise Manage

“Schools are leading the way in representation for women in technology from a young age and organizations should be cognizant of the talent that makes up the current workforce. Every industry is tied to technology, so it’s great that the right education is available, especially to younger women, because now they’re getting more exposure to potential careers within the tech sector.

While there hasn’t been a significant increase, we have seen more women entering our company through our internship program because of that exposure. It’s our responsibility to welcome them to the tech space without making them feel different. From my personal experience working my way up through several different roles within the company, I’ve never felt there was any lack of equality whatsoever and I want to extend that feeling to the other women around me. We’re all colleagues, part of a team working together, and we should continue to project that mentality to young girls and women throughout their careers.”

Jen Pulsifer, Director, Channel Marketing and Sales Enablement, Cradlepoint

“While ‘women in tech’ has become a prominent discussion topic in the news, at industry conferences, and within both established and startup companies, we are much more than that phrase offers. We are experts in our fields, that just happen to be female — and I make sure to carry that philosophy throughout my work.

As a channel marketing lead for a fast-moving company at the forefront of 5G and connectivity, I not only work with partners of all backgrounds, but I’m responsible for internally building out the most effective channel team possible. Inclusion of a variety of viewpoints from people of differing culture, backgrounds, and identities is at the heart of innovation.

To me, true equality at work means a culture where people of all backgrounds have the fairest chance possible to pursue the career they are passionate about…and thrive. There is always work to be done, but as a society, we are getting closer.

Women’s Equality Day is the ideal time to remind ourselves to pay closer attention to our biases in the workplace, conscious or subconscious, and work as hard as we can to leave them at the door.”

Debbie Klett, Director, Channels, WhiteHat Security

“The gender gap in technology is still an issue today. According to a study by PwC, only 15 percent of employees working in STEM roles are women. Additionally, only 5 percent of leadership positions in the technology industry are held by women. Many experts have pointed to gender inequality, gender bias, and a lack of female mentorship as three prominent factors responsible, among many others.

Why do these gender gaps continue to exist, and why are we not closing in on them faster? While mentoring and networking with other women is extremely important and valuable, I believe a significant shift needs to happen at the company culture level.

Many women I know in management positions in the channel still do not feel comfortable asking for more in a salary negotiation, asking their boss for a raise, or promoting their accomplishments to position themselves for a move up. I also know many women who do not speak up as much as they could in company meetings or in collaborative sessions. Why is this still the case? What is holding us back?

Until the unique strengths that women can bring to the workplace are truly valued, in addition to the skill and experience we have, change will continue to move slowly. Qualities that women typically embody, such as active listening, truly open collaboration, empathy and emotional IQ, must be seen as true contributors to success in the workplace.

Women who work within the technology channel have a phenomenal opportunity to succeed because they communicate and collaborate with people of different genders, races, and ethnicities every day. Truly listening and combining differing viewpoints can result in innovative joint solutions and product portfolios for customers worldwide. No matter your team or partner’s background, it is critical to carefully consider their ideas and opinions, as you would like them to consider your own, to achieve the best possible outcome for all involved. 

For us to see significant change in our day-to-day business, we need to increase awareness and embrace practices and programs that change the corporate culture. Mentoring programs and networking are helpful, but these are typically done in an all women environment. We need to involve everyone and educate our corporations about how the qualities and contributions we bring to the workplace can make a significant and positive difference.”

As these women have told us, the positive impact that women in tech have brought to the channel is immense and a key part of their companies’ successes. It should also motivate everyone in the channel, not just women, to make sure women voices are heard and made an equal part of the channel on a daily basis.

Photo: Christian Chan / Shutterstock

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Jen Pulsifer

Posted by Jen Pulsifer

Jen leads a savvy, skilled team of marketers, trainers and enablement leaders to help Cradlepoint’s internal and partner sales teams across the globe to help Cradlepoint’s customers. Cradlepoint is rapidly evolving to take its place as the market leader in 5G and the future of networking.

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