Women Of The Channel: Top Executive Share Their Keys To Success

By May 21, 2017May 29th, 2018Uncategorized

Being a woman in IT is a unique experience. And although the field of IT is still largely a male-dominated field, women don’t have to go it alone. Leaning on your trusted friends and colleagues while building your personal brand, seeking out new experiences, and plotting out your future will help any person rise to the top in today’s ultra-competitive IT market.  In this post, three executives share their experiences as they climbed the ladder within their companies, the importance of being decisive, and how they go about planning for the future.

Learn Your ABC’s – Jyoti K Pathak, Senior Manager, Tech Data

While cutting her teeth as an entry-level developer, Pathak today is focused on digital transformation at Tech Data; specifically, she is focusing on predictive analytics, machine learning, and AI.

But being a woman in IT hasn’t been an easy path. Pathak mentioned initially trying to dress like her fellow developers — all men — at the start of her career, and now still finds herself wondering where to sit during meetings where she might be the only woman in the room. And, although her path to leadership wasn’t easy, she found that surrounding herself with people who could help strengthen her made the process a lot easier. Pathak has found strength in her trusted mentors and colleagues and is also a part of Tech Data’s diversity and inclusion council.

Pathak says that she got to where she is today thanks to her ABC’s. A is for assertiveness, B is for brand, and C is for Counsel.

“It’s OK to be positively assertive. I never let a door shut on me,” says Pathak. “Brand is important because it’s what people think of you. I make sure I’m getting projects where I can shine and build my own brand. Lastly, counsel is all about mentorship and finding your ‘tribe’ of colleagues — you know who they are.”

Write Down Your Goals – Hilary Andrews, Director of Strategy And Planning, Cisco

Andrews has spent the better part of her career at Cisco holding a variety of different roles, including finance, operations, and sales. Education, experience, and exposure are the factors that Andrews relied on in each of these roles.

Each year, Andrews and her husband write down what they’d like to accomplish personally and professionally. One goal that Andrews had on the back burner for years was to earn an MBA. Three years ago, she decided to pursue that goal in order to stay on top of her career.

Returning to school as a director, wife, and mother of two daughters posed brand-new challenges for Andrews, but her years of career experience was a valuable asset because she was able to apply the curriculum to her own experiences.

“Whatever your goals are, write them down to remind yourself of their importance,” Andrews said. “And remember, yes you can.”

Decision-Making Is Your Not-So-Secret Superpower – Margaret-Ann Bolton Senior Director, Global Partner Marketing, Red Hat

Everyone has a superpower whether they know it or not — the opportunity to make a decision. It’s choice, not chance, that determines our destiny, according to Bolton. We are free to make a number of decisions each day, from whether or not to wake up early to squeeze in a workout, or to address a serious health issue, for example. Big or small, these choices craft our lives, Bolton said.

Amidst the varying decisions needing to be made each day, Bolton implores you to ask yourself “why?” and if a choice is consistent with your values. If the choice you’re contemplating doesn’t ultimately serve to benefit you in the way you would like, or the choice is inconsistent with the values of your life, don’t do it.

Some choices will be more important than others, but consistently making good decisions will create a good life. What’s more, some choices may be right for someone else, but not for you – be sure to be acutely aware of yourself and your needs. She adds that making choices in life when things are going well isn’t nearly as difficult as making hard choices when life isn’t unfurling the way you hoped – use your superpower to ensure you make the right call.

“Know that there is more than one right way. Life isn’t a straight railroad, it’s a dirt path,” she said. “And don’t be afraid to bring in your inner circle when you have a decision to make. Get as many facts as you can before you make a decision, but also know that sometimes, you won’t have all the facts.”