I’ve always believed in surrounding yourself with good people who are going to challenge you and make you better. That’s certainly what I’ve found during my short time here at Veeam, as I’m surrounded by 15 colleagues that were recognized today on the CRN 2023 Women of the Channel (WOTC) list. All these women work incredibly hard driving our channel-first mission here at Veeam. It’s an honor to work with women who share the same passion and raise each other up other within our organization, and as a result, we make each other better.
Although, we’ve made great strides increasing the percentage of women in technology, it still isn’t enough. Women from Veeam on the WOTC list (all 16 of us!) take it upon themselves to support, be role models and mentor other women because it makes a difference in our future – and it helps to make us ALL better.
As a society, we’ve broken down some of the barriers for women by providing more access to the resources needed starting at a young age. We now have education in school with STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) programs, Girls Who Code and other educational programs providing an opportunity to experience “technology.” There are still times when girls are solo in the class, when they don’t think they can do it, or they’re not encouraged by others to keep pushing themselves. We need more from men and women to raise each up, to say out loud: I support you and want you to succeed.
The retention rates of women in STEM show that they continue to be negatively impacted by the lack of female mentors and role models. Yet, the best part of my job is mentoring, supporting, and offering advice to women like my colleagues on the WOTC list. The best advice I’ve been given in my career has been: Get comfortable feeling uncomfortable; that’s how you grow and adapt to change.
I’ve asked my colleagues on the WOTC list to share the best advice they’ve received. A few of my favorites include:
“Early in my career, I had a mentor who encouraged me to ask questions, seek out new information, and never be afraid to try new things. This advice has served me well. As a woman in the IT (Information Technology) industry, having a passion for learning and insatiable curiosity has helped me stay ahead of the curve, think creatively, build diverse skills, and foster relationships.” – Sonya Mazzaferro, Sr. Director of Channel Sales at Veeam
“Don’t hold yourself back by trying to be perfect.“ – Laura Chadwick, Cloud Aggregation Manager at Veeam
“Life is all about learning. Never stop learning and always challenge yourself personally and professionally.” – Julie Kriz, Manager of North America Channel Marketing at Veeam
“No surprises, ever. Make sure you communicate and keep your boss, team and colleagues informed as it will build team spirit, trust and transparency.” – Natalia Sedova, Sr. Director, Global Channel Marketing at Veeam
“Learning from mistakes is more important than not making them at all.” – Lindsey Legacki, Sr. Manager, North America Partner Marketing at Veeam
“It’s OK to be emotional or “have feelings,” and that doesn’t make you look weak as a woman in the workplace. To me, there is nothing more valuable at work than a leader or a co-worker who has mastered emotional intelligence.” – Adee MacAnich, Sr. Director of North America Channel Marketing at Veeam
“Leverage your network, peers and leaders to make meaningful connections that can help with your career journey.” – Kelly Rice, Dr. of Distribution and Corporate Resellers at Veeam
“Believe in yourself and be brave. Be resilient, favor the ability to listen, connect with empathy.” – Elena Bonvicino, Channel Manager of Italy at Veeam
“Give what you can. But do it 100%! You must always be present and add value.” – Lisa Ignosci, Sr. Director of Public Sector Business Operations at Veeam
“Find a mentor (or two!) and more than that, find one that will also be your advocate and sponsor. It’s great to have the advice of a mentor, but it’s highly valuable if that mentor can also recommend you to others.” – Stephanie Barton, Dr. of Global VCSP (Veeam Cloud & Service Providers) & Alliance Marketing at Veeam
“You have a unique and valuable perspective that you should feel empowered to utilize. If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again. One day, you can be that leader in the organization who everyone looks up to; there is nothing stopping you if you set your mind to achieve it.” – Sara Wilson, Sr. Director of LATAM (Latin America) Channel Sales at Veeam
“Believe in what you’re capable of; pause and assess your goals and make your achievements visible. We never know who we might be impacting with our stories, and who might be getting the pat on the back she needed to continue.” – Tania Baquero, Head of NOLA (North of Latin America) Channel Sales at Veeam
Embracing change rather than pushing away from it is important, some of the best moments in my career came out of change. Being in this industry, it’s inevitable that change is constant as technology, the market and current trends will evolve. Always be curious and look ahead to the future. As a CRN WOTC 2023 Power 100 honoree, I definitely look forward to mine – especially working alongside all of the women Veeam’ers to raise each other up.