While still relatively few in IT, women are gradually increasing in numbers and influence. To celebrate this growth and success, CDN and Ingram Micro Canada partnered to present the 8th annual CDN Women of the IT Channel Recognition luncheon on August 23, 2018. This year’s event was held at the spectacular Guild Inn in Scarborough, with the theme “What is your Superpower?” – and what a powerful event it was. I was fortunate to be in the audience of “superheroes” as a contributor to the slowly but surely growing number of women in IT. A lot was said about the various powers that must be harnessed in order to get on a path of success.
ITWC president Fawn Annan kicked off the festivities with a powerful message that this event is to commemorate women and the uniqueness that they bring to the table. She shared her pride that in each of the eight years she has run this event, the audience has continued to grow and inspire.
Among the powers that were identified and recognized were passion, bravery, creativity, endurance and resilience – which came up quite a few times. Mary Ann Yule, president and CEO of HP Canada and one of the most distinguished female executives in the Canadian technology sector, took the audience through her entire career, describing the lessons she learned along the way. She kept coming back to resilience, the importance of dusting yourself off after failure, and the ability to fail with grace.
“The road to your success will never be straightforward, but if you learn to fail well, it will lead to even greater heights than you can imagine.” – Mary Ann Yule
Deanna Thomson, Dell EMC’s director of channel sales, introduced all the current members and welcomed new entrants to CDN’s new Women in the IT Channel Hall of Fame.
The event’s impressive guest speaker, Lisa Lisson, did not disappoint with her very personal and inspiring talk on life, loss and success. Lisson, the president of FedEx Canada, rose from an associate marketing specialist to one of the most powerful and influential transportation executives in the country, but not without dealing with life’s headships. Her advice was also along the line of resilience and the power of dealing with difficulties, failure and challenge. Her guidance came straight from her experience, where she had found tools such as mindful meditation and off time as daily practices that proved greatly beneficial.
The number of women in IT is still low, well below 30% and even less in executive roles, but it appears to be slowly on the rise. With events such as this recognition luncheon continuously shedding light on the issues and with fellow powerful women willing to help future leaders, there is a promising future ahead. Sponsors such as Ingram and Dell promised to work alongside the exciting female mentors and leaders to helping mend the large gap.
It was an honour and an inspiration to be in that audience. We are proud to be able to say that at MBC we are aware of the challenges of women in IT and when presented with any opportunity to create a more inclusive team, we happily take it.
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