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It’s not always easy being a woman in technology. That’s why it’s important to recognize standout examples in the industry, and we are particularly proud of the six female Polycom trailblazers who were recently recognized by CRN Magazine and PCR Magazine.

 

We asked each of the honorees (below) to share advice to other women looking to launch—or further—a career in IT. Here are their collective recommendations, along with highlights of the accomplishments that caught CRN’s eye:

 

barb.pngBARB HUELSKAMP, VICE PRESIDENT OF AMERICAS CHANNEL SALES  

Barb helped drive Polycom’s strategy across our largest national partners, improving partner contribution to bookings by 13 percent in North America and partner close ratio by 10 percent year over year.

 

Advice to other women in the IT Channel/technology industry:

  • Advocate for yourself and raise your hand. Say "yes" to bigger challenges and opportunities.
  • Understand what success looks like, and build your plan, measure it and communicate often.
  • Results matter! 
  • Don’t be afraid to leverage the great characteristics of being a woman in technology. Your passion and attitude are infectious to everyone around you. 

deandra.pngDEANDRA CASSIDY, DIRECTOR OF GLOBAL CHANNEL PROGRAMS  

Deandra expanded the Choice Partner Program regional offerings across Asia Pacific and Caribbean and Latin America. She also established the foundation to evolve Polycom’s Choice Partner Program, which allows global partners to leverage and/or scale their investments with Polycom and ultimately reduce their expenses and increase their margins selling Polycom solutions. 

 

Advice to other women in the IT channel/technology industry:

  • Watch and learn to develop your talent and determine where your passion leads you.
  • Find a mentor early in your career who you respect and feel you can learn from.
  • Don't be afraid to speak up when you have ideas.

deb.pngDEB WILLIAMS, SENIOR CHANNEL MARKETING MANAGER FOR AMERICAS  

Deb delivered $39 million in agency reported opportunities to 21 participating Polycom partners in North America via a demand generation program.

 

Advice to other women in the IT channel/technology industry:

  • Look past the technology to how your solutions positively affect the end user on the personal level.
  • Never be content in this ever-changing environment, yet be sure to exhibit humility, authenticity and a sense of urgency.

 

jo-anne.pngJO-ANNE HANDLEY, EMEA CHANNEL MARKETING MANAGER

Jo-Anne runs Polycom’s channel marketing program across EMEA. She is responsible for relationships with pan-EMEA distributors and ensures partners get real sales leads using a combination of demand generation materials and telemarketing.

 

Advice to other women in the IT channel/technology industry:

  • Volunteer for as many things as possible. You never know what experience you’ll gain or which people you’ll end up working with.
  • Make time in your day to think about how you can proactively change something for the better, otherwise everything you do ends up being reactive.
  • Find a mentor with skills you admire to help develop your own skills and challenge your thinking.

lana.pngLANA KING, SENIOR DIRECTOR GLOBAL CHANNEL STRATEGY AND PROGRAMS  

Lana led efforts that successfully enhanced and strategically aligned Polycom’s global partner enablement programs. As a result, our partner’s skills and competencies are aligned with Polycom’s overall strategy and solutions, as well as changes in the marketplace.

 

Advice to other women in the IT Channel/technology industry:

  • Find your passion and pursue it. When you love what you do, both professionally and personally, you will naturally flourish.
  • Take risks and step outside of your comfort zone. Learn from your mistakes and take on the challenges that require you to learn a new skill.
  • Find a mentor and learn from her to further your development and your overall success in the workplace.

peggy.pngPEGGY CRESPIN, DIRECTOR OF CHANNEL SALES, WEST AND CENTRAL U.S. ENTERPRISE SALES  

Peggy drove Polycom channel revenue growth 20 percent year over year and developed a quarterly incentive program for channel sales representatives and sales engineers that resulted in $4.1 million in incremental sales.

 

Advice to other women in the IT Channel/technology industry:

  • Work with a mentor. This person can advise and coach you through major business decisions until you gain more experience.
  • Trust your gut. This will come with time. At first you will want to trust your instincts and then go against them due to lack of confidence. Over time, you will learn that your gut is right 99 percent of the time!
  • Regardless of the situation, always lead with dignity and grace.
  • Strike a balance between work and life.
  • Work early to develop your brand!

Do you have any additional advice for women in tech? Share it here!

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