NetApp’s Julie Parrish on breaking IT’s glass ceiling

NetApp’s Julie Parrish has had a successful career in the technology, including a stint running Symantec’s channel business to new heights before moving over to NetApp to help build its channel, and earning a promotion into the c-suite as chief marketing officer.

Parrish was recently confirmed as the keynote speaker for the International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners’ annual Women in Technology Charity Luncheon, to take place at the Worldwide Partner Conference in Houston in July. In a blog posting on the WPC web site, Parrish spoke with Gail Mercer-MacKay, president of Mercer MacKay Solutions, about breaking new ground as a woman in the technology industry, balancing family and career, and breaking through the glass ceiling and into the c-suite of a Fortune 500 company..

“This was not a specific goal I had set for myself. My whole career I focused on doing the best I could with what I was given. I tried to add value, follow instructions, deliver what was expected and when possible, deliver more. For me, I worked hard and followed my own passion,” said Parrish. “I always chose to pursue and do what I wanted to do. Being offered my current position was a welcome surprise but one that I had earned.”

CDN’s Paolo Del Nibletto also spoke with Parrish during her recent visit to Toronto, for an exclusive Q&A only available in our April digital edition. She spoke about how she built up NetApp’s channel and, for the first time, discussed the awkward situation at Symantec where, in 2008, she was forced to do damage control after comments by now CEO Enrique Salem that put the vendor’s channel commitment into question.

“I think Enrique and I were not on the same page on a few issues. What I should have done was sit down with him and had a tougher conversation to see how far apart we were,” said Parrish. “It was a good learning moment. And for that moment I should have taken control of the situation.”

Microsoft partners interested in attending the luncheon with Parrish are encouraged to register soon.

And CDN will hold its own event honouring women in the IT channel in Canada on August 22, at Graydon Hall Manor in Toronto. For more information, please contact Paolo Del Nibletto.

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Jeff Jedras
Jeff Jedras
A veteran technology and business journalist, Jeff Jedras began his career in technology journalism in the late 1990s, covering the booming (and later busting) Ottawa technology sector for Silicon Valley North and the Ottawa Business Journal, as well as everything from municipal politics to real estate. He later covered the technology scene in Vancouver before joining IT World Canada in Toronto in 2005, covering enterprise IT for ComputerWorld Canada. He would go on to cover the channel as an assistant editor with CDN. His writing has appeared in the Vancouver Sun, the Ottawa Citizen and a wide range of industry trade publications.

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