On August 24, Channel Daily News celebrated its annual Women in the IT Channel recognition luncheon, with the theme Making an Impact. This event celebrates the achievements of women working in the IT channel.
After four Women in the IT Channel Hall of Fame honourees were introduced, two more award winners, nominated by colleagues in the channel, received the Rising Star Award and the Mentor of the Year award.
The Rising Star award is presented to a trailblazer whose recent accomplishments promise an even brighter future. The Mentor of Year award honours a woman who has done exceptionally well in her field and who has dedicated herself to guiding others in their personal and professional growth
To learn more about the recipients of these two awards, read on.
Rising Star award
This year, the Rising Star award was given to Samin Yazdan, a project manager at Smart One Solutions. Yazdan studied at George Brown for architectural sciences and technology, after which she started her first job at Trillium Architectural Products Ltd. as an office administrator and project coordinator.
Inspired and driven, Yazdan is a big believer in setting and surpassing goals you set for yourself. But she also says her team is a huge inspiration They challenge each other as well as themselves, particularly Smart One’s chief executive officer, Ted Maluchi.
“He’s been a great mentor to myself and a lot of my colleagues,” she said. “He does not stop achieving his goals, and his goal is to make Smart One successful, and he repeatedly continues to do that. So it’s very inspiring to watch, and I hope to be as great as him one day.”
Watching her professional life grow and change, and being able to look back on her own career has always been a part of Yazdan’s professional process. She highlighted how far diversity has come, even in the channel.
“Being a woman working in the tech industry, and a male-dominated industry at that, it’s amazing to see that kind of recognition, and seeing how this channel has dedicated an entire award to women starting out their careers, and putting the spotlight on them and their journey really shows diversity within the channel itself.”
Mentor of the Year award
The recipient of the Mentor of the Year award is Jen Schrock, director of partner and product management operations and strategic initiatives at CDW Canada.
Schrock has spent her entire career with CDW, beginning as a sales account manager in 2008. Since then, she’s worked as a manager of business development and a field account executive before she took on her current role. She says she really loves the work she does, and feels inspired to be a better role model for herself and her family.
“I’d say what attracted me to the industry, which was really just my perception at the time but has held true, is just this dynamic exciting space,” she said. “Infinite learning and growth opportunities, and then we’re serving customers. So knowing we’re serving them technology solutions and advisory that’s changing the world, and changing the way they serve their customers.”
On top of learning how to challenge oneself, Shrock’s advice to women entering the industry is to build confidence, and learn how to be comfortable with change.
“Your career is long, you have many years to build yourself. I think I was impatient with myself earlier in my career. It took me several years to move into a leadership role,” she said. “When you’re young, you’re concerned that potentially you’re losing years , but I had to have a really honest conversation with myself and realize ‘hey, you know I’ve got many more years to contribute and grow and build my career’.”
Congratulations to Savina Alves and Jen Shrock, the Rising Star and Mentor of the Year award recipients.