Women in the IT Channel 2011: Part One

  • Women in the IT Channel 2011: Part One

    This year, CDN showcased 20 exceptional women who play major roles in Canada’s IT channel. In Part One of our slideshow, we profile the first 10 women on our 2011 list.

    slide 1

  • Enza Alexander, OnX Enterprise Solutions

    OnX supports diversity in its business, but Enza Alexander, executive vice-president at OnX, believes the high-tech sector has to focus on hiring the right people for the job, regardless of gender or ethnic background. “There are many great women that have chosen the IT industry for our careers, they’re great role models and examples for females to aspire to. Women in leadership in IT will continue to grow and I’ll continue to promote diversity in the workplace and women overall. I can’t imagine working in any other industry.”

    Read more: CDN Top 100 Solution Providers make a comeback

    slide 2

  • Leyland Brown, HP Canada

    When Leyland Brown, vice-president and general manager at HP Canada’s Personal Systems Group, thinks of diversity, she believes a company such as HP has to be reflective of what customers are. IT is still male dominated but it has dramatically improved since her early career. “A career is filled with ups and downs and I tell people all the time that it’s about resilience and bouncing back. It’s about how you show up. You may have a crummy meeting or a crummy year and it’s how we are measured, but are you continuing to do the right things and show up.”

    Read more: HP Canada makes it official on PSG chief

    slide 3

  • Colleen Browne, ViewSonic

    “I’m in an enviable position of bringing home the latest technology to showcase to friends and family,” says Colleen Browne, ViewSonic’s director of North American sales. “As a result, my nieces think I have a cool job. They’re right.” At ViewSonic, half of the workforce is female.”The opportunity at hand is for organizations to encourage the development of women so they may move into management positions and raise their contribution to another level.”

    Read more: 2010 Newsmaker: Colleen Browne of ViewSonic

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  • Siobhan Byron, Forsythe Technology Canada

    As a female working in IT, Siobhan Byron, Forsythe’s president, has had a number of experiences that have given her pause. “I was once asked by an executive – many years and jobs ago – to let them know when I was planning on having kids so they could take me off the career path,” she says. But she says overall, the IT industry is great for females because of its flexibility, and the fact you can take your skills to any company anywhere in the world. “In fact, after introducing my team, I was approached by an executive from another country who was amazed at the diversity.”

    Video: Women in the IT Channel 2010: Siobhan Byron

    slide 5

  • Linda Fitzgerald, NCR Canada

    Were she speaking to young women considering a career in IT, NCR Canada president Linda Fitzergerald would tell them what attracted her is that it’s an exciting field that changes quickly and offers a lot of different fields and lots of great companies to work with. “It changes all the time,” says Fitzgerald. “At NCR I’m still learning about self-service and banking. If you like to learn and grow, it’s a fantastic industry to be in.”

    Read more: NCR Canada appoints new president

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  • JoeAnne Hardy, WBM Office Systems

    JoeAnne Hardy, president of WBM, talks to young women as often as she can to let them know that this industry does have tremendous opportunity, but she hasn’t seen a lot in terms of a focused effort to get more women on board. “It’s more than just saying we want more diversity; you have to actually create an environment that is conducive to that.” Women aren’t afraid of technical work and they certainly aren’t afraid to work in industries that are non-traditional choices, she says. ” I don’t think we need to ‘clear a path’ – young women today will clear it for themselves. I think that what we need to do is educate women on the excellent career choices that our sector can provide to them.”

    Read more: Women in the IT Channel 2010: JoeAnne Hardy

    slide 7

  • Yasmin Jivraj, Acrodex

    “As women, we bring a lot of talent, creativity and intuition into the field,” Yasmin Jivraj, president of Acrodex says. “I haven’t found many barriers in the field because I’ve found that working hard and being able to understand customers’ business problems and providing solutions that use technology as a strategic enabler is most important.” Jivraj is the co-founder of CIPS (Canadian Information Processing Society) Women in Technology – Leap Towards the Future program, which is an annual one-day event that helps to motivate grade nine girls and encourages them to choose a career in IT.

    Read more: Women in the IT Channel 2010: Yasmin Jivraj

    slide 8

  • Darlene Kelly, TeraMach Technologies

    Several trends have assisted women of this generation to continue working in IT while having families, such as the ability to work from a home office and using technology such as videoconferencing, to reduce travel, says Darlene Kelly, COO of TeraMach. “I would like to see the industry continue to progress in providing coaching on time management and methods in achieving work/life balance,” she says. “While it is exciting, it is also demanding – there are always numerous relationships to manage and nurture both internally and externally in achieving success.”

    Read more: Women in the IT Channel 2010: Darlene Kelly

    slide 9

  • Wendy Lucas, Dimension Data Canada

    While it’s still a male-dominated industry, Dimension Data Canada’s area vice-president Wendy Lucas believes that IT as a career choice is gaining momentum among women. Networking is key, she says, as well as promoting a culture of support between females within a company and sharing opportunities in the IT industry in general. “The days of the ‘road warrior’ were difficult for women with children. Now, with technologies such as videoconferencing and unified communications, women can be there to support their families and still have a thriving career,” she says. “This wasn’t an option several years ago, and if there was extensive travel, women had to decline senior positions in some situations.”

    Read more:Women in the IT Channel 2010: Wendy Lucas

    slide 10

  • Rose MacKinnon, Ingram Micro Canada

    “There are so many pieces of the company, that whatever you want to focus on you can do it under our roof,” says Rose MacKinnon, Ingram Micro Canada’s senior director of retail sales. Whatever a woman’s interest might be, she can likely find a career she enjoys with Ingram. “For me, if I use my personal experience,” by telling people within her own personal network about opportunities in tech they may never have thought about. “The industry is so much fun because it’s always changing,” she says. “You’re part of that evolution of great products and great partnerships.”

    Read more: Ingram Micro CEO outlines company roadmap

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