It wasn’t that long ago that women in senior positions in the technology sector were a rarity. But today, those numbers are climbing. There is still room for improvement, but Deloitte Global predicts that large technology firms, on average, will reach nearly 33% overall female representation in their workforces in 2022.

Research shows that gender-diverse teams offer companies improved problem-solving tools, broader thinking, and better solutions. This directly translates into outperforming competitors and higher earnings. It’s been a slow process, but women are now represented throughout the tech industry and act as role models and mentors to new generations of women entering the field. 

Laura Crawford

Zift Leaders Offer Advice and Support to Young Women in Tech

In celebration of International Women’s Day, March 8, Zift Solutions asked a few of our talented leaders, what career advice would you give your younger self? What advice do you have for women starting a career in IT?

On Finding Your Place

“Tap into as many people as possible to find out what they do and why they like it. Explore all the available possibilities. Believe it or not, some people are glad to help you as you start your career. Find those people and build relationships. Now more than ever, career opportunities are only limited by your imagination.”  

  • Laura Crawford, Director of Human Resources

“There are three elements that will make you happy in your job. The company, do you like their vision, products, and culture? Do you trust your manager, and will you learn something valuable under their guidance? Do you like the job role, what you are doing every day? 

Gwyn Edwards

My advice to my younger self is if you have all three of those things, treasure them because they don’t come along often. If you have two things, work on making the third element better. If you have zero or only one of the above, don’t stay too long where you’re unhappy. There are always other opportunities.”

  • Gwyn Edwards, Director of Partnerships and Alliances

“I would tell my younger self that there is more than one path to follow. Consider your priorities and find a career path that allows for a work/life balance. And travel first!”

  • Lissa Johnson, Director of Customer Success Operations

On Success and Advancement 

“Don’t hold back because of a hypothetical situation. I passed on early career advancement opportunities because “I’m thinking about starting a family” or “I might need to care for a sick parent soon.”  

Heather Tenuto

The farther along you are in your career, the more power you have over work-life challenges.  With advancement, you gain better control of your time. Push forward, and when a personal situation arises, you will have the flexibility to handle it.”

  • Heather Tenuto, Chief Revenue Officer

“I’ve been privileged to work with some of the brightest minds on the planet even though my career took a completely different direction than what I envisioned in college. I’ve found IT and the channel space welcoming to women, and it’s an industry where you can succeed and grow in your career. 

My advice is to take chances. When you come to that fork in the road, taking the safe path isn’t always a bad choice, but the riskier option could take you somewhere better than you imagined.”

  • Gwyn Edwards, Director of Partnerships and Alliances
April Samuelson

“Embrace the possibility of failure. All success comes with risk. To win big, you must be willing to fail big. I’ve had lots of wins but also lots of failures. I learned from all of them, and I’m glad I took risks.”

  • April Samuelson, Director of Product Marketing

On Skill-Building and Mentors

“Success in the IT channel means understanding the go-to-market realities of the business. The channel with the lowest cost-of-acquisition or cost-to-support wins. Make sure you have the financial analysis skills needed to understand channel performance vs. other routes to market. That may mean finding a mentor or filling skill gaps with additional training.”

  • Heather Tenuto, Chief Revenue Officer 

Picture yourself living your best life – what does that look like? Work is just one part of this picture. Create your plans in pencil and put your values in pen. Plans will change, and this is okay. People who love you want the best for you, so leave the fear of judgment behind. Live your values and if you find yourself in a situation that doesn’t align with them, get out the eraser and pencil in a new plan!”

Lissa Johnson
  • Laura Crawford, Director of Human Resources 

The IT channel is a great place for women.  Gravitate towards other female leaders who encourage you and give you a path for growth.” 

  • Lissa Johnson, Director of Customer Success Operations

Are you interested in pursuing a job with Zift? Click here to view open positions.

About International Women’s Day

The first official National Woman’s Day was held in New York City on February 28, 1909. Soon after, the concept of a “woman’s day” caught on in Europe. The first International Woman’s Day was held on March 19, 1911, drawing more than 1 million people to rallies worldwide. 

Today International Women’s Day is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women. The day is also a call to action for gender inclusion and equality.

Many organizations and people celebrate IWD by:

  • Celebrating women’s achievements
  • Raising awareness about women’s equality
  • Lobbying for accelerated gender parity
  • Fundraising for female-focused charities

Learn more about IWD on the official website: https://www.internationalwomensday.com/