Channeling Greatness – Women In Communications Getting It Done!
It was an honor last week to address one of my favorite organizations in the communications industry – Women in the Channel. I shared with them a vision for the future of “real time communications” delivered in new ways, with new technologies including WebRTC.
The worlds of IT and telecom, which are blurring, have long been seen as “male dominated” industries, but there are thousands and thousands of talented and successful women who are continuing to play more prominent roles across all the disciplines, from network to software engineering, from operations to finance and legal, and in the case of Women in the Channel, from marketing to sales. There is still a divide in percentages of men vs. women, and of course in pay, which we all know is an ongoing process.
But this doesn’t stop women who are themselves “natural communicators” from ruling the airwaves especially as more and more applications for real time communicating come on the scene.
One piece of advice I gave the participants who joined the webinar last week is to never stop learning – never stop exploring – and never stop disrupting especially as traditional solutions and business models fall away in favor of more convenient, intuitive and powerful multimedia applications. For example, how long do we expect desktop phones to be present at the same scale they are today? Smartphones and tablets are preferred, and “Value Added Resellers” and other sales channel partners will struggle to compete for revenue – and their sales commissions – if they are not prepared to participate in a very different world where the PBX is “in the cloud” and telephones are replaced by “IP endpoints” – mobile IP endpoints.
There are also incredible opportunities opening up for vertical industry applications – created to enable healthcare services to be delivered more efficiently and with a higher human touch, for example. Banking solutions enabling face-to-face conversations between bankers and their customers, with video and information mash-ups. Contact center innovations making customer service faster, better, cheaper and more compelling and competitive in real time. Assisted shopping applications, where brand experts can “appear” in a physical shop or an online shop to guide consumers towards the right products (while also selling them multiple related products, increasing that brand’s revenue and profitability).
Women in the Channel is a great organization that I have been proud to support since its inception, as a volunteer and board member. They offer education through webinars like the one hosted last week, through meetings, through mentoring, and through social networking promoting the advancement of not only women but some pretty awesome men as well! There are many men in our industry, including my manager, Brad Bush, who is CMO at my company, who actively supports diversity on his team and throughout the company. Check out this post on his popular personal blog posted last Thanksgiving. Gratitude! It’s the first thing I think about each morning.
I probably will not live long enough to see women in the workforce treated equally to men – particularly when it comes to compensation – but I firmly believe the next generation of women will get there, especially as women and men continue to release dated gender notions, and support talent and reward excellence.
I encourage to support WiC – here is an excerpt from their website:
Many women are juggling work and home duties more than ever. Our members speak of being the main breadwinner in their families, many are single mothers, others are taking care of elderly parents, the majority have kids to raise. One thing we all agree on, we tend to put ourselves last on the list for rest, nurture and anything else. Yet, we love the many hats we wear and see opportunities as never before. In order to take advantage of these opportunities, we will need to support each other…asking for help and sharing what works and what doesn’t.