Channel Partners

FAL 2016

For 25 years, Channel Partners has been a resource for indirect sales channels, such as agents, VARs and dealers, that provide network-based communications and computing services, associated CPE and applications, and managed and professional services

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FEATURE 20 CHANNEL PARTNERS FALL 2016 T BY TINA GRAVEL Telecom is no longer a bastion of men willing and able to climb poles. Though many agree that the telecom, and cloud, channels started late in adding women at the top ranks, today our sector compares favorably with other technology segments when it comes to women in leadership positions. Programs fostering female engineers at Cisco, AT&T and other large suppliers mean we have more women to promote. In telecom firms, many women started in customer service or sales and Gender Inequality In Telecom: What Can You Do? came up through the ranks that way. Male business leaders play a role. Regardless, while the glass house has cracks, there's room for improvement. The Channel Partners 2016 Compensation Survey was eye-opening (see Page 12). A Columbia Business School article says that the percentage of women in top management positions in all firms is still under 9 percent, while Fortune says just 30 percent of employees at tech companies are female, even as they make up nearly half of the workforce, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. I'm glad that we're talking about the discrepancy. But what I really want to know is: What can those ow know is: What can those is: What can those of us in the indirect us in the indirect channel do about it? annel channel do about it? do about it? To get better, we have get better, we have to understand the problem. stand to understand the problem. the problem. First, young women still study science, men First, young women still study science, still study science, technology, engineering and math ering technology, engineering and math and math in in lower numbers than men. That's lower in lower numbers than men. That's numbers in lower numbers than men. That's than in lower numbers than men. That's men. That's one place we can help as parents and mentors. Some schools are also trying cross training. The University of New Hampshire Interoperability Lab, for example, encourages non-STEM majors to apply for their positions. Still, if you work in a field, like cyber - security, that has not been welcoming to women and your pool of able candidates is small, even though you might want to hire and promote women, the diversity of candidates is just not there, which results in a "birds of a feather" situation. If you are leading a company, you need to be confident that those you put in other leadership positions will be successful.

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