Women Of The Channel West 2022 Offer Advice and Support To Attendees

From messages of resilience to advice on mentoring, Women of the Channel West 2022 left attendees with tools for success in the channel.

Women of the Channel West 2022 was nothing short of inspiring and empowering for the women who gathered in Carlsbad for the conference, put together by CRN parent The Channel Company, last week.

The summit kicked off with keynote speaker Cara Brookins who shared how she and her children fled domestic violence and built an entire house from the ground up by watching how-to videos on YouTube. Brookins and her four children not only learned how to construct the entire house’s electrical and plumbing infrastructure, but they also gained strength and resilience in the process.

“You know what sealed the deal for us. Just looking at my kids’ eyes. Just the idea of this house, it changed. It changed the way they were sitting in their chambers when they were gonna try to change what they believe is possible. My kids and I wanted a better life. We wanted a safe way,” Cara Brookins, professional speaker & author said.

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The conference shifted gears as Lisa MacKenzie, partner and EVP of The Channel Company, shared eye-opening data from a research study about the state of women in the channel.

The study surveyed both men and women, revealing the very different perspective men and women have on career advancement, the state of the gender gap and hybrid work.

“53 percent of women feel that over the past few years, the work environment has actually changed positively for women. So, I think 53 percent is good. It’s more than half. 81 percent of men said the work environment for women has improved,” MacKenzie said.

While the data gave more perspective, panel discussions offered advice on the importance of mentorship, sponsorships and being bold enough to take a leap of faith in career decisions.

“Mentorship comes from all different levels. I have a recent experience where someone reached out to me and in ideal, this person is very successful. And they reached out to me wanting to talk and pick my brain about something. And they asked if we could have a regular occurrence and I was like, Sure, why not. And then our second meeting, they were like, ‘Thank you for mentoring me on this.’ And I was just like, ‘What?’ I was blown away that they considered it a mentorship because I didn‘t think I had anything to offer this person that was so successful,” said Kellie Gaffney, senior technical project manager at Red Hat.

From Moogega Cooper sharing the amazing responsibility she was tasked with around keeping Mars safe from Earth’s contaminants in the famed Mars Rover Perseverance Mission, to Linda Clemons, CEO of Sisterpreneur and a body language expert, who explained how to use body language effectively to ‘Engage, Enlighten and enroll ’ each speaker gave the audience inspiration and advice to help women stand as strong leaders in the channel.

“Take the opportunities when they count, don’t be afraid. And, you know, and I think I’ve instilled that in other pieces now my personal life and balancing that one work as well,” said Meredith Scheraldi, director of NA marketing of Exclusive Networks.