Woman-To-Woman: How To Make It In The Channel

Women Of The Channel Offer Advice To The Up And Coming

Here is advice from the Women of the Channel who work at IT companies that have come in tops in their markets in our Annual Report Card. Some have simple credos they live by, while others shared a bit more. Either way, these women are certainly role models to the next wave of female executive. And who better to dispense wisdom than those who reign at firms considered leaders by the channel?

Kaspersky: Kristen Capone, VP Channel Sales, North America

• Know the distinct difference between assertive and aggressive; for a woman it matters.

• Build a life-net, one relationship at a time and make sure your constituents know your agenda, goals, dreams and desires both personally and professionally. They will help you get there.

• Lead with a servant heart; by helping others reach their goals and live their dreams, you will be rewarded exponentially. To lead is both a gift and a responsibility.

• Don’t forget to give back. If we only work at our job, we are missing out on great opportunities to contribute to society.

Check out Kaspersky's Annual Report Card


IBM: Kristie Andrea Bell, VP, GTS Channels, Alliances, Midmarket

Be open to new directions in your career path, knowing that an indirect path often prepares you for a wider variety of roles and strengthens your competitiveness. Do not be afraid to ask questions and stand firm in what you believe to be the best solution to the problems at hand.

Check out IBM's Annual Report Card.

Microsoft: Cindy Bates, VP Of Microsoft's U.S. Partner Strategy, Marketing And Programs Group

As with success in life more generally, work on really knowing yourself first -- what motivates you, what worries you, what you enjoy and not, what are your strengths and your development areas.

Self-awareness and being open to feedback in order to learn and grow, I think is critical. I always encourage people to define what they want their ’brand’ to be. What do they want people to say about them when they aren’t there -- the one or two sentences that will describe them. Then work to achieve that, again including lots of willingness to solicit and internalize feedback. I have found the ’golden rule’ serves me well in life as in the workplace. I’ve had so many situations where someone that I might not expect to ever cross my path again, did cross my path and because I was helpful to them, or treated them with respect, they returned the kindness. I’m passionate about the power and importance of humor in the workplace. I’ve seen firsthand the impact of a culture where humor thrives to enable people to connect effectively, and relax and open themselves to their most creative selves.

Lastly and somewhat related, I think willingness to take risks is so important. The question I often ask myself is ’what’s the worst that could happen if this doesn’t work out?’ Usually the answer is something I can live with, knowing that even failure brings learning and with confidence what may look like initial failure often turns into longer term success.

Check out Microsoft's Annual Report Card.

Hewlett Packard: Meaghan M. Kelly, VP, Channel Sales Development And Strategy, Solution Partners Organization -- Americas

Take time out of every month to set aside the phone, the laptop and the email and do some ’big thinking.’ Get out of the box and think about how things can be done differently, better and more efficiently. Once you have some great ideas formulated, don’t be afraid to pitch them to management. You are likely to have a ’golden nugget’ in there that can change the game for your organization or company.

Check out HP's Annual Report Card.

Fortinet: Kendra Krause, VP, Channel Sales

Always believe in yourself, be true to who you are, don’t be afraid to speak your mind in meetings, continue to work hard and be prepared to fight for the career aspirations you want for yourself. It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female; treat everyone like a human being. And above all else, love life and love what you do. Your positive energy and passion will lead to a brighter future.

Check out Fortinet's Annual Report Card.

Trend Micro: Jean Lozano, Senior Director Of U.S. Marketing

• First impressions matter.

• Always know your audience.

• Be consistent.

• Can-do attitude.

Check out Trend Micro's Annual Report Card.

EMC: Maureen Perrelli, Distribution Manager

Go after what you want, develop a network that you can leverage and expand throughout your career, and seek jobs within different departments of your company to gain as much as experience as you can because being a leader requires expansive knowledge on all facets of business.

Check out EMC's Annual Report Card.

Cisco: Wendy Bahr, Senior VP U.S. and Canada Partner Organization

Stay true to yourself, manage with integrity and trust your gut instincts.

Check out Cisco's Annual Report Card.

Panasonic: Sheila O'Neil, VP Channel Sales

I’ve learned a few things, one is you have to look out for yourself. If you don’t ask for what you want, nobody will know what you want. Don’t be afraid to ask for your next position/title.

Check out Panasonic's Annual Report Card.

VMware: Julie Criscenti, Director, Global Partner Marketing

Be responsible for your own career. Have a goal, build a plan to get there and work hard with integrity to reach your goals. Make sure to enjoy the journey along the way.

Check out VMware's Annual Report Card.

Adtran: Andrea Jeanne Thomas, Director, Channel Development, Enterprise Networks Division

• If you truly enjoy what you do, you will more than likely excel and enjoy balance in your life.

• Always treat others the way you would like to be treated -- regardless of who they are.

• Never forfeit your integrity or values for perceived success or recognition.

Check out Adtran's Annual Report Card.