20 Scenes From The Women Of The Channel West Conference

Women Discuss Industry Challenges In The Channel

More than 150 female executives gathered in San Francisco last week to discuss challenges and trends in the technology industry at The Channel Company's Women of the Channel West XChange event.

The event brought together participants from the channel to delve into tough topics, as various channel executives discussed challenges for women in the tech industry.

When The Channel Company surveyed Women of the Channel West attendees on their opinions of gender balance in the workforce, 50 percent said they believe that their male counterparts have a better opportunity for advancement.

Keynote speakers touched on the importance of networking, mentorship and enforcing a positive attitude as ways to empower women in the technology landscape.

Following are 20 scenes from the Women of the Channel West conference.

Raffle For A Cause

In conjunction with sponsors such as Oracle and CDW, The Channel Company created a "Raffle For A Cause" program for event attendees.

Participants had the opportunity to win gifts ranging from a Tumi Tech Bag to a JamBox, Oakley Sports Pack to a Nordstrom gift card.

Ham, Eggs and Skills

After registration, attendees started out their day by attending a "Ham, Eggs and Skills Enhancement" breakfast.

The event gave women the chance to network while discussing ways to improve their business skills over ham and eggs. At Executive Table Discussions, women talked to industry experts who discussed public speaking and presentation skills, effective use of partner advisory boards, and how to effectively mentor others.

Addressing Workplace Challenges

Lisa Mackenzie, senior vice president of events at The Channel Company, offered a warm welcome to the participants at the Women of the Channel West event.

MacKenzie challenged the attendees to use the day to discuss how they can address problems that women face in the workplace and meet other channel executives.

Finding Your Light

Margaret Dawson, CMO of Rival IQ, discussed how women could overcome statements such as "You can't be a mother and a full-time worker" through proving their talents.

To shine in the workplace, said Dawson, women must find their "light," or their unique skill set that they can bring to the table.

Dawson stressed that women should act as mentors to other women to grow the number of females in the technology landscape.

Becoming A Successful Entrepreneur

Eileen Gibson, a strategy and marketing executive at Phoenix-based distributor Avnet, talked to participants about how today's leaders need to formulate strategic initiatives to be successful.

Gibson's advice for women? Be curious, honor your commitments, and remember that relationships matter in the workplace.

"Entrepreneurship is about doing something with nothing," she stressed.

Dress For Success

The Women of the Channel West event featured Dress For Success San Francisco, which allowed participants to donate professional clothing and items from the past five years, such as blouses, blazers and interview-appropriate skirts and pantsuits.

Dress For Success San Francisco is part of the Dress For Success Worldwide local nonprofit organization, which promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women through providing them with professional attire and support.

Free Goodies

Participants of the Women of the Channel West event brought home goodies from sponsor companies such as VMware, including bags, pens and nail polish.

Channel Executive Power Panel

Channel executives talked about their personal experiences as women in the workplace during the "Channel Executive Power Panel: Start Dreaming Big."

The executives included Jennifer Anaya, vice president of marketing at Ingram Micro North America; Terri Hall, vice president of NAS alliances and innovative client services at Oracle; and Colleen Kapase, vice president of partner GTM experience at VMware.

Executive Coaching

Lisa Marie Jenkins, speaker, executive coach and author, moderated the Channel Executive Power Panel. Jenkins said she wanted women to think about their personal strengths and develop the confidence and courage to take risks and action in the workplace.

Building Your Orchestra

Tiffani Bova, vice president and analyst at research firm Gartner, talked to women about building their "orchestra" and the significance of networking in the workplace.

Bova stressed the importance of women surrounding themselves with positive people who will help them get ahead.

"Have the belief in yourself to say 'yes' and succeed," she said.

Decked-Out Lanyards

Women of the Channel were gifted glittery lanyards from Intel Security when they registered for the Women of the Channel West event at the beginning of the day.

Meeting the 'True' Entrepreneurs

Women of the Channel listened to a panel during lunch involving leading solution providers in the channel.

The participants of the panel included Samantha Walters, vice president of online strategies at Colocation America; Susan Saxion, president and CEO of PrimeEdge Technology; Katie McAuliff, vice presdient of business development at Novacoast; Laurie Dasher, president and CEO of Dasher Technologies; and moderator Laurie Benson, CEO of LSB Unlimited.

During the panel, participants discussed the latest trends solution providers are seeing in the channel and what they are hearing from customers.

Power 100 Honorees

Several Women of the Channel were recognized on CRN's Power 100 list, which honors top female executives whose expertise and vision of the channel makes them stand out.

Women of the Channel Honorees

CRN honored the 440 Women of the Channel honorees selected this year at the Women of the Channel West conference.

More Gifts

Avnet was among the vendors handing out gifts at the Women of the Channel West event. The vendor passed out Kate Spade goodies to participants.

Tabletop Discussion With Vendors

Intel Security was among the vendors making its debut at the Women of the Channel West event, handing out goodies to participants and opening up networking opportunities.

Networking Breaks

Women of the Channel talked industry trends, challenges for women, and other topics over coffee and cake during the networking break.

Future of Leadership

Leah Hunter, a writer who works at Fast Company, discussed what women need to do to get ahead in the workplace. Many women are afraid to take actions and assert themselves, she said.

However, Hunter said, women should be led by their dreams and not pushed by their problems. "Be willing to take risks," she said.

Challenges Women Face

Marianne Cooper, a sociologist at Stanford University and the lead researcher in Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg's book "Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will To Lead," told attendees they need to overcome inherent challenges formed by society.

"We internalize these negative messages that circulate about women … and this gets reflected in how we think and feel about ourselves," she said.

Closing Reception

Women of the Channel West participants wrapped up the day with a closing reception over drinks to discuss what they had learned during the event and how they plan to move forward, leveraging their skills and ideas in the workplace.