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Mother, Daughter Share Insights On Two Generations In IT

Gina Narcisi

At the Women of the Channel West Leadership Summit 2021, Aruba Networks’ Channel Chief Donna Grothjan and her daughter, Katie Grothjan, digital marketing manager for solution provider giant Ingram Micro, shared their experiences as women of two generations in IT.

What are the positive changes you’ve seen for women in the channel from when you started, to now?

Donna: I’ve been in channel for [close to] 30 years and I think it’s women’s networking events, where we have the opportunity to really learn from each other and learn things about ourselves. Thirty years ago, we’d call that a girl’s night out. We’d have drinks and conversations about the job and get to support each other. I would say, from an industry perspective, I think what’s changed is, number one, it’s okay to be vulnerable — I think that’s probably one of the biggest things is you kind of felt early on that you couldn’t be vulnerable, that you needed to be driven, you needed to achieve, and you couldn’t really rely on a network of individuals. Whether that network is a network of women or peers, or whoever you feel comfortable with, I do think that’s different. And I think this sense of feeling vulnerable, learning from each other, sharing — I think that is what’s different today that really supports the growth of the channel.

Katie: I feel like there is so much equality in the workplace for me. All the women I’ve met in tech and at Ingram Micro that I’ve met and worked with have been so supportive.

 
Gina Narcisi

Gina Narcisi is a senior editor covering the networking and telecom markets for CRN.com. Prior to joining CRN, she covered the networking, unified communications and cloud space for TechTarget. She can be reached at gnarcisi@thechannelcompany.com.

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