"You're only as strong as your network": never have those words rung truer for me than after attending The Women of the Channel Leadership Summit East. Seeing and connecting with more than 4,500 talented and accomplished women from around the globe and channel was incredibly energizing. For those of you who are unfamiliar, The Women of the Channel leadership network is an online community that empowers women to build connections, learn new skills, and master leadership by attending events and programs that inspire them. And let’s face it, with only 26.7% of tech-industry positions held by women, and even less than that in cybersecurity, we need a platform to highlight the incredible accomplishments of our superhero sisters who are shaping today’s channel. Programs like this provide the necessary skills and resources to empower the next generation of rising women.
The Women of the Channel organization has grown exponentially since its inception less than a decade ago. I was fortunate to be invited as a guest by Fortinet, as a member of their Security Fabric Partner ecosystem and channel. Being a first-time attendee, I found myself in the minority, as the majority of women are enthusiastic multi-year event alumni. And, for good reason. Between the high-caliber keynote speakers, insightful panel discussions, and incredible peer-to-peer networking sessions, I left feeling inspired to put many of the new management and leadership techniques I learned into practice. The most memorable sessions and key takeaways for me included:
Turning hurdles into steppingstones to greatness
The event's keynote speaker was, Deshauna Barber, a former Miss USA, Captain in the U.S. Army Reserve, President & CEO of the Service Women's Action Network (SWAN), and motivational speaker. She shared her experience in turning life hurdles into steppingstones to greatness. Using her hardships to fuel the next phase of her professional and life journey is inspiring, to say the least.
The value of diversity in the workplace.
Like most organizations, Tufin is a global solutions provider with skilled employees located around the globe. Gender, race, and ethnic diversity introduce cultural differences that are often hard to navigate. I participated in an enlightening workshop that explored strategies for bridging differences to overcome cultural misunderstandings. I plan to bring a more evolved mindset back to the office, one that improves communication and increases collaboration.
Letting customers know we’re all in this together.
In my 20+ years of marketing leadership in the tech industry, cultivating relationships with customers has always been my highest priority. Understanding their goals is the first step in building solutions that help them realize success. Today’s users are easily jaded. Open communication that provides true insight and realistic guidance fosters loyalty and mutual success. Sharing our losses as well as our wins is key to shaping authentic customer communication.
Creating moments of connection by creating an atmosphere of delight.
Let’s face it, the COVID lockdown took a mental toll on all of us. Although we’ve returned to hybrid work life, Zoom fatigue and screen overload are real issues that affect our mental health. Working from home, although convenient, often blurs the line between personal and work life. Learning to set better boundaries is critical to leading a healthy, well-balanced life. Creating moments of connection with co-workers, whether in person or virtually, creates an atmosphere of delight that’s uplifting and motivating. I plan to take this lesson to heart and implement daily rituals that lighten the mood and encourage the sharing of more personalized versions of ourselves.
I’m thankful for the opportunity and look forward to attending in 2023. I believe that having a strong network of trusted peers is critical to success. Lifting one another up and supporting one another along the way makes us all stronger. I encourage you to learn more about the Women of the Channel Leadership Network and to thrive professionally by leveraging your own superpowers!