100+ Channel Women Attend Mixer

CHANNEL PARTNERS More than 100 women and a few men turned out for the Women in the Channel Networking Mixer Tuesday evening at the Fall Channel Partners Conference & Expo.

The event, which was sponsored by AT&T, ACC Business and TelePacific, featured cocktail-hour networking followed by peer-moderated roundtable discussions on topics ranging from work-life balance to managing male-dominated teams.

This was the second Women in the Channel event; the inaugural meeting was held at the Spring Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.

Nancy Ridge, vice president of sales at master agency Telcombrokers, also shared ways that attendees can get involved in the newly formed Women in the Channel organization. Committees, ranging from membership to mentoring, need volunteers, she said.

More than half (52 percent) of attendees identified themselves via text-to-vote polling as suppliers (carriers or hardware/software vendors). About one-third (31 percent) said they were channel partners (agents/VARs/dealers).

Attendees reasons for coming to the event ranged from finding new business contacts” (19 percent) to finding women to collaborate with or who are like me” (13 percent each). The majority selected all of the above,” which included options such as seeking career guidance, learning leadership skills and bringing more women into the channel.

Nearly one-third of respondents said they did not have challenges working in a male-dominated industry. Of those who did, the most often mentioned (16 percent each) were exclusion from male business social circles and lack of respect for their contributions.

On the flip side, more than one-third (37 percent) said their greatest advantage being a woman in a male-dominated industry was bringing a different skill set (e.g. listening and collaboration) than do their male peers.

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