Sunday is International Women’s Day, and—in case you needed a reason—it’s the perfect time to throw props to female leaders across the Channel, technology, everywhere. Because according to The Channel Co, your business achieves 35% more when ladies stride through your doors.
So, at MicroAge, we decided to start by recognizing some of the women leaders who walk through ours—making things happen and inspiring us every day. To see what keeps them moving in a male-dominated industry, we asked who and what has inspired them from the beginning.
Always go in with a plan.
“I’ve been fortunate to have several great female mentors throughout my career. However, the person who has been the most impactful in my life is my mom. She’s always taught me to plan ahead and think things through. I always encourage those around me to plan for the outcomes that haven’t happened yet. Foreseeing the possibilities gives us confidence in the choices we make.”
– Joelle Fosco, Director of Human Resources
Keep dreaming forward.
“My friend Marie shared this card with me: I give you this rock to remember to be grounded in Dreaming Big and don’t forget to Revise along the way. Typed above her words are her father’s:
The only way to build the life you want is to dream big and revise often. Don’t get stuck on old dreams that didn’t work out the way you imagined. No matter what the circumstance… have the courage to imagine a new dream and you will be amazed where your life will take you.
Her note sits on my desk with a stone she had engraved Dream Big Revise Often. This mantra keeps me driven and moving forward daily.”
– Tracey Hayes, Vice President of Sales
Know your priorities.
“I worked in a sales position for a manager who really inspired me to find and maintain a work-life balance. She managed a large group and was extremely busy throughout the day. But no matter how busy she was, she always took time to attend her kids events and set aside quality vacation time.
She showed me there is a way to accomplish working hard at a job during the day while finding a balance with family priorities.”
– Christi Kalmer, Director of Sales
Stay open and compassionate.
“The two most important mentors in my professional life are both women, and were my immediate managers at MicroAge. From Katie Pushor—then a MicroAge division president, now an executive coach—I learned to believe in myself and not to settle for how others define you. This lesson came about when she encouraged me to take on a role I never thought I could do, but in taking it on, I found my niche.
Besides mentoring me through the ins and outs of corporate event management, Claudia Paddock taught me to take time to breathe and that there is always room for kindness and empathy, no matter how stressful things are. And anyone who has worked large corporate events knows that stress is an everyday experience.
These strong women—now entrepreneurs—have guided and taught many people throughout their careers—I am just fortunate enough to have worked with, and learned from, them both. I’m a work in progress, but my takeaways that I hope to impart on others might be summed up as try stuff, don’t settle, and be kind.”
– Andrea Hill, Director of Communications
Remember your core values.
“I’ve had many important female mentors who’ve helped me to reach this point. Currently I have the pleasure of teaming with our Human Resources Director, Joelle Fosco, who helped me launch my recruiting career 15 years ago and still supports my growth every day. Joelle is open to my ideas, talks through feedback and questions, and guides me in seeing the big picture from all angles.
This Women’s Day I celebrate Joelle and all of the other ladies who made a positive impact in my life—including my mom. Strong women raise strong women.
I’m fortunate to have been raised by strong women who instilled confidence, determination, responsibility, and respect as my personal core values. I take these values with me throughout my life and career at organizations where I’ve have a seat and a voice at the table. ”
– Alicia Bowen, Human Resources Manager
Never give up.
“I’m fortunate to have had more mentors then I can pack into a couple paragraphs. Recently, a personal experience challenged me to level up my approach to work and life myself. An accident I had changed my outlook after being unable to walk for eight months. Until then, I’d never faced any real adversity. It was humbling knowing my temporary hurdle was nothing compared to what differently-abled people navigate on a daily basis. Now I start and end every day with gratitude.
And, the temporary ailment permanently shaped me into a stronger, more adaptable, resilient woman with a fresh, new growth mindset. I hopped my way—on crutches—on to a promotion. I challenged myself more than ever to learn fast to support the success of my teammates. And I removed I can’t from my vocabulary forever.”
– Naomi Garnice, Director of Marketing