Today CDN together with the founding sponsor Ingram Micro Canada is hosting its Third annual Women in the IT recognition luncheon. This event is being held at the historic Graydon Hall Manor in Toronto.

Famous personalities like Jill Dempsey who hosts Metro Morning on CBC Radio One and Anne Sado, president of George Brown College are the MC and keynote speaker respectively. Roughly 100 people – women representing different companies in IT solutions are in attendance at this event today.

The workshop for the women was led by Rebecca Leach who is a director of partner led programs at Cisco Systems in Canada. The workshop imparted knowledge about empowerment and leading by example. Ms. Leach said that her job exists no where else in the world and was created especially because she convinced her boss to do so by imploring him to consider her expertise and vision. She also stressed on the fact that successful women need to mentor others and give back to the community. The importance of being consistent and emotionally balanced was also highlighted.

Tips for the workplace

Trina Alexson of Cisco channels took the stage and shared insights about being leaders.  She spoke about the “5 be’s” that every woman should remember at their workplace –

  1. Be courageous.
  2. Be calm.
  3. Be heard. 
  4. Be right. 
  5. Be there.

There was also discussion about appropriate attire for office and having a blazer handy at all times. Some felt that the perception about IT needs to change so that more women will be open to join IT schools and the industry. Carmela Orlando of Insight Canada and Jennifer Anaya, VP of marketing at Ingram Micro shared some pearls of wisdom too.

Where women shine

Fawn Annan, president of IT World Canada announced that CDN has started the Canadian channel chief council which is a new association for the IT channel. She believes that this association will show young women new career paths in the channel. Mike Snider from Ingram Micro Canada spoke about how women are dominating mobile technology versus men.

George Brown’s Sado said that she believes positive changes are coming for women in IT. Besides being a college president, Sado is also an engineer and when she graduated she was a part of just three per cent women engineers who graduated that year. She said that she strongly believes that people advance in careers based on merits and not gender. According to her, logic and critical thinking is important but soft skills are very important in a work environment.

Women of the year 

This year Iris Black from Metafore, Roslind Lehman from OnXcloud, Erin Sherry of Unity Telecom and Rosanna Wilson from Black Box Corp. were named the honourees of CDN women of the year 2013.

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