I believe I speak for everyone when I say every woman in attendance at the April 26, 2018 Women in Technology Luncheon at Summit EMEA left with a sense of empowerment, determination and understanding. Can we talk about networking with like-minded women? It was a gratifying and educational experience! Women from all over the world, who work in various departments, and in various capacities, shared one commonality – they all work in the technology space and were eager to connect other women in a similar circumstance.
The luncheon was sponsored by Columbus Global, whose European director Mary Hunter kicked off the theme: BE BOLD: Be Bold in leadership, Be Bold for others, Be Bold for yourself and Be Bold for the future.
Hunter welcomed International Association of Microsoft Channel Partners UK Board Member and Women in Technology Chair, Sarah Gray to the stage to facilitate the panel discussion. Before introducing the panel, Gray spoke about her Be Bold journey to the top as a female executive and spoke to her determination, and sometimes vulnerability, , in a male dominated industry. She said, “Do not try to act like a man. Proudly embody your feminism, be yourself and stay determined.” Gray then welcomed the talented tech panel of three to the stage to share their journey and personal experiences to the top as female executives.
(Left to right: Sarah Gray, Myra-Bella Prins, Cruz Margaix Huerta, Heather Williams)
Be Bold in Leadership
AXtension’s CEO Myra-Bella Prins explained her Be Bold in Leadership experience from an entry level position to now CEO of her organization. She explains “You know what you want, stick to the plan, never make any concession and dare to say no.” In a world where many will downplay your potential, she highlights the importance of who you surround yourself with and the importance of your inner circle. “Surround yourself with people who give you energy, say goodbye to the people who don’t.”
Be Bold for Others
Cruz Margaix Huerta, Technical Architect at LexisNexis explained her Be Bold for Others experience and importance of mentorship. She had started her career in a non-technical field and yearned for a more challenging role and opportunity for growth. When her mentor mentioned a technical role where he believed she would be a great fit, she was hesitant. However, she took the leap of faith and has had a profoundly successful career in the technology space. “Acting as a mentor is one of the best ways to give back but also learning from your mentee - they bring an array of fresh ideas and new ways for doing things,” says Huerta.
Be Bold for Yourself
Heather Williams, General Manager of D365UG/AXUG at Dynamic Communities explained her Be Bold for Yourself experience from starting her career in the music industry and wanting more from herself once she started a family. She explains how she took the leap of faith into the technology space, having no previous experience, and took on as many roles and responsibilities as she could handle, to become a knowledgeable top industry expert that she is today. “Taking on new roles, even ones that you’re not skilled or an expert ‘on paper’ promote challenge, growth and can lead you to adventures that you never expected.” She also credits one very special trait that all of us women have in common called intuition. “We have intuition on our side. Listen to her! Do not downplay that feeling. Trust your instincts.”
Be Bold for Our Future Generation
Harvest for Humanity is a cause near and dear to the IAMCP’s heart, and helps raise tuition funds for high-potential young Haitian women to attend university. Learn more and donate here www.gofundme.com/ghaelle
Hunter wrapped up the luncheon by stating “I encourage all women to enter the technology space even if you have no experience. If you’re willing to learn, you can do anything. There are so many opportunities in marketing, HR, Sales, Business Development, etc. in the technology field and a lot of money to be had.”
We can all do more to Be Bold in leadership, Be Bold for others, Be Bold for yourself and Be Bold for the future by simply following these six takeaways: