December 29, 2020
As if Mayka Rosales-Peterson wasn’t busy enough promoting diversity in the channel — and beyond — she’s also able to rack up an impressive list of achievements. Take this past year, for example.
Telesystem’s Mayka Rosales-Peterson
In January, she became chair of the Communications Committee for the Alliance of Channel Women (ACW). In July, she became an inaugural member of the Allies of the Channel Council. Then, in September, she was a speaker at Channel Partners Virtual. In October she was promoted to the position of channel strategy manager for business communications provider Telesystem.
Along the way, she served on the council for the Xposure Inclusion & Diversity Council. She also hosted the ACW’s monthly video panel “Keeping It Real” – only fitting, since it was her brainchild – and served on the organization’s membership committee. In addition, she was a frequent blogger on the ACW and Telesystem websites, contributed a number of articles to industry publications and recorded an “It’s 501 Somewhere” session with Allison Francis on diversity and inclusion in the channel.
Furthermore, she now is a member of the Channel Partners Editorial Advisory Board.
The Path to the Channel
Originally from New York City, Mayka Rosales-Peterson has a background in marketing. Her first goal was to be a journalist and work as a TV anchor. But as a Marine Corps spouse, she had to relocate too often to gain traction with any one employer.
Her husband served in the Marines for a decade, with his last duty station in Ohio. That’s where she connected with Telesystem.
“I don’t know if it was fate or coincidence,” said Rosales-Peterson. “Telesystem was hiring for the digital side and the marketing side. I thought, ‘All right, I’m good at that. I have experience. I’ve interned everywhere.’ And it just grew from there, from them giving me the opportunity.”
Telesystem’s Mayka Rosales-Peterson is a new member of the Channel Partners Editorial Advisory Board. See the full list of board members here.
As it turns out, the channel was the perfect fit for Rosales-Peterson.
“I love people; that’s why I love the channel,” she said. “You’re able to interact with so many different people all of the time. It just fits who I am, so I was able to really grow and shine in this role.”
“I look up to a lot of the people in the channel, like Raquel Wiley. She’s awesome. She has mentored me a lot. I feel that as a person, as a woman and as a woman of color, she opened the way for me. So now I have someone I can look at and say ‘Oh, she’s there, I can be there, too.’”
“I think my strengths are being able to relate to people and build honest relationships that are genuine,” she said. “I think that makes me who I am. I’m just being myself, and I guess people gravitate to that.”
The Big Picture
Rosales-Peterson seems to have the big picture when it comes to the channel. Maybe it’s all the traveling she’s done. Or the training under her belt. Or perhaps her talent for being able to connect with people. Most likely, it’s a combination of all three that gives her a clear view of the channel’s opportunities and pitfalls.
And as a woman of color, a first-generation American and a millennial, she knows first-hand the many facets of diversity and inclusion with which the channel must contend.
“I feel like opportunities were presented to me because people understood the impacts of the lack of diversity in this space – which is also a big thing for me,” she said. “I love promoting the theme of diversity. We’re still struggling with that in the tech space overall — and in the channel even more.”
And when Rosales-Peterson talks of diversity, she means …
… age as well as race, ethnicity and gender.
“The channel now is dealing with so many generations,” she said. “The younger ones don’t know life without Instagram, TikTok or Snapchat.” But some members of the older generation don’t understand — or even like — social media.
“As a millennial, I’m present on LinkedIn, I’m present on social media — that’s what I know. But some colleagues older than me ask, ‘Why are you always on LinkedIn?’ We have to be! It’s a way of life now. You have to be able to relate, to post and to engage.”
“For many people in the channel, it’s a struggle to morph into change, to grow and adapt.”
“I do a lot of work with Xposure, with Kelly McMillan,” said Rosales-Peterson. “And that’s one of things we try to tackle. To open that conversation for younger people that are coming into the channel so that they can have a voice and grow within it.”
“It’s a big focus for us, along with creating more opportunities for people of color,” she said. “Women of color, Hispanics, Asians – everybody – must have a space and a seat at the table.”
Space at the Table
Rosales-Peterson is optimistic that those spaces at the table will open up. “I think it’s a great time for women in general in this country because there’s a lot of change happening,” she said. “There’s a lot of conscious change happening. People are realizing ‘Hey, there’s a problem.’ And they’re doing something.”
She brings that optimism and outlook to her new position on the board.
“What you guys did on the virtual side for the last Channel Partners [Conference & Expo], the amount of conversation and the diversity in general was fantastic and something that we’ve never seen before. That’s what I hope to continue to push as a board member, to make sure that the voices of women are elevated in the channel and find ways that we can still do that on all levels.
“And that goes with the work that I’m doing at the Alliance of Channel Women as well,” she added. “It’s very important to me that people, especially women, have voices in this space, because I know it’s hard for us, and it’s a fight. If I can do that as a board member of one of the top media companies in the channel, I would be so happy.”
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