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Women Channel Leaders Talk Challenges, Successes

Five successful women in the channel offer advice and tools to succeed in the channel.

Lynn Haber

February 20, 2020

4 Min Read
Alliance of Channel Women Channel Partners Evolution 2018

Not only is it important to make more of an effort to bring women into the tech and telco industries, but it’s critical to create an environment that makes them want to stay. The boasting about opportunities and jobs for women in STEM is everywhere, yet the reality of challenges faced by women in the workplace abound.

But that’s not going to stop women from pursuing their dream job, which is why we put together a panel that includes some of the strongest and most successful women in the channel – How Women in the Channel Can Rise to the Top – March 10, on the Channel Partners Theater stage in the expo hall at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo in Las Vegas.


Clarify360’s Jo Peterson

The five panelists include Marie Rourke, founder and chief channel strategist at WhiteFox Marketing; Tiffani Bova, global customer growth and innovation evangelist at Salesforce; Jo Peterson, vice president, cloud services at Clarify360; Amy Bailey, vice president, marketing at Telarus; and Tina Gravel, senior vice president at Appgate, share their insights about the upcoming presentation.

What to expect?

“We’re going to keep it real and relevant. This is a panel featuring successful female leaders and influencers who are willing to share what they know to help others grow,” Rourke, the panel moderator, told Channel Partners.

We caught up with several of the panelists for this preview of their must-see session.

Channel Partners: Why is it important to have discussions about this topic?

Jo Peterson: Inclusivity drives innovation and innovation is the very essence of our industry. Elevating the voices and perspectives of those that may be under-represented – including women and minorities – is imperative to fueling innovation.

Join these women and 100+ industry-leading speakers, more than 6,400 partners and 300+ key vendors, distributors and master agents at the Channel Partners Conference & Expo, March 9-12. Register now!


AppGate’s Tina Gravel

Tina Gravel: Women who are coming up need to see and hear tools and techniques to assist them in their careers. Having role models and examples of women who have been able to navigate through issues and pitfalls to gain acceptance at the executive table is essential for all of us.

CP: Name some challenges that women face in the channel.

Tiffani Bova: We can’t be what we don’t see. So, seeing women and other minorities in leadership roles in the channel is the way to get more women interested in pursuing careers in tech. With Ginni Rometty stepping down from IBM and Meg Whitman now gone from HP, we seem to be going in the wrong direction. So we have to keep talking about how we can open dialogue and challenge those at the event in leadership positions to put forth a commitment that they will hire/promote x% of women/minorities over the next two to three years.

CP: Why is it important that women be represented in the channel? 

JP: Women are driving the buying decisions in organizations as well as the consumer behavior driving product development across many of the emerging areas of technology we are seeing in the channel. IoT is a great example. Back to my earlier point — inclusivity drives innovation. Diversity of thought is key to …

… driving our space forward.


Salesforce’s Tiffani Bova

CP: How do women get past the challenges of entering and enduring in channel?

TG: I love affinity groups. I am so grateful to my fellow members of Cloud Girls and Alliance of Channel Women. I always learn from the women in these groups and they have become a wonderful support for me in good times and bad. I do believe you can learn from anyone and everyone; no one of us has all the right answers.

TB: Well, in channel marketing there are lots of women. There are also lots of women “running channel orgs” and in sales … so is it the tech side that needs help? Maybe … but, if you look at leadership/owners of VARs businesses, etc., that is where we have room for improvement.

CP: What will attendees take away from this session?

JP: This session will show the paths taken by female leaders in the channel and provide tangible takeaways and advice to other women as to how they can forge their own paths. I think we will also highlight some of the greatest benefits organizations and individuals can reap by tapping into diversity and inclusion.

 TB: I think beyond what they have heard many, many, times before, we have to help expand the conversation and put a stake in the ground.

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About the Author(s)

Lynn Haber

Content Director Lynn Haber follows channel news from partners, vendors, distributors and industry watchers. If I miss some coverage, don’t hesitate to email me and pass it along. Always up for chatting with partners. Say hi if you see me at a conference!

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