Originally posted on ThinkIT, SingleHop’s blog, June 20, 2017.
In the United States, only 6.3 percent of women worked in male-dominated occupations in 2016.1 Although they hold almost 52 percent of all professional-level jobs, American women in information technology hold only 9 percent of management positions. 2
While these stats are staggering, we know that that there are many companies like SingleHop who are striving for change. At SingleHop, building a strong, inclusive culture has been a priority for the business from the very beginning The many awards for our progressive work culture, tells us that the energy we’re putting into development of the SingleHop workplace is on the right track.
I took some time to sit down Natalia Botti, a Channel Manager at SingleHop, to chat about her role as a female leader in the IT Channel.
How did you choose a career in technology?
I think there are very few people who ever wake up and say, “I want to be a sales woman,” but as soon as I dipped my toes in tech I became obsessed. I’ve been in the technology field for 6 years now, which equates to about 10 in Channel years due to how fast things move in this space.
What do you love about working in IT?
I believe the single most important aspect of having a career in technology is the amount of opportunity. It’s limitless. In just a few short years, I’ve gone from running entry level cable checks to managing Channel programs for some of the largest partners in the Channel. The biggest requirements? Attitude and aptitude, which can be applied and repeated no matter what it is that you are seeking.
I chose SingleHop, not only for its advancements in automation, stability in the cloud, and future growth solutions but also because, for me, they are a great cultural fit. SingleHop supports me as a working mother and allows the flexibility I need in order to be successful. I also appreciate that they value their customers. For them, partnerships mean something and not just another day’s sale. They are committed to their partnerships and provide the resources that make selling in the Channel easy.
Tech trends you are seeing?
Aside from the SDWan, 5G, Hybrid Cloud & collaboration, I’m seeing more and more adaptation towards AI. There’s a greater level of acceptance and willingness to give over mundane tasks to automation and machine learning, freeing us up to be more human. There’s also lot of talk about blockchain, a distributed database technology. It will be really exciting to see how all of this technology will be adapted and what else gets created from it.
Challenges you see?
One of the major challenges I’m seeing is the ability to capitalize on new innovations. Timing is fast paced and the market is slow to pick it up. It can be extremely difficult to be proactive and a true thought leader vs. doing thing that maintaining profitability markets especially when those markets are reactionary. SingleHop is working to overcome this gap by creating educational programs for our partners, which will help foster faster growth and adaptation with their customers and the C-suite.
What have you learned about leadership in your career?
When it comes to leadership, I’ve learned to explain the “why” in a more concise manner and to model the best qualities and strengths I possess. Someone is always watching. Being a good leader means listening and knowing when to pull back; actions are louder than words. But being a great female leader means knowing when to speak up for your actions.
Things you’ve learned?
The longer I’m in tech, the more I am discovering. It’s like being an archaeologist only in reverse. Not only is it fast paced and constantly changing, but it is never boring and there is always something new to discover.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned over the years is not to make assumptions. I think the worst thing a channel partner can do is walk into a partner’s business and assume that you understand their business better than they do.
What’s the best advice you have for other women in tech or exploring a career in tech?
Have a vision of what you want and be prepared to take the reigns. Don’t be afraid to go after it, announce it, or even pivot from time to time. Learn to recognize the opportunity in change and build a community of other women who will support you which will help you on your journey.