Creating Opportunities for Women in Tech

In 1989, Jone Panavas founded Softchoice along with David Holgate to make it easier for businesses to source and acquire hardtofind software products. Jone and David set out to make Softchoice a different kind of company from the very beginning, one where inclusiveness was a core teneand employees were encouraged to bring their authentic selves to work.  

While the technology landscape has become far more complex in the last 30 years, another challenge it still faces is a shortage of female talent. “Less than 20% of tech sales positions are held by women- even fewer if you’re a woman of color. — The Women in Tech Sales Bootcamp.

Guided by Our Values 

We continue to follow the core principles of our founders to help us overcome these challenges today. Among our values are being human and inspiring and having customer passion. These inform our selection criteria when we’re seeking new talent and are the same we use to recognize great performance in our existing team. The annual Jone Panavas Award recognizes employees who  embody our values and are the go-to teammates,  the people who demonstrate outstanding personal leadership and customer passion. 

We’re Still Trying to Get it Right 

We’re not where we want to be just yet, but Softchoice is committed to reaching gender equality across the organization, building a new generation of female leadership and bringing fresh perspectives on technology and innovation to the people we serve.  

At the heart of our efforts to develop women into tech is the Leading Women committee, an employee-led group focused on building an inclusive community of women across Softchoice This effort comes to life through mentorships with senior Softchoice leaders, unique training opportunities for female employees and purposeful recruitment and retention of top female talent.  

“The objective of the Softchoice Leading Women Committee is to build a community where people are aware and educated about bias and are focused on driving change.  As a direct result of the current protests around the globe, people are demanding equality and the time is now for women to take our seat at the table and demand equality for all, regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity.” – Renee Bradford, Leading Women Committee Chair 

 We are also proud supporters of the Women in Tech Sales Bootcamp. As this year’s platinum sponsor, we’re united behind the goal of connecting top employers with diverse talent. This industry-vetted, 5-day intensive training program helps match women who want to pursue or advance their skills in tech sales with employers. On average, 80% of graduates find employment within in 30 days of completing the program. Softchoice has hired 9 graduates of the Women in Tech Bootcamp in the past 2 years. 

 “Although the numbers are improving, there’s still a big gap for women in sales, especially tech sales. Add to that the fact that I’m a recent immigrant to the country, and I had a typical case of self-doubt and job-search-jitters; which is why, applying and getting selected for WITS was one of the best career decisions I’ve made so far.” – Chantelle Menezes, Softchoice Sales Support Trainee 

 With our commitment to Women in Tech combined with competitive parental benefits, workplace flexibility and our diversity and inclusion efforts, we’re laying the foundation for a new generation of women in technology, today. 

 Learn More About Softchoice Women In Tech 

 

Softchoice Recognized by Human Rights Campaign’s 2020 Corporate Equality Index

Our Commitment  

At Softchoice, we are committed to providing an engaging and inclusive environment where every employee can bring their whole self to work. Softchoice believes in creating an environment where all employees – regardless of gender, age, sexual orientation, race, religion or cultural background – feel accepted and supported to succeed. And I recognize that this is a journey, not a race, and we’re not at our destination yet. There is still important work to be done. But I am excited with the results we have achieved so far that is fueling us to do more.      

Today, we are especially proud to participate in the Human Rights Campaign’s 2020 Corporate Equality IndexIn this report, Softchoice was recognized for our LGBTQIA+ inclusive policies and practices, including non-discrimination workplace protections, domestic partner benefits and transgender-inclusive health care benefits.   

I am thrilled to partner with our orangePRIDE Employee Resource Group (ERG) on our diversity and inclusion journey. orangePRIDE helps our leadership team identify and remove barriers to ensure LGBTQIA+ employees have a path to success and advises Softchoice on how to attract and retain top talent from the LGBTQIA+ community. 

LGBTQIA+ Support at Softchoice 

  • We offer equal benefits to same and different-sex spouses and domestic partners of benefits-eligible employees.  
  • We provide coverage for transgender health care services, including transition-related treatment, surgery, hormone therapy and counseling support for U.S. employees – and our transgender benefits are fully aligned with the World Professional for Transgender Health Standards of Care (WPATH SOC).  
  • We have an amazing employee resource group – orangePRIDE  that advocates for the LGBTQIA+ community and supports our employees across North America. 
  • In partnership with the Softchoice Cares Board, we do not offer philanthropic support to any organization with a policy of discrimination against the LGBTQIA+ community or any other marginalized group.

Through benchmarking reports like the Corporate Equality Index and direct feedback from Softchoice employees, we will continue to build a welcoming and inclusive culture for all 

Karen Scott is Sr. Vice President – People & Growth at Softchoice. 

 

Softchoice’s Commitment to Customer Experience Awarded by Canadian Marketing Association

This past Friday, Softchoice had the privilege of winning an award for our focus on customer experience (CX) at the Canadian Marketing Association Awards Gala 2019. It was easily one of my most memorable career highlights, seeing Softchoice standing shoulder to shoulder with a number of well-known and respected brands.

The recognition was a great way to cap off a little more than two years of significant focus, building our voice of customer programs and turning feedback into programs and projects that close the gap between our customers’ experience and expectation.

This year we also celebrated Softchoice’s 30th birthday and with that, we celebrate thirty years of customer passion and building a business focused on helping our customers think differently about technology.

Thirty years ago, we set ourselves apart by collecting and cataloguing information about software so customers could help make better decisions. No one else was doing that at the time. Back then, we built our systems and tools focused on delivering value to the customer and polled customers about their experience with Softchoice. We had created the beginnings of a CX practice before we knew there was a term for it. It is part of our DNA.

But times change. Today, Google makes finding information faster and easier than it’s ever been, and our customers’ B2C experience is driving their B2B expectations. Those things that had once set us apart, are now considered table stakes.

Today’s technology customer is looking for something different. In an era where web portals, chatbots and call trees dominate, they want a partner who is accessible across channels, devices and time as well as understands their business and needs. They want a partner that is more human. In a time where their search engine provides them with endless technology options or cases studies on how everyone else has done it, they want a partner who inspires them to think differently about technology. Being that Human and Inspiring partner is the path that we are on.

“Customer experience in today’s world is imperative but ensuring the consistent improvement of customer experience is an ongoing journey and we are excited to partner with Softchoice, an organization built on customer passion, on this journey,” said Morana Bakula, Vice President, Experience Management, Bond Brand Loyalty.

“This award is recognition of our work together to consistently deliver on customer experience aligned to changing customer needs.”

As proud as we are of the recognition we’ve recently received and the work we’ve done over the last few years, we’re even more excited about what’s ahead… creating experiences, with our customers, partners and people, that are inseparable from the solutions and services we deliver.

John Dumo is Vice President, Customer Experience at Softchoice

Meet Ranjit and learn about his co-op journey at Softchoice

Softchoice’s co-op students are hired for their fresh ideas and wealth of knowledge they bring to our Softchoice teams.

Ranjit Singh wrapped up his third consecutive co-op term with Softchoice in Summer 2019. He now works part-time as a .NET Developer while completing his last semester at Sheridan College in the Software Development and Network Engineering Program.

Here’s an interview with Ranjit about his experience at Softchoice:

Tell us what you do at Softchoice.

I am a .Net Developer currently working on Keystone Ticket Dispatcher project that includes the use of AI (Artificial Intelligence) to predict ticket type, priority and department to whom we can assign the new ticket automatically.

As a member of core development team, I have to collaborate among different teams for requirement gathering. I work on a variety of projects that are based on different technology platforms.

Congratulations! You just completed your third and final co-op experience and have now been hired on part-time to the .Net Developer team. Any advice for a student about to experience their first co-op term?

If I had one piece of advice for a new co-op, it would be:

“Be authentic. Authenticity and transparency when working with your team will help you to bring creativity, commitment, and motivation to work.”

In addition to that, expressing your curiosity and desire to learn will make your co-op experience more fruitful and rewarding at Softchoice.

What excites you about coming to work every day? 

What excites me about coming to work every day is knowing that my team and manager have confidence in my abilities.  Along with this, the core Softchoice values are present with me at every phase of the coop. I also enjoy having the opportunity of being an advisor for new co-op students in their day-to-day work and introducing them to the company’s work culture!

At Softchoice, we strive to live by our values every day. In your role, how do you see these values come to life?

The key to my success at Softchoice has this value: “We take care of each other”.  I have experienced such positive team coordination, which ensures team members are pooling their talent, skill, and insight for mutual benefit and success of projects.

Everyone is always prepared and available to help one another. This is a true value that has come to life while working with Softchoice.

Thanks for the interview, Ranjit!

For more information on opportunities at Softchoice, visit our Careers Site or our LinkedIn page.

Opportunities are Endless as a Softchoice Co-op Student

Robby Middlebrook Softchoice Co-op Student

Currently completing his second co-op term at Softchoice, Robby Middlebrook shares how Softchoice’s company values have led to endless learning opportunities and an engaging work environment.

[Read more…]

Women in Tech Sales: From Sales Rep to Sales Manager

Women in Tech Sales: From Sales Rep to Sales Manager

As an organization that strives towards gender balance, Softchoice took part in a recent weeklong boot camp for women in tech sales in partnership with Talent Minded and The Revenue U.

[Read more…]