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 

 

Engaging employees across North America on International Women’s Day

Today, fewer than 20% of top leaders across all sectors are women. At Softchoice, we want to change that. For International Women’s Day, our Leading Women Employee Resource Group hosted a virtual discussion panel with female executives for Softchoice employees across North America.

Softchoice Vice Presidents Elysia Estee and Lisa Yu were joined by Carolyn Rollins, General Manager Enterprise Marketing for Canada Post, to talk about their career paths and the challenges they faced along the way, and share recommendations to help others overcome barriers to success.

The conversation covered a wide range of topics key to gender equality in the workplace: pay equity, balancing career progression with children and family, and the importance of mentors and honest feedback to help guide your career journey. Most importantly, we were able to engage employees from 20+ cities in a discussion about how we can work together across borders and genders to create positive change throughout our organization.

When it comes to women in the technology sector, we know that we need to fill the talent funnel by improving how we prepare our female leaders of tomorrow through progressive STEM programs today. It’s incredibly important to put successful female technology leaders in front of young women to inspire and encourage them to pursue technology careers.

At Softchoice, we have a commitment to gender equality as part of our ONEsoftchoice Diversity and Inclusion initiative. In 2018, our focus will be on closing the gender gap by increasing the number of women in leadership roles, expanding our Leading Women mentorship program, producing local events focused on career development for our female employees, and hosting events with local schools to inspire young girls and help them excel in the STEM field. We also plan on continuing our outreach to engage emerging female technology professionals and support their transition to roles in the tech sector.

Top 5 ‘Leading Women’ in Technology

leading women

“Right now is a great time to be a woman in tech – but there’s not enough women in tech.”
–Marissa Mayer, CEO of Yahoo, on CNET

Whether it’s in the design or manufacture of new technologies, or providing solutions and services around the application of those technologies in the enterprise or consumer market, Marissa Mayer’s words ring true.

That’s what Softchoice’s Leading Women Initiative is all about: empowering women to become leaders in the technology industry. [Read more…]