By Su Beler
On September 9th, Alliance of Channel Women hosted our 9th annual ACW networking event ACWConnect Live! to kick off Channel Partners Evolution in Washington D.C. It was a powerful standing-room-only event of the telecom and IT industry’s top female channel leaders as well as fresh new faces.
Diversity expert Risha Grant delivered an inspiring keynote on our theme, “Embracing Diversity.” Grant is one of the foremost experts on diversity and inclusion and author of “That’s BS! How Bias Synapse Disrupts Inclusive Cultures and the Power to Attract Diverse Markets”. Here are my takeaways from her talk:
- “Getting rid of B.S. (Bias-Synapse) means avoiding negative, one-way thinking.” I learned to confront my own internal bias and check in with myself.
- “Accepting these biases and taking responsibility for how they were formed, allows us to open our minds and challenge them. Cultivating authentic relationships inspires inclusion and affects real change. Going deeper and asking questions can change lives and create opportunities for our communities.” Grant’s personal stories and her sense of humor kept me engaged and willing to take stock of my own inventory.
- “If you want to change a culture, you have to work on yourself.”
The room was pumped up after the keynote, which was widely applauded and warmly received by our attendees – women and men alike.
We launched into the 2019 ACT Awards and LEAD Awards presentations to recognize the accomplishments of both our ACW member volunteers and the leading women in the channel. The quality and caliber of our award winners was impressive and inspirational.
Finally, key ACW sponsor representatives came forward and answered questions about how their companies have been creating cultures of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. I feel proud to be a member of the Alliance of Channel Women and supporting the message we’re carrying to the telecom and IT industry.
About the Author
Su Beler is a partner support manager for Technology Source. She’s been an active member in Alliance of Channel Women since she joined the industry in 2013. Presently, she’s a member of the Events Planning Committee and acts as its liaison to the Communications Committee.