Celebrate IWD with Zift Leaders: Career Advice to Our Younger Selves

Mar 31, 2022

By Kelsey Worsham, Senior Content Marketing and Communications Manager

It wasn’t that long ago that women in senior positions in the technology sector were a rarity. Today, those numbers are climbing. However, there is still room for improvement. On average, Deloitte Global predicts that large technology firms will reach nearly 33% overall female representation in their workforces in 2022.

Research shows that gender-diverse teams offer companies improved problem-solving tools, broader thinking, and better solutions. This directly translates into outperforming competitors and higher earnings. It’s been a slow process, but women are now represented throughout the tech industry and act as role models and mentors to new generations of women entering the field.

Zift Leaders Offer Advice and Support to Young Women in Tech

In celebration of International Women’s Day, March 8th, Zift Solutions asked a few of our talented leaders, what career advice would you give your younger self? What advice do you have for women starting a career in IT?

On Finding Your Place

“There are three elements that will make you happy in your job. One, do you like the vision, products and culture of the company? Two, do you trust your manager, and will you learn something valuable under their guidance? And three, do you like the job role and what you are doing every day?

My advice to my younger self is if you have all three of those things, treasure them because they don’t come along often. If you have two things, work on making the third element better. If you have zero or only one of the above, don’t stay too long where you’re unhappy. There are always other opportunities.”

  • Gwyn Edwards, Director of Partnerships and Alliances

“I would tell my younger self that there is more than one path to follow. Consider your priorities and find a career path that allows for a work-life balance. And travel first!”

  • Lissa Johnson, Director of Customer Success Operations

On Success and Advancement

“Don’t hold back because of a hypothetical situation. I passed on early career advancement opportunities because ‘I’m thinking about starting a family’ or ‘I might need to care for a sick parent soon.’

The farther along you are in your career, the more power you have over work-life challenges.  With advancement, you gain better control of your time. Push forward, and when a personal situation arises, you will have the flexibility to handle it.”

  • Heather Tenuto, Chief Revenue Officer

“I’ve been privileged to work with some of the brightest minds on the planet even though my career took a completely different direction than what I envisioned in college. I’ve found IT and the channel space welcoming to women, and it’s an industry where you can succeed and grow in your career.

My advice is to take chances. When you come to that fork in the road, taking the safe path isn’t always a wrong choice, but the riskier option could take you somewhere better than you imagined.”

  • Gwyn Edwards, Director of Partnerships and Alliances

“Embrace the possibility of failure. All success comes with risk. To win big, you must be willing to fail big. I’ve had lots of wins but also lots of failures. I learned from them, and I’m glad I took risks.”

  • April Samuelson, Director of Product Marketing

On Skill-Building and Mentors 

“Success in the IT channel means understanding the go-to-market realities of the business. The channel with the lowest cost-of-acquisition or cost-to-support wins. Make sure you have the financial analysis skills needed to understand channel performance vs. other routes to market. That may mean finding a mentor or filling skill gaps with additional training.”

  • Heather Tenuto, Chief Revenue Officer

“Picture yourself living your best life – what does that look like? Work is just one part of this picture. Create your plans in pencil and put your values in pen. Plans will change, and this is okay. People who love you want the best for you, so leave the fear of judgment behind. Live your values and if you find yourself in a situation that doesn’t align with them, get out the eraser and pencil in a new plan!” 

  • Laura Crawford, Director of Human Resources

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Kelsey’s bio

Kelsey Worsham is the Senior Content Marketing and Communications Manager at Zift Solutions. At Zift, she is responsible for growing market awareness of the ZiftONE product, managing a robust internal and external communications strategy, and leading all content marketing efforts for the company. Kelsey has her Master’s degree in Composition and Rhetoric and is an avid reader and writer outside of work.