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SAN FRANCISCO, June 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/  A new social impact organization, the Women Executives Channel Advisory Board (WECAB), today announced its launch with a vision to empower and elevate women leaders in the technology industry, as well as the appointment of 16 board members to develop turnkey gender equity solutions for companies. WECAB strives to positively disrupt the technology ecosystem — a trillion dollar market — to ensure an equitable share of leadership roles for women at a time that demands fresh approaches to leadership. Members of WECAB include senior leaders from top technology companies including Microsoft, Insight Enterprises, Red Hat, Hitachi Solutions, Teradata, Rackspace, Accela and more who will offer advisory, mentorship, and educational programs intended to elevate more women into technology leadership roles.

There has been a long-time, significant gender gap in technology leadership roles. Women make up only 16 percent of senior-level roles in the technology industry, and only 10 percent of executive-level positions. Moreover, the technology channel ecosystem is a trillion-dollar opportunity and one of the fastest paths to growth for emerging technology companies, yet women are minimally represented. Creating a more inclusive channel economically empowers women and future-proofs the technology ecosystem.

“Bringing gender equality into technology leadership not only benefits company performance and shareholders, but will help ensure a safer, more equitable, and more sustainable world,” said Heidi Lorenzen, President and Chair of WECAB, and SVP of Marketing at Accela. “WECAB’s members are remarkable women executives who exemplify the strengths and skills needed to lead through unprecedented disruption and change toward new heights of innovation, resilience, security, and growth for the tech sector. We are pointing our experience and expertise toward ensuring that women’s perspectives and leadership contribute to unlocking the full potential of technology while minimizing the risks.”

“WECAB’s work in the community will be critical as we shift the paradigm over the next few years with women leaders in the technology industry,” said Sherlaender Phillips, Founder and Member of WECAB’s Board of Directors, and Vice President, US Channel Sales, Microsoft. “Together, we can build the pipeline of women leaders and provide mentorship, coaching, and an inclusive work environment to ensure the talent pool is ready to lead in the industry.”

To accelerate its mission, WECAB is teaming with an ecosystem of partner organizations — to date including Microsoft, Red Hat, Insight, Crayon, Athena Alliance, Ecuity Edge, and Zensa — to impact 25,000 technology companies by 2025 toward progressing gender equity in leadership.

As part of its launch, WECAB is appointing the following members to the Advisory Board:

Leadership Team:

  • Heidi Lorenzen, SVP, Marketing, Accela, and President and Chair of WECAB
  • Jennifer Heard, Global VP, Mid-Market Sales, Red Hat, and VP of Operations of WECAB
  • Robin Heisler, VP, Finance & Operations, Knowledge Lake, and VP of Finance of WECAB
  • Sharan Hildebrand, VP, Strategic Alliances, Hitachi Solutions, and VP and Co-Chairperson of WECAB
  • Terri Stephen, Founder and CEO, Ecuity Edge, and VP of Communications and Marketing of WECAB
  • Lisa Stewart, SVP, Cloud Alliances, Teradata, and VP of Business Development of WECAB

Members:

  • Christina Boe, VP, National Sales, Catapult Systems
  • Chaitra Vedullapalli, Co-Founder and CMO, Meylah; co-founder Women in Cloud 
  • Elizabeth Del Ferro, VP, Partner Go to Market, Duck Creek Technologies
  • Jennifer Didier, President, Directions Training
  • Jennifer Tomlinson, EVP, Marketing, Qorus Software
  • Michelle Peterson, VP Operations, Strategy and Customer Experience, Rackspace
  • Prerna Goja, CEO, Zensa
  • Sonal Malavia, President, Cloud 9 Infosystems
  • Regina Manfredi, SVP, US Sales, Crayon
  • Tina Pangle, VP Lifecycle Strategy and Global PMO, Insight Enterprises

“We’re seeing greater progress on gender diversity in leadership across the technology industry, but all too often most of us continue to be the only woman in the room,” said Joyce Mullen, president, Insight North America. “WECAB serves as a voice for continued change, helping women to network, gain mentorship and cultivate leadership skills while providing organizations with needed training resources to bolster diversity and eliminate bias among their ranks.” 

“Principles of meritocracy and inclusion are at the heart of the open source communities of which Red Hat is a committed and proud advocate and contributor,” said Stefanie Chiras, senior vice president and general manager, Red Hat Enterprise Linux Business, Red Hat. “As a company, these principles are embedded in our DNA. Innovation and progress happens when we collaborate and when everyone has a seat at the table. We are pleased to be able to support the work that WECAB is doing to create a more inclusive channel through educational programs, opening the doors for more women to secure leadership positions.”

“I am proud of our US team’s sponsorship of the Women Executives Channel Advisory Board, which has such an important mission of empowering and elevating women leaders. At Crayon, we believe in the power of technology to drive the greater good and part of that is having a diverse and inclusive workforce. When employees are empowered, it fuels innovation, which is critical to success in our industry. Supporting women in technology has been one of my longtime passions and a cause that Crayon has always valued from its commitment to having women in leadership roles to its support of SHE, Europe’s largest gender diversity conference,” said Crayon CEO Melissa Mulholland, who is also a SHE board member.

Among the coalition’s inaugural initiatives is the release of a leadership toolkit for tech companies to advance inclusion within their businesses.

To learn more, visit: http://wecabtech.org/

About Women Executives Channel Advisory Board

Women Executives Channel Advisory Board (WECAB) is a group of senior leaders in influential technology companies, with a common passion for lifting up and normalizing women in leadership roles in technology companies. As catalysts for positive growth, WECAB leverages its collective experiences and spheres of influence to mentor, empower, and lift women leaders in technology, so they can access equitable career and business opportunities and impact channel success. For more information, visit: http://wecabtech.org/ 

Media Contact: Heidi Lorenzen, [email protected]

SOURCE Women Executives Channel Advisory Board

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http://wecabtech.org/

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