Centre d’abonnement

Des informations en temps réel du chef de file de l'industrie TI.
Photo of woman holding a meeting in a conference room

Women in Tech at Insight

22 Sep 2015 by Katie Lahman

Today (Sept. 22), in honor of American Business Women’s Day, we want to continue our conversation about women in technology. This time, we looked inside Insight to catch up with four women who work in the IT department. First, a little background on American Business Women’s Day.

Since the 1940s, women have been playing an increasing role in the world of business. These days, women have practically equal footing to men when it comes to business, and there are a large number of female company owners and bosses. However, we’re still advocating for women’s rights, equal pay and opportunity.

American Business Women’s Day is celebrated all around the world on Sept. 22 to commemorate the day when Hilary A. Bufton Junior founded the American Business Women’s Association on Sept. 22, 1949, along with three other business women from Kansas City. This special day celebrates the contribution that women make in the business world and focuses on ways to give women more equality. The first ever American Business Women’s Day was celebrated on Sept. 22, 1983, and then it got a congressional proclamation and permission from President Ronald Regan in 1983.

A number of special activities are held on this day, including seminars, meetings and social media posts that encourage business women from around the world to network and share their experiences.

Now, read on to learn how these four IT professionals have played an integral role at Insight.

Kelly Angel, Senior IT Engineer at Insight in Tempe, Ariz.

Arizona native Kelly Angel is a senior IT engineer at Insight. “I knew I wanted to go into tech after building my own computer in 1992. Subsequently, several friends asked me to build computers for them, too,” she says.

During college, IT helped Kelly explore her technical curiosities while she studied a different field. This allowed her to figure out if she wanted to go “all in” for technology or stay within the line of study she originally chose.

What advice do you give to women just starting out in the tech profession?

Find out what you are passionate about and use that passion to enhance your technical skill set. In turn, you will still like what you are doing 10-20 years from now. Do not take a position just because it will pay more now. Ultimately, you might not be happy in the long run because you aren’t passionate about what you are doing. Also, seek the advice of a good financial advisor as soon as you can, and plan for your retirement now — never later.

How does Insight’s culture support you as an IT professional? 

Hunger. I often propose new ideas to areas of the business where I see challenges that could improve processes or increase revenue. This challenges me in new and interesting technical ways, and I love being able to stretch myself to think differently and bring new value to the business.

What makes an effective IT professional? 

Collaborative working. No one person has all the answers or the one right way to accomplish a task. Learn to listen as much if not more than you speak. Be humble. Learn to ask for help. Being part of and helping to foster a great team mentality can be one of your best accomplishments in your career. Be willing to go that extra mile for those late nights on occasion and not complain about them, but instead have fun and lighten the mood — and bring snacks. Go the extra mile anytime you can. Always meet your deadlines. Never compromise your ethics.

What do you wish you’d known years ago?

It is OK to walk away. Walk away to re-evaluate, walk away when the hair tingles on the back of your neck. Walk away when your gut tells you to. Walk away from that stranger when they seem a little too strange. Just walk away. When you look back on the situation an hour, day or years later, you will be glad you walked away instead of looking back with regret.

What advice do you give to girls going into Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM)? 

Think about what keeps you up at night looking for the solution. What motivates you to get up the next morning, ready to try that new idea? Challenge the norm. Learn the history of computers and why they are what they are today, not just the hot, new whatever. 

Learn basics like scripting, hardware and network principles before trying to tackle the new world of APPs and all the Internet technologies. If you learn what all of that is built upon, you will have a framework and reference point. It will make you more adaptable later on if you want to learn more in a different area.

What’s the best part of your job? 

Being able to work from home, co-workers and my manager. And can’t forget the Insight IT culture — our IT parties, friendly competitions and our CIO’s bear chili.

Lesa Cox, Service Provisioning Business Intel & App Engineer at Insight in Tempe, Ariz.

Lesa, another Arizona native, did not always know she wanted to go into technology. “It wasn’t until my late 20s when I was a stay-home mom with a three-year old when I decided to take apart an old, broken computer to see what was inside,” she says.

Lesa was fascinated — and her love for technology began. Lesa credits her father for influencing her career in tech. He gave Lesa her first 386 Personal Computer (PC) (16 MHz, 50 MB hard drive) to disassemble. She was immediately drawn to making it better, faster and stronger. Her great grandfather provided the financing for her to attend a local community college, and her uncle encouraged her to focus on Cisco routing and switching technologies in college. It was a family affair.  

What advice do you give to women just starting out in the tech profession?

There are so many different technical career paths within the industry. As a 10,000 foot overview example of hardware and software technologies: Cisco Collaboration Solutions encompasses software and hardware solutions. From this interest, one can specialize as a Cisco Unified Communications Manager, or in Cisco Unity Connection, Cisco Call Center Enterprise or Cisco Telepresence. Then there is the question of hardware support, or software support or architecture. Do you fix existing or code new? Do you support or architect your chosen technology? I would suggest getting your feet wet in a few types of technology that really interest and inspire you, and see where that leads. Remember, in technology you may end up far afield from where you started.

What’s your definition of success in IT?

Failure is not failing. It is when you stop trying that you are no longer successful.

What makes an effective IT professional?

A teachable and open mind, a collaborative spirit and humble ego. And Google.

What advice do you give to girls going into STEM?

Be strong and confident in your knowledge and pursuits in STEM. You may be one of the few females in your program, but you are not alone.

What do you wish you’d known years ago?

Not to wait until I was 30 to go back to school for my technology degree. I was (am) smart enough to do this.

What are three technologies you couldn’t live without? 

A cell phone, GPS (Google Maps) and the microwave.

Shahana Nasmin, Service Provisioning Networking Infrastructure Supervisor at Insight in Plano, Texas

Shahana was born and raised in Bangladesh. She moved to Texas when she was 18 years old and has been there ever since. Her ah-ha moment when she realized she wanted to work in the technology field was at University of Texas at Arlington.

“I was a part-time computer lab technician at the school, and I loved solving students’ issues. Not only was I able to provide solutions to difficult tasks, I was eager and excited to help,” she explains.

Shahana says the best part of her IT job was receiving feedback from customers she was able to solve a difficult issue for.

What advice do you give to women just starting out in the tech profession?

Do all the research you can. The tech industry is vast. You have to find your niche before stating your tech career.

How does Insight’s culture support you as an IT professional?

Insight is a great company for IT professional like me and others. It is an industry leader for technology solutions. What company would be more perfect than Insight to start your career in information systems?

What is your definition of success in IT?

My definition of success in IT is to be cutting edge with new and advanced technologies. You have to be prompt in learning changes. You have to be fluid to adopt into this ever-changing environment. Your customer service skills have to advanced, too. You are not only a skilled solution provider but a great resource to your teammates. Your “can do” attitude and smiles will take you far.

What advice do you give to girls going into STEM?

You have to balance between work and your family. At times, both can be very demanding. You need to know how to manage your stress level. Be open minded. You will face obstacles, but with patience and understanding you will overcome those easily.

What makes an effective IT professional?

An effective IT professional is a great thinker. He or she possesses great attention to details. They are able to process and analyze data thoroughly. Solution providers are great puzzle solvers. They gather all the pieces of information and analyze them to solve an issue.

Melany Clayton, IT Manager at Insight in Tempe, Ariz.

Melany grew up in a small town in Central Florida. “I never really had an ‘ah-ha moment,’ but the tech industry has always been intriguing to me, so when the opportunity presented itself, I took a leap of faith,” she says.

With a degree in elementary education and after several years in the education world, Melany decided to join Insight. Through numerous opportunities, one leading to another, she now manages the Global Quality Assurance team.

What advice do you give to women just starting out in the tech profession?

Be tenacious, driven, and don’t give up.

How does Insight’s culture support you as an IT professional?

Insight allows for opportunities to grow within the organization to try new things. Who knew when I started at Insight 10 years ago that I’d end up here?

What is the best part of your job?

The team I work with. They are an amazing, dynamic group of people at every level.

What’s your definition of success in IT?

Constant learning. If a day goes by and you’re not learning something — you’re doing it wrong.

What do you wish you’d known years ago?

I wish I would have known how to fail earlier. I hate to fail, it goes against every part of me, but it’s a necessary evil for constant improvement and growth.

If you enjoyed getting to know some of Insight’s female IT pros, read our other blog posts about women in the tech business — from the past, present and future: