Guest Column | December 8, 2016

Women In The Channel: Can Women Make It To The Top?

By Dede Haas, CA-AM, Channel Sales Strategist, DLH Services, LLC

Dede Haas, CA-AM, Channel Sales Strategist, DLH Services, LLC

Like most women who have been in the channel for many years, Theresa Caragol, Principal at TCC Consulting & AchieveUnite, began her career at the first link of the channel food chain and worked her way up. Her story is a familiar one for numerous women in the channel.

As Theresa tells it, “I got started in the channel by accident. I was applying through my alma mater, Virginia Tech, to jobs because I was living in New Jersey and wanted to move to the Midwest. And I applied for a job that ended up being on a contract with IBM, working in a channel program. And so fast forward, I worked with IBM on a contract selling software, and calling on channel partners in Wisconsin and Illinois, and was their number one rep out of 200 within the first two years.’”

After IBM and jobs at Bay Networks and Channel Leadership roles at Nortel, Theresa became Global Channel Chief at Ciena, followed by the same role at Extreme. She now has her own consulting and learning company working on and in the channel.

For Part II of my four-part Women in the Channel series (click here for part I), I couldn’t think of a better person to ask if women have successfully made it to the top of the channel food chain, their challenges getting there, and what can be done to help the young women and girls who follow. With insightful answers and a perspective borne from her vast channel experience, Theresa did not disappoint.