Back How getting on with the job helps women succeed
Hannah Harris, vendor marketing manager at Tech Data and a CRN Women in Channel Awards nominee for this year’s Marketing Employee of the Year award, tells us why recognising women is more important than ever this year
It is amazing to have been shortlisted for the Marketing Employee of the Year in the CRN Women in Channel awards. When I heard, it was a complete (although pleasant) surprise. I had – and still have – no idea who put me forward. I feel thrilled, honoured, humbled, and more than a little self-conscious about it. I’d really like to know who nominated me, so that I can at least say ‘thank you’.
Why was I surprised? Because I have just been getting on with my job. Or at least that’s what I thought. When I spoke to a colleague about this, they said that perhaps I had not realised just how much I was doing and how much of a difference I was making. Maybe this is something we all do – in ‘just getting on with the job’ we may be contributing more than we know.
I think this is especially true for some women, who are often juggling other responsibilities, such as childcare. Over the last 18 months, that’s been brought into focus. As mother of two young children myself, I have certainly felt the pressure of managing my professional responsibilities and personal life – even though I have had tremendous support from my employer and my family, for which I am truly grateful.
To be recognised in this way after all of that is just incredible and something I am extremely proud of.
Supportive & understanding
I have to say that am fortunate to be working for such a supportive and understanding company. My line manager for most of this period, Debbie Gomez (who has since, deservedly, been promoted to a European role), was tremendous, and my colleagues across the marketing team and wider company have been really great as well.
We have Mental Health Ambassadors and other colleagues – not just your direct manager – who are always checking in on you, encouraging you and making sure that you are OK. That’s been so good, because while we have not been going into the office, there has not been that opportunity to offload. To talk to other people about what’s happening in your life and how you are feeling.
We also have the business resource groups – Elevate is a group specifically for women and there is also one called SPECTRUM for LGBTQ+ people. While I’m usually too busy with my work and my personal life to attend meetings, I’ve listened back to some of the Elevate sessions and they are really good, informative, and super-encouraging.
Tech Data is brilliant at supporting women. When I returned from maternity leave after having my second child, I lacked confidence and doubted I could fully return to the role. But I was encouraged and supported in every way possible – and it seems to have turned out alright.
I think that it’s great we’re involved with and supporting the Women in Channel awards. It’s especially important this year, after all the extra challenges and pressure that they have been under, to recognise the contribution women make to our industry. As for me, I’m just pleased to have been shortlisted – but I’m still dying to know who put me up for it!