SANTA CLARA, Calif. -- Light Reading's Women in Telecom Breakfast -- If you're a woman in the telecom industry, you are probably used to a few things -- being the only female in the room and never waiting in line for the bathroom at industry conferences are definitely high on the list.
There's a well-documented imbalance of genders in the telecom, and wider technology industry. It's something all the panelists at Light Reading's first Women in Telecom breakfast have dealt with first hand. Anne-Louise Kardas, who works to find startups in the Valley for Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) to partner with, says it's still rare she comes across a woman CEO at a startup.
And, Bethany Mayer, the new CEO of publicly traded test and measurement vendor Ixia (Nasdaq: XXIA), says she's used to being the only woman at events and not having questions directed at her until she chimes up.
It's something that, along with Light Reading, they're all working to change -- and to help women use their gender and unique skill sets to their advantage.
Click on the image below to see a few pictures from Light Reading's first Women in Telecom breakfast, ahead of the NFV & the Data Center conference here in Santa Clara. (See Ixia's New CEO to Telcos: Read Up On Cloud.)
Monique Hayward, Director of Outbound Marketing for Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC)'s Communications and Storage Infrastructure Group, advised women to not self-select out; to have the confidence to use their skill set and intuition, as well as their communication skills, network of connections and mentors in the industry. She agreed with Mayer and Kardas that women are good in collaborative environments and could benefit from the move to virtualization.
"Especially as women who have a technical background, given this transition [to NFV], this is an opportunity for you to engage more heavily and be a unique contributor in the telecom industry," Mayer added. "Women, as a general rule ... have lots of different and new views that may not have been thought of. We operate differently."
— Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, Light Reading