The CRN Women in Channel Awards take place every year to shine a light on the IT leaders, influencers, exceptional employees and role models who will inspire the next generation. We’re extremely proud to have five of our wonderful women nominated. Meet Nilpa, who is nominated for the Unsung Hero award.
Name: Nilpa Patel
Job title: Strategic Partner Manager
Nominated for: Unsung Hero
What’s your favourite part of the job?
My favourite part is that my job never gets boring! Being a vendor manager, I have the opportunity to work alongside my colleagues. They are always super motivated and inspire me daily, as well as being fortunate enough to have interactions with our vendors, partners and customers across the globe. There are new things to learn and solve almost every day!
What did you want to be when you were young?
I never dreamed of working in technology. In fact, I always wanted to be a lawyer and focused on law during my educational years. The idea of advising clients on criminal and civil law had always appealed to me, technology to me felt boring and geeky. However, the thought of training and studying in law for 6 years (at least) was too long for me, I was hungry to get into the workplace, building relationships and start earning money, wasn’t really interested in furthering my education to university.
What is the proudest achievement in your career?
My proudest achievement was when I moved into the Professional Services Manager role which meant stepping outside of my comfort zone, whilst managing 2 teenagers as a single mum, learning new skills and getting to grips with the world of professional services really did put me to the test. However, I have been fortunate to have had such great mentors and an amazing management team who have supported my development, believed in me to push myself that little bit further and most importantly with confidence. My current role as a Strategic Partner Manager with the passion to develop life-long relationships with clients, vendors, and partners alike was a great fit for me. Biggest achievement for me has to be managing the strategic partner relationships with vendors as well as the Ecosystem partners. Having started with a few vendors 18 months ago to a handful during the pandemic, has had its challenges, nonetheless it’s has been equally rewarding and I very much enjoy the role, thanks to the great support around me.
What’s something interesting you have done over the last year?
Actually, I was one of the few people in my circle of friends to actually enjoy quarantine. Not that I like staying at home by any means. I am a social butterfly, but to have that much more time in my day, was definitely a blessing. Even being at home was a fun experience, spending quality time with my teenage children and getting back into my running was very welcomed. I got to do so much, learn new things, joined a running club, long walks with my family and socialising the virtual way!
How have you acted as a role model to other women in business? And what do you think would encourage more women into technical roles?
As a female icon within the IT industry and diversity in the mix, it has been tough at times, we often find majority of key stakeholders; managers, executives, CEO’s tend to be male (within the big IT players). Women think very differently, for me it's a matter of know your audience and knowing how they're going to react to information.
Advice I would give for women getting into the industry; have more confidence in yourself and make sure your salary is fair and reflective of your role and experience. Be true to who you are. Don't think you have to act, talk and think like a male to keep up. It’s nice to see more and more organisations promoting and supporting diversity in the workplace, it’s vital to have an inclusive environment where everyone feels able to participate and achieve their potential.
Congratulations to all of the well-deserved shortlisted nominees who have worked hard to be in a position for such an inspiring award. Looking forward to this year’s virtual awards ceremony.