The RSPA W2W Community was founded in 2015 on the principle that as the industry changes, so will the opportunities for women. To better understand where growth opportunities exist for women in today’s retail IT channel, we reached out to two industry leaders for advice:
- Linda Sudderth, North America Sales Manager, Business Systems, EPSON America
- Michelle MacKeith, Vice President, Pinnacle Hospitality Systems
What are the biggest opportunities you see for women in the retail technology industry today?
Sudderth: From my perspective, all opportunities are open to women in the retail technology industry today. Women have the opportunity to forge their own path in whatever direction they choose – entrepreneurship, starting their own company, rising in the ranks to become executive-level or, if desired, they can play a major role in a company without the desire for executive leadership. Knowing who you are, what you want, and what “success” means to you – that’s the key.
MacKeith: I think there is a big opportunity for women in the retail technology space to shine. Many of the women in this space have so much knowledge and expertise to offer. They can empower teams to grow, lead, and coach others to be the best they can be. They can also use their experience and knowledge to design and implement solutions for the very fast-paced and evolving technology world we live in.
What guidance would you provide for women building a personal brand in the retail technology industry?
Sudderth: Integrity is key. Always do what you say you’re going to do, always follow up, and be respectful of varying points of view. Lead, whoever you lead, by example. Always be that person your peers and superiors respect and know can easily discern between a good and bad integrity decision. Be okay with asking for help or support from someone in the industry you respect and always keep an open mind. Being in this industry for nearly 30 years, we’re always learning.
MacKeith: First and foremost, believe in yourself and know you belong in the room. Also, connect yourself with a mentor in the industry, be a life learner and know your stuff. Make your goal to be an expert at what you do. Speak up, add to the discussion, and always be professional. Shine baby shine.
MacKeith: I feel it doesn’t matter if you are a man or woman but that you are respected by displaying the above in your actions and with integrity. Do things with passion and excitement to be a part of the future and next chapters of our industry. Lastly, join the W2W Community – we are here for you and want to help you evolve and grow in the industry.
RSPA and its members continue to collaborate and create opportunities. A prime example is best practice sharing that takes place in the RSPA Community meetings. The RSPA W2W Community meets monthly to provide a support network and resources for women as they enter and continue to advance in the retail technology industry. If you would like to get involved in the W2W Community, please email RSPA VP of Member Services Ashley Naggy at ANaggy@GoRSPA.org.