Camilla CurranI am a true born and bred Zimbabwean, and only came to live in the UK 17 years ago.  I “fell” into the IT Industry more by accident than design.

I started off working for a large Global distributor – Arrow ECS, and worked my way up the company – my last role being Strategic Account Director, managing 5 significant Partners.  In 2016, after 12 very happy years in Distribution, I was approached for a role with Trend Micro, a leading Global Security Vendor, in hybrid cloud, endpoint and network security solutions, in a role of Channel Account Manager, which I thrive on.  I currently manage two focus Partners, one of which being the leading Trend Partner in the United Kingdom.

It is truly fantastic being part of Trend Micro, not only due to the leading position we hold in the industry, specifically in the Cloud security world, but also for the key part Trend plays in thwarting malicious attacks with our ZDI programme, not to mention the enjoyment of working with like-minded colleagues.  Over the Covid-19 period we have offered free of charge technology to help remote workers, as well as free education tools such as Phish Insight to help people understand what to look out for as malicious.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

Simple answer is “No”. Being born into a Zimbabwean farming family, and loving everything to do with the outdoors, nature, the environment, and so on, I thought that, as it was in those days, my role as a Personal Assistant to the Chairman of a Multi-National based out of Zimbabwe was as far as my career would go.  Then things changed and my husband, son and I moved countries a couple of times, ending up in the UK in 2003.  As mentioned – it was then I was looking for a job and realise how fortunate it was that I ended up in the technology world covering infrastructure, virtualisation and security.  This period and knowledge gained, really set me up for a career in IT.  Little did I know at the beginning of that journey, how crucial technology would be as time moved on.

I realised that after 12 years it was time to really focus on a single element and with the way of the world – it had to be Security or Cloud focused.  Fortunately, I have landed in “Security with a Cloud First approach”!  I could never have imagined being as passionate as I am about the world of Security.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

On reflection, being a woman in IT was a challenge, as I felt I had to “shout louder” to be heard/noticed or I had to be on top of my game to be taken seriously.  I also often felt that there was a sentiment that a woman would not be interested in a senior role in the tech industry.  However, I believe that the industry itself has changed significantly over the years and there’s more commitment towards capability over gender.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

In January 2019, Trend Micro awarded me The Unsung Hero Award – one of only 5 awards given out Europe. This happened at our global Sales Kick off with over 1500 people attending in Japan. This was something I never imagined I could have achieved – what an exciting time that was!

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

Passion and drive. I am extremely passionate about what I do, who I represent and the Partners I manage.  This passion creates the unrelenting drive I have to achieve.  If you don’t have a good understanding of the technology you sell and believe in what you sell and who you represent, the job is so much more difficult.  This is even more important during this pandemic we are living and working in, where most, if not all engagement is virtual.  You have to believe in what you are doing and adapt to the circumstances.

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

Ensure that you believe in what you are selling. Learn the key points and a few examples of where and why these elements are so pertinent to the company or individual.  Understand who you are speaking to and what it is that drives them.  Tailor your response around that “one size does not fit all”.

Do you believe there are still barriers for success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

I believe that the barriers are reducing rapidly now, and that being a woman in Tech is no longer the issue it used to be. A large number of very influential tech firms are headed up by women, and it is also great to see female security architects and engineers are not such a rarity as they used to be.   Having said that, I am not the type of person who looks for gender inequality but rather strives for what I want to achieve and tries not let gender play a role in achieving success.

What do you think companies can do to support and progress the careers of women working in technology?

Understand that women are also interested in technology and often will bring a different way of thinking/new dimension to a Team.  Creating gender equality in technology is a great step forward.

There is currently only 15% of women working in tech, if you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

Ensure that women understand that there are great roles for them in the IT industry and it is vital that if this is an area they wish to move into, that they get themselves out there and put themselves forward with confidence.  Women should not see their desire to get into this world as a stumbling block but rather as a fantastic opportunity nowadays, where women are much more readily taken into the industry than in the past.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

I am a huge advocate of LinkedIn and if you are fortunate enough to be able to get onto LinkedIn Sales Navigator, so much the better. From a book perspective – I always loved (and still go back to it occasionally), “Who Moved my Cheese” and “Out of the Maze” by Dr Spencer Johnson – these really help with accepting change and adapting to a new world.  “The Chimp Paradox – the Mind Management” by Prof. Steve Peters – an outstanding book (and audio) to work on any gremlins that try and disrupt your mind.  Going forward and waiting to be read but highly recommended by many – “Good to Great” by Jim Collins and “Crossing the Chasm” by Geoffrey A Moore.

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