In a roundtable interview with WhatsYourTech.ca and other Canadian media at Dell’s Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN) conference held in Austin Texas from June 1 – 3, Cheryl Cook,Vice President, Global Channels and Alliances at Dell, answered a variety of questions about her role at Dell, women in technology and mentorship.
“My team delivers innovative training, certification and global marketing programs at Dell,” began Cook. Cook is responsible for ensuring a consistent and coordinated approach to Dell’s channel & alliances, strategic ISV and OEM partners.
Cook added, “We’ve been in channel for about six and a half years although Dell’s heritage is direct sales. Channel now comprises one third of Dell’s total business. Our partners include Ingram Micro and Tech Data.”
Responding to the question, ‘What technology is enabling this part of Dell’s business’ Cook responded, “Cloud, security, and mobility – tablets and virtual desktop.”
When asked about women and technology, Cook offered, “This is my first DWEN. I have a computer science degree. I was inspired by my father who was in the space program. I was always good at math.”
Cook went on to say, “There has been plenty in the press recently discussing the lack of women in tech and women on corporate boards. This is a concern: we need to do our best to change this.”
On the topic of mentorship, Cook replied, “Personally, I’ve had no formal mentors, but my direct bosses over the years have mentored me. Mentorship is important. Everyone should have mentors.”
“I, personally, have a keen and supportive interest in mentorship. Dell has the Women In Search of Excellence (WISE) program, which I am involved in. WISE’s mission is to create an inclusive community that connects the needs and interests of women. We hold local gatherings of WISE to provide regular updates and communication.
Cook stated, “My advice to women, ‘the more authentic you are, the more successful you’ll be’.”