Gender Discrimination in the Connectivity Industry

This post was written by: Tegan Valeny

During a special miniseries on The Connectivity Matters Podcast we’re putting a spotlight on diversity and women in the industry. In the first episode of the Women In Telco miniseries we were joined by Kelly Lazuka, the CEO at FULLERTON. She started her career at SAC Wireless as a product manager, before quickly making her way into senior roles. She’s also a mum of five alongside her incredible work of supporting more women into leadership roles. She joined us to talk about the discrimination that women face in the connectivity industry, as well as advice for other women who are facing it now. Read on to learn from her insights. 

“I think a lot of people have experienced the same things I have, and one of those things was being very qualified for a promotion or a different role within the company, or even just wanting to learn that role, and being sidelined for various reasons, like ‘you’re not ready’, or ‘there’s somebody who’s more qualified’, when you know what you’ve been bringing to the table, so that probably is not true. That has happened to me a couple of times, and it’s unfortunate. 

Another thing that I’m sure a lot of your female listeners will attest to is that sometimes you’re in positions where you know other people’s salaries and see the discrepancy with your own. While we do keep that mostly confidential, it still plays with your mind. You still know what you do, what your title is, what you know, how hard you work, the contributions that you make, and somebody else makes substantially more than you, just because they’re of a different gender. I don’t think that gap ever goes away entirely. I think it’s getting better, but those are things that each one of us will come up against at some point in our lives. 

I’m no different. I’ve had some really great experiences in my career path, but there’s also been some challenges and roadblocks. What I try to tell my female leaders here at Fullerton is that we can sit around all day and list out the roadblocks that women face, or we can focus on how you can overcome them. How do you advocate for yourself? What’s a good argument? What are the skills that you really need? I encourage all women to figure out a way to be a good negotiator, whether that’s by taking a class or getting a mentor, but you need to be a good negotiator, not just for your work, but for yourself. Negotiating is an art, and if women who are committed to growing their career paths can master that art, they’re halfway there already.”

To hear more from Kelly, tune into Episode 13 of The Connectivity Matters Podcast

We sit down regularly with some of the biggest names in our industry, we dedicate our podcast to the stories of leaders in the technologies industries that bring us closer together. Follow the link here to see some of our latest episodes and don’t forget to subscribe.     

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