In 1989, Jone Panavas founded Softchoice along with David Holgate to make it easier for businesses to source and acquire hard–to–find software products. Jone and David set out to make Softchoice a different kind of company from the very beginning, one where inclusiveness was a core tenet and employees were encouraged to bring their authentic selves to work.
While the technology landscape has become far more complex in the last 30 years, another challenge it still faces is a shortage of female talent. “Less than 20% of tech sales positions are held by women- even fewer if you’re a woman of color.” — The Women in Tech Sales Bootcamp.
Guided by Our Values
We continue to follow the core principles of our founders to help us overcome these challenges today. Among our values are being human and inspiring and having customer passion. These inform our selection criteria when we’re seeking new talent and are the same we use to recognize great performance in our existing team. The annual Jone Panavas Award recognizes employees who embody our values and are the go-to teammates, the people who demonstrate outstanding personal leadership and customer passion.
We’re Still Trying to Get it Right
We’re not where we want to be just yet, but Softchoice is committed to reaching gender equality across the organization, building a new generation of female leadership and bringing fresh perspectives on technology and innovation to the people we serve.
At the heart of our efforts to develop women into tech is the Leading Women committee, an employee-led group focused on building an inclusive community of women across Softchoice. This effort comes to life through mentorships with senior Softchoice leaders, unique training opportunities for female employees and purposeful recruitment and retention of top female talent.
“The objective of the Softchoice Leading Women Committee is to build a community where people are aware and educated about bias and are focused on driving change. As a direct result of the current protests around the globe, people are demanding equality and the time is now for women to take our seat at the table and demand equality for all, regardless of gender, race, or ethnicity.” – Renee Bradford, Leading Women Committee Chair
We are also proud supporters of the Women in Tech Sales Bootcamp. As this year’s platinum sponsor, we’re united behind the goal of connecting top employers with diverse talent. This industry-vetted, 5-day intensive training program helps match women who want to pursue or advance their skills in tech sales with employers. On average, 80% of graduates find employment within in 30 days of completing the program. Softchoice has hired 9 graduates of the Women in Tech Bootcamp in the past 2 years.
“Although the numbers are improving, there’s still a big gap for women in sales, especially tech sales. Add to that the fact that I’m a recent immigrant to the country, and I had a typical case of self-doubt and job-search-jitters; which is why, applying and getting selected for WITS was one of the best career decisions I’ve made so far.” – Chantelle Menezes, Softchoice Sales Support Trainee
With our commitment to Women in Tech combined with competitive parental benefits, workplace flexibility and our diversity and inclusion efforts, we’re laying the foundation for a new generation of women in technology, today.