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3 Ways Women Can Transform the Communications Industry

If you work for a Communications Service Provider (CSP), it’s likely that you’re acutely aware of two things.

First, that everything you’ve learned up until this point is prone to rapid change and reevaluation. New discoveries, products, and services can arrive out of the blue, fundamentally altering critical elements of your area of expertise.

Secondly, you know that an ability to react to such change is critical to success – and even to financial survival – in the modern landscape of digital communications.

But what defines the ability to react? That capacity, of course, comes from the heart and soul of what makes CSPs tick: people. An obvious corollary is this: a CSP’s success isn’t just supported by high gender diversity among its workforce. It’s propelled by it.

Notably, most people in the industry share this contention: more than 80% of people in CSPs say that gender diversity is important in their organization.  While the statistics on the current representation of women in CSPs around the world aren’t always encouraging, there’s reason to be optimistic for change.

Why? Because diversity isn’t just a purely moralistic improvement to a company’s constitution, but an incredibly powerful professional improvement as well.

The GSMA’s recent findings show that an organization’s gender diversity is positively linked to a range of financial advantages. Moreover, a study last year by Intel found that the closing of the global tech industry’s female leadership gap could generate a boost of productivity valued at an incredible $430 to $530 billion.

A company’s ability to effectively employ female talent gives it a greater capacity to:


1) Capture new markets

According to the Harvard Business Review, organizations with higher levels of gender diversity are 70% more likely to report successfully capturing new markets. In more sense than one, it shouldn’t come as a shock that women have important understandings and insights when it comes to catering to female clients and customers.

These demographics are often underserved in comparison to their male counterparts; employing women to cater to new markets is an incredibly simple and remarkably powerful way to enhance business results.


2) Receive higher returns on investments

A company’s ability to effectively employ female talent is positively correlated with higher returns on invested capital, equity, and sales.

A healthy, gender-diverse workforce boosts B2C and B2B performance; female talent, when leveraged properly by companies, allows them to achieve a greater and more rounded understanding of what end users want and need.

And, as is well-known in the world of communications – the end user’s happiness is paramount.


3) Boost the success of new products

Companies with greater gender diversity can improve the likelihood of success when rolling out new products and services by up to 144%.

Teams with even just one woman dramatically enhance their ability to address gaps that have previously been missed when applying full service to female consumers, perceiving these opportunities and capitalizing on them.


What’s Sigma’s take?

As CSPs continue to experience more change than ever, women are set to play more important roles and exert greater influence than at any stage in the history of the industry.

Sigma Systems is delighted to be a part of that change. Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Catherine Michel, has been named one of the top 50 Women to Watch by Global Telecoms Business (GTB) this year.

Responsible for the company’s entire product portfolio and strategy, Michel is part of what she hopes is a demographic of female executives who are reversing the trend of male domination of senior roles in CSPs.

But Sigma doesn’t only enjoy its use of female talent in senior positions; It takes pride in its partnerships with other organizations that exemplify the strength of gender diversity by allowing female talent to succeed in positions of leadership. Female professionals holding important positions in these organizations – and who, like Michel, have been named among the “50 Women to Watch” in Telecoms include:

Kimberly Eubank
Enjoying her post as head of operations at Vodafone since 2016, Eubank plays a critical role in Vodafone Americas’ business unit, overseeing a range of operations including product offer management, customer implementation, service delivery and marketing. Previously, Eubank worked in various leadership roles for Wolters Kluwer and AT&T Mobility.

Hélène Barnekow
Executive vice president and CEO, Sweden of Telia Company, Barnekow previously held the position of executive vice president at the same organization. Barkenow has been instrumental in implementing broad institutional changes at Telia, spearheading its transformation into a “customer-centric” company.

Tami Erwin
Erwin has been EVP of Operations at Verizon since 2016, where she oversees the expansion of the CSP’s product portfolio. She also leads revenue growth through product launches in both the consumer and B2B spheres. Previously, Erwin worked as a SVP and group president of the company’s consumer and mass business markets line of business overseeing sales, marketing, operations and customer service strategy for voice, data and video services for the company.

Anne Chow
Since being named president of national business at AT&T in April 2017, Chow has led over 6,500 business professionals accountable for customers across America. With more than 25 of experience in CSPs, Chow has used innovative growth strategies to guide organizations through major transformations.

Maxine Moreau
In charge of CenturyLink’s service delivery, sales, and marketing for local market consumer operations in more than 30 states, Moreau also oversees the smooth operation of CenturyLink’s customer experience infrastructure. Previously, Moreau was executive vice president of the company’s Global Operations, taking charge of the end-to end planning, engineering, construction, operation and maintenance of US fibre network and international transport network.


On being named one of the 50 Women to Watch in Telecoms, Sigma’s CTO Catherine Michel observed that “Women have historically been underrepresented in this industry,” continuing, “but I am optimistic that the tide is turning.”

With the skills and intelligence brought to organizations by women like these, there’s more than enough reason to see the tides turn further still in the years to come.