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Megnet #ChooseToChallenge celebrating the senior female leaders rising in a male dominated sector.

To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8th March 2021, Megnet, an IT networking accessories provider based in South West London, has put the spotlight on two of its senior female leaders to demonstrate how the firm takes diversity seriously when hiring its workforce.

The science, technology, engineering and mathematics STEM sector sees only 25% of women within its workforce, yet Megnet challenges this status quo with four out of six senior leadership roles being female, covering Finance, Sales, IT and Operations, and Marketing.

Omar Miqdadi, CEO and Founder of Megnet commented “We take diversity and equality very seriously at Megnet and offer equal opportunities for everyone.

One of the biggest hurdles we face is, when a new role is formulated, we see only 10% of females apply regardless of the hard behind the scenes to make it an attractive role for all. This as an industry together, we must tackle.

I am proud that Megnet is part of #ChooseToChallenge this year, we have always embraced that we are a diverse and equal team, with employees from across the globe, it brings lots of attributes to the table and different working styles, cultures that benefit from.”

Anna Penez Lacoste and Jovis Howieson are both part of the leadership team at Megnet, with careers at the company spanning 18 years cumulatively. Here’s what they had to say.

Anna Penez Lacoste, Global Account Director, joined the team as Account Manager in 2007. Originally from Amiens, France, When Anna moved to England, she required a role that gave her time to spend with her young children, simultaneously utilising her language skills.

Anna said “In 2007, it was different, being female, I was a minority in the IT sector, however over the years; I’m so glad to say more females have joined the sector!

I remember being asked by customers on several occasions, where I had studied IT, as they couldn’t believe a female could work in this sector I was in without further education; this was a very different time to now, I’m glad we are challenging these stereotypes!

“Flash forward to 2021, I am now Global Account Director at Megnet, I have moved back to France, working remotely; something I have done successfully since 2015, whilst simultaneously managing the sales team for over 6 years.

Omar believes in all of us and knows my potential and has always continued to push the team to be the best we can be.”

Jovis Howieson, Business IT Operations Manager joined Megnet in 2017. Originally from Singapore, after travelling across the world, with a broad career under her belt in the STEM sector. Jovis said “I have always wanted to be a career woman and am driven to do just that.

As an Asian woman, in places I have worked outside Asia, it has been difficult to have my voice heard; but as soon as I reached London (and Megnet) I found exactly where I wanted to be and felt I could grow in my career here.

I joined the team as Office Manager and Executive Assistant carrying out tasks such as taking on financials, HR, IT, and supporting the sales team.

My skills, similar to Anna, were quickly recognised and I have now progressed into a role project managing business systems, process and policies for all the departments, integral for upscaling and futureproofing for Company growth.

#ChooseToChallenge is close to my heart, as it doesn’t just affect equality in gender but diversity too. There is still a continuing need worldwide for more progressive mindsets and inclusive behaviours to be created. It’s fantastic it is being recognised across our Company.”

About International Women’s Day

IWD provides an important moment to showcase commitment to women’s equality, launch new initiatives and action, celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness, highlight gender parity gains and more.

The day is celebrated and supported globally by industry, governments, educational institutions, community groups, professional associations, women’s networks, charities and non-profit bodies, the media and more.

Collectively every person and all groups can make a difference within their sphere of influence by taking concrete action to help build a more gender-equal world. From small powerful grassroots gatherings to large-scale conference and events – International Women’s Day is celebrated everywhere. It’s a big day for inspiration and change.

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