Women in VoIP: The Series

May 30, 2008 by Garrett Smith

I’m always reading about the lack of women in technology and science and the VoIP world in general.  Stacy Higginbotham at GIGAOM does a great job covering technology in general, and brought up a great point in regards to a New York Times article about the decline of women in technology past the age of 30.

I must say, in the world of VoIP blogging, I come across very few women.  At VoIP Supply there are probably only a handful of women, and only one on the sales floor.  This is not the fault of the company that I work for or human resources, it’s a trend spread across the whole industry.  But it is getting better.  Many of my girl friends are engineers, project managers, doctors, researchers, etc.  We are all still under the age of 30, but most of them intend to continue their career path, no matter what family life or stresses come their way.

I decided to go on a mission to find women in the VoIP phone systems world, and write a blog promoting the women in this industry.  Some are in marketing, some are in technology, and some are even CEOs.  The response I have received has been overwhelming and wonderful.  Much more than I thought I would receive from a few little questions and a pitch on Facebook!  Because of the numerous responses, I’m going to feature this as a blog series, explaining the triumphs and challenges these women have experienced in the VoIP world, and what they see for the future.  Get ready; these are some very busy, intelligent and engaging ladies!

As for my own experiences?  So far being a woman hasn’t made a smidgen of a difference.  The difference comes in how knowledgeable you are in the field, much like any industry.  So every day is a continual exploration of the VoIP world, and the people that live and work in it.

My first featured lady of VoIP is Lisa Jones; Chief Eyemail Officer at EyeMail Inc. Ms. Jones has been working in VoIP since 2004 and resides in Atlanta, Georgia.

How did you become interested/introduced to VoIP?

I became interested in VOIP by default. I was interested in creating an Internet-based product that could combine the Internet with email, but to add an audio, video element. I honestly wanted to create a revolutionary product, so that when the time came for me to be honored, it would be in the memory of my mother, Gladys D. Jones. I wanted to give back for all that she had given to me. I realized that if I could create a next level email product, now known as EyeMail, I could change the course of email communications and honor my commitment to my mother. This was accomplished without a technical background, but with 4.5 years of hard work, sleepless nights, and developers from all over the world. My company is now in negotiations with some of the world’s leading brands.

How does EyeMail use VoIP Technologies?

EyeMail represents the state of the art next generation of email, delivering personalized audio and/or video communications directly to the email inbox. EyeMail delivers at 4-15k in size, no attachments, no downloads and is completely virus free, inclusive of a click to call feature. The patent-pending EyeMail technology integrates VOIP technologies in delivering cutting edge email marketing and communication solutions for our clients. Our clients include Fortune 500 brands and medium and small businesses which we help to develop their online communications.

What is it like working as a woman in the VoIP world?

It is a quite a fast and exciting time, as we all rely on various segments of technology as a part of our daily existence. It is also most exciting and fulfilling to be women seeing an evolution of new technology expand. I am also excited because I have the opportunity to pave the way for others, and to serve as a mentor and to let them know they can achieve in the technology arena, with faith, persistence, calculated risks and bold moves. Additionally, I am not a developer or a coder, but if you have a vision and the knowledge of business, you can surround yourself with the right technology resources to help fulfill your goals.

What are some of your networking/marketing methods?

Some of my key marketing methods include using the EyeMail product to introduce products and services, directly via email. We send out personalized audio email communications that include a call to call feature to increase our response rates. As the average person, is not looking for their email to talk to them, this gives us a very competitive marketing advantage.

How is it working with men in VoIP?

As a woman trailblazer, you may experience moments where your contribution is not valued, acknowledged or recognized, you may even feel taken advantage of in some situations, but as a trailblazer you have to keep your eye on the prize, and press forward. In any business industry, you will have challenges and success, and working in the VOIP is no different. I think you have to be very careful as to who you may choose to partner with in particular ventures with your VOIP business. My best advice is to ensure your technology platform is protected, remember to request NDAs to be signed where applicable and keep pressing forward. Once your business is making significant strides, you will be very well respected by all.

What do you see for the future of women in VoIP?

I think the future for women in VOIP is going to be revolutionary. I believe we will start to see more young adults in the VOIP area, taking technology to the next level. As women, we can focus on so many aspects at any given moment to execute, and with VOIP it leads to a world of possibilities. Additionally, I believe we will see more women businesses seeking national certification with the Women Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). This certification will empower women business in technology and various business industries to seek to do more business with corporate America, as diversity and inclusion are key business drivers.

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