PowerHouse Data Centers recently hosted an event entitled Women Leading Tech Today, a private wine tasting and networking evening held in Ashburn, Virginia. The intent was to bring women in the industry together to celebrate and recognize their achievements, as well as foster connections.
“It’s so important for companies to acknowledge women as leaders of this industry,” said Karen Petersburg, Vice President of Data Center Development and Construction at PowerHouse. “It was quite spectacular to see so much passion and energy in one room. It was a wonderful opportunity for PowerHouse Data Centers to create the space and opportunity for both peer networking and to show appreciation for their important work. The wine dudes were the hit of the party as they worked tirelessly to keep the glasses full and provide each guest with VIP treatment.”
The event was hosted by Petersburg and Whitney Griggs (Strategic Account Executive at Schneider Electric), with Doug Fleit (Chief Executive Officer at AREP and PowerHouse) serving as sommelier and emcee. The event hosted more than 35 women, including leaders from Microsoft, Amazon, AWS, QTS, Vantage, and Equinix. “We had a great range of guests, including leaders from hyperscale companies, colocation companies, operators, impact communications agencies, commissioning agents, design firms, construction companies, equipment manufacturers, even IT recycling,” says Petersburg. “Every part of the data center industry ecosystem was represented, and all from a female perspective”.
“All feedback we received from attendees was very encouraging,” explains Petersburg. “Everyone seemed to have a lovely time and appreciated being recognized for their efforts. One leader told me ‘From the moment we walked in the door we were totally pampered, and the whole night was such a treat’”.
The event is part of PowerHouse’s larger ongoing DEI initiative to amplify gender diversity in leadership across the data center industry. Recent highlights from the initiative include a diversity and inclusion panel at Data Center Anti Conference Live, as well as creating a mentor and coaching workshop about data center development to support STEM education for girls through the 7×24 Exchange DC Chapter association.
The data center industry is facing a critical skills shortage, with an anticipated increase in the workforce from two million to nearly 2.3 million by 2025. However, only roughly 10 percent of those in the data industry currently are women. A diversified workforce is important for the future of the industry, as it is crucial to meeting sustainability goals and addressing the industry’s long-term challenges. Efforts to inspire emerging talent, promote inclusion, and recognize achievements are all part of addressing this industry trend, and is at the heart of the PowerHouse Women Leading Tech Today event.
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