Biography and Background:
Sarah Shields has been a leading name in the UK's channel business for over two decades. She commenced her career with AMD and then progressed into vendor-land working for Acer, Gateway and now runs Dell EMC's leading channel program in both the UK and Ireland. Sarah has a reputation for being results focused and leading strong, successful teams that deliver growth and results in the channel. Sarah is a keen advocate of women in IT and is recognized as one of the leading women in the UK having made a place on the CRN top 50 Women in IT list and being voted PCRetail's Woman of the year in 2015. Sarah supports a number of initiatives to encourage women into IT as well as actively mentoring women in entrepreneurship and across the IT industry. Outside of Dell EMC, Sarah is a governor at Berkhamsted School, a member of the UK Council for Child Internet Safety and an active advocate for the United Nations.
How have you personally helped advance your company's channel business over the past year?
I have led the Dell EMC UK channel business for the past two years, delivering consecutive growth since I started. We have grown all areas of our business and continue to deliver one of the most profitable countries for Dell EMC. In addition, we have focused the team on training and excellence in how we work with our partners. Over 97% of the team has achieved their internal training levels and 100% of our leaders have earned their internal "Licence to Lead" - one of the highest scores in the world. The team has also achieved NPS ratings of 75% and have won numerous awards from partners and the press for their outstanding work.
What are your goals for your company's channel business over the next year?
Over the next year, we will continue to help enable our partners to grow their businesses with the full breadth of the Dell EMC portfolio. My goal is to continue to drive record breaking channel growth in the UK through partner engagement of the Dell EMC partner program. We are focusing on enabling our partners through our outstanding training to sell the full portfolio and deliver and resell services.
What honors, awards or commendations have you won over the past year?
My Dell EMC team and family have acknowledged me for my support and encouragement to meet their goals and that to me is the highest honor and recognition I could ever receive.
Outside of your family, please name a woman you admire and why:
Rather than one woman, I admire multiple women who act selflessly. These are women that put the needs of others ahead of their own and work hard and diligently for the greater good. This is not a stage for self promotion but the unsung heroes who look after the elderly, the disabled and who constantly fight for the rights of others.
What advice would you give to young women who want to begin careers in technology?
My advice comes in three parts: 1. Never mix your money and your honey 2. If you say you are going to do something, always, always deliver 3. Enjoy what you do - embrace the fast pace of technology and live it and breathe it
If you could be any movie character for one day in real life, who would you be and why?
I'd be Daenarys from Game of Thrones!!! No hesitation. I'd love a couple of pet dragons and I think she's an awesome queen! What fun it would be!
If you could travel to a city you've never been to before, all expenses paid, where would you go and why?
I would love an all-expenses paid trip somewhere, it wouldn't be to a city it would be to a deserted island with my husband and boys. Perhaps Bora Bora. I'd sit with my kids, play games, swim and teach my boys to scuba dive (I used to be a scuba instructor). Obviously, I'd like to do this whilst in a five star hotel and with a constant supply of Mojitos.
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