As winner of the Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) Shining Star (Distributor) award in 2021, Janpaula Gonzi is a business leader who has proven time and again that she is a vital asset to Dicker Data as national inside sales manager.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Janpaula led the transition for her team to remote working while also supporting thousands of IT resellers who were going through a similar process.
How did you get your break in the IT industry and progress to the role you have today?
My first experience in IT was a contract position completing a hardware and software audit for an insurance company. From there I moved to a sales role within a manufacturing company, where I was poached by the systems integrator that was supporting their networks. I worked with this company for five years in various roles, including managing a team of support engineers and sales.
After the birth of my first child, I approached Fiona Brown and David Dicker as I admired how they operated. Dicker Data was a local business and very supportive of working mothers, which was a strong drawcard. I’ve now been with Dicker Data for over 18 years.
What have been some of your career highlights and proudest moments?
Some of my career highlights and proudest moments include managing a team of service engineers whilst in my 20s at the start of my IT career; managing key accounts and building relationships; managing the inside sales team at Dicker Data, which is recognised for its outstanding customer service; and winning the Shining Star Award.
What are some of the key lessons you've learnt along the way?
Make decisions based on facts and owning the outcome regardless. This gave me my confidence, which I encourage my team to embrace.
When dealing with customer issues, always try to view it from the customer’s perspective, as it allows you to make a fair and equitable decision. Be true to yourself, own your ideas and thoughts and don’t be afraid to voice your opinion.
Teamwork is key to success — supporting each other makes the success even more gratifying. Always play to people’s strength and embrace their skillset to help them grow. Also, be present; listen to your staff and be their advocate and conduit to allow them to shine.
Embrace healthy debates with differing points of views as it fuels your creativity. Do this with respect as everyone has something to teach. In addition, the empowering and imparting of knowledge is important. As a leader, what I find rewarding is watching someone grow.
What are some of your professional ambitions in the months ahead?
In the months ahead, I plan on mentoring, learning and setting up a development plan.
Who or what has influenced you professionally?
Early on in my career, which coincided with the lead up to Y2K, I had the privilege of working with a talented group of people, ranging from technical through to sales and marketing. This provided me with great exposure and insights to all facets of the IT industry. Additionally, my mother and grandmother were both successful and instilled in me that success comes from hard work.