Digital Realty’s Tracy Biggs Advice for Women New to Mission Critical: Find a Leader or Coach and Ask for Mentoring
LEESBURG, VA — Tracy Biggs is a Director of Sales and Strategic Accounts at Digital Realty, a real estate investment trust that invests in carrier-neutral data centers and provides colocation and peering services. Digital Realty owns over 200 data center facilities totaling over 34 million rentable square feet. Tracy will be a featured speaker at CAPRE’s Women of Mission Critical Data Center Summit on September 9, where she will participate in the panel “State of the Data Center & Cloud Infrastructure Industry: Past, Present and Future.” We connected with Tracy for a quick Q&A about the latest at Digital and the perspective she will bring to the Summit.
Biggs: Currently we are located in 36 metropolitan markets and have over 215 data center in 14 countries. We are continuing to grow to meet customer demands. It is a pretty exciting time for us. The strategy is really to create solutions for our customers that range from the ground to the cloud. Anything from a couple cabinet colocation solution to a hyperscale deployment that along with the interconnection offer we have really separates us from some of the others in our market.
CAPRE: What are you looking forward to about CAPRE’s Women of Mission Critical Summit on September 9 and CAPRE’s Seventh Annual Mid-Atlantic Data Center Summit on September 10?
Biggs: I love to come to CAPRE events. I think the Women of Mission Critical Day is a new addition that speaks to a crucial segment of the workforce. While women make up a small percentage of the data center industry it is great to see CAPRE making the move to create a day devoted to those topics. Overall all CAPRE events keep us up to speed on what is taking place in the industry.
CAPRE: Where do you see the data center industry headed in the next 12 months?
Biggs: I think we will continue to see growth maybe not the growth we saw in 2018, but growth nonetheless. I see focus on security and low latency. Edge along with cloud applications remain a focus. In addition, connectivity will always play a huge role which is why Digital Realty’s connected campuses have seen continuous growth and expansion.
CAPRE: What challenges have you faced as a woman in the mission critical space?
Biggs: As you know, this is a majority male-dominated business. As a salesperson in this business, it is often difficult to climb within an organization if you don’t have the right sponsors internally. It is easy to prove yourself by exceeding targeted numbers and self- promoting but if you don’t have a sponsor it can be difficult to move within the company.
CAPRE: What advice do you have for women that are new to the mission critical industry?
Biggs: This is advice I would give to really anyone in business. Drive, attitude and work ethic are key to success. This is not a gender-specific recipe. Find a leader or coach within your business and ask them for advice and coaching. I believe women need to work a tad bit harder than male counterparts to be recognized and move up within their organizations.
CAPRE: What initiatives have you or Digital participated in to enhance the presence of women in mission critical?
Biggs: Our company has a group called the Women’s Leadership Forum, Digital Realty is only 35% women and the group really focuses on bringing us together for mentorship, educational opportunities, fund raising etc. It is not only limited to women so we have men involved too. The Ashburn chapter recently was involved in a fundraiser for the Loundon County Abused Women’s Shelter.
CAPRE: What advice do you have for mission critical organizations struggling to recruit women?
Biggs: The best advice I would give is to make the organization a place where women’s issues are considered. Is it a place where women are respected, do they have a good family leave policy, are there women in management positions. When someone comes in for an interview are these things evident? Often times an organization says they support all of this but in reality it is not practical.
CAPRE: Got it — thanks for your time, Tracy.
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