Women's Leadership

Busting Down Barriers: CEO Liana Dunlap

Having competed in autocross and volunteered at a police department, Liana Dunlap can hang in the mostly male data center world.

Having competed in autocross and volunteered at a police department, Liana Dunlap can hang in the mostly male data center world. She launched CoreSpace in 2009, moving the company to Dallas from Las Vegas in 2012. “Women who have successful careers they’re passionate about while raising families—they’re my heroes,” she says.

What is the most important skill to have in today’s job market?
Multitasking. Hands down. You’ve got to be able to do it all.

You run your company and your family. How do you do it all?
I’ve had to build and maintain a strong support system around me. That’s the reality, because it is a tricky balance of being able to take care of your spouse, your kids, and your business all at the same time. My kids are now 12 and 9, and just managing their world is a whole job in itself. Then, to have a successful business, you have to focus on the business side. A very important aspect of my day is my thinking time. You have to consciously make the time to plan and be strategic. I’ve had to get really good at juggling a lot of calendars. Whether it is my stuff, kids’ stuff, business stuff—having support in making appointments and meetings, juggling clients, contracts with bids, vendor stuff, whatever it might be—it’s absolutely critical.

What advice do you have for young females entering the data center industry?
More women should go that route. Women should not be afraid to get into the technology field, and also get in deep with regard to platforms, applications, and coding. Those things can set the foundation for your knowledge. And even though technology is changing every day, to have that foundation—whether you choose to go into a service role, a management capacity, or even as freelance—having that baseline technical knowledge of what’s out there is a huge advantage when you’re moving into the career market.

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