Let’s All Help Create a #Balanceforbetter

Today at Dell Technologies, we join the world to celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD)! This global celebration is all about how we can collectively work together to recognize women’s achievements, raise awareness against issues like bias, and create a more gender-balanced world.

Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive, which is why the theme of this year’s IWD is “Balance for Better.” When we invest in women, they invest in their communities. This presents an economic opportunity, as well as breaks existing barriers to put the wheels of cultural change in motion.

At Dell Technologies, cultivating an inclusive culture is a top priority. We see underrepresentation as a critical issue, given job roles in technology are exponentially growing as we simultaneously face a severe talent shortage. By the year 2024, there will be 1.1 million technology-related job openings in the U.S.; however, the current candidate pool will only fill less than half of these jobs. Expanding the pipeline and bringing in traditionally underrepresented groups – including women – is critical for business and closing the future skills gap.

Our collective efforts are our biggest opportunity for change. Many of our customers have also taken big steps to hire women, put more women in leadership roles and eliminate bias in their organizations. I am proud to say these collective efforts across the industry are paying off. Today, 20 percent of the Fortune 500 global CIOs are now women (according to Boardroom Insiders), compared to about 16 percent the year before. Hiring of women among top tech companies has also reached 34 percent, up from 29 percent the year before.

While we’ve certainly made progress, let’s not forget – there is still much work to be done. According to IDC, 56 percent of women feel underrepresented in STEM fields. So, what can be done to make progress, bring in underrepresented groups and address the talent shortage?

Here’s how we’re making #balanceforbetter real at Dell Technologies:

  • Investing where it matters: Over the last five years, we’ve invested nearly $70 million in STEM.
  • Focusing on breaking specific barriers: We’ve joined coalitions such as Reboot Representation which seeks to double the number of women of color graduating with computing degrees by 2025 and the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion, which addresses key barriers to entry for underrepresented groups.
  • Leveraging technology for progress: Our team is exploring ways to use artificial intelligence to eliminate personal bias from recruiting and hiring, ensuring we can fill unmet job requirements and create the best possible workforce.
  • Having candid conversations to get to the root issues: Our Many Advocating for Real Change (MARC) training engages leaders in candid conversations about the role of gender and diversity in the workplace, as well as topics such as unconscious bias, privilege and inclusive leadership. We have set a goal to have all 145,000 team members complete our MARC unconscious bias program by the end of 2020.

I continue to be inspired by the progress we’ve made at Dell Technologies and the opportunity we have to lead the industry towards change and driving human progress. While we have a long way to go to balance the workforce and our society, more can be done when we commit to taking action together.

I look forward to continuing this important conversation, and I invite you to join it with me by following @womensday on Twitter and using the hashtags #IWD2019 and #BalanceforBetter.

About the Author: Karen Quintos

Karen Quintos is Dell’s first Chief Customer Officer (CCO), leading a global organization devoted to customer advocacy. Under Karen’s leadership, the CCO organization defines and develops Dell’s customer experience strategy and programs, with the goals of maximizing customer satisfaction, acquisition, retention and profitability. Karen is also responsible for Dell’s strategy and programs for Corporate Social Responsibility, Diversity & Inclusion and Entrepreneurship — business imperatives she is passionate about and that matter to our customers and team members around the world. Previously at Dell, Karen served as senior vice president and Chief Marketing Officer; vice president of Public Sector Marketing and North America Commercial; and she also held executive roles in services, support and supply chain management. Karen joined Dell in 2000 from Citigroup, where she was vice president of Global Operations and Technology. She spent 12 years with Merck in marketing, operations and supply chain leadership positions. Karen earned a master’s degree in marketing and international business from New York University, and a Bachelor of Science in supply chain management from Pennsylvania State University. She is on the board of Lennox International and Susan G. Komen for the Cure. She is also on the board of Penn State's Smeal College of Business, and a 2014 recipient of its highest honor, the Distinguished Alumni Award. Karen was listed among the most influential CMOs in the world by Forbes, and named 'Mother of the Year' by Working Mother magazine. She resides in Austin, Texas, with her husband and three children.