Showing Dell’s support for diversity in Washington, D.C.

Dell is absolutely committed to having a culture that embraces diversity and values the different perspectives of our customers and team members. We also believe that our technology can help customers, communities and people everywhere achieve whatever goals matter the most to them. In this spirit, I’d like to share a recent experience with you.

I was in Washington, D.C. on December 15 to show Dell’s support for The Women in Public Service Project, which is an initiative sponsored by the U.S. State Department and the Seven Sisters Colleges. This project’s goal is to identify and educate a new generation of women who are committed to careers in public service by providing them with training, mentoring and networking programs.

Dell is the only technology partner for the initiative. Our teams will provide hardware and social media training for the first class of 40 women from 37 countries and then continue our support for future classes. It was definitely a “goose-bumps” moment when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton announced Dell’s partnership–here's what she said:

"Securing business sector support for this initiative is crucial, and I am delighted to announce today that Dell has agreed to serve as the technology partner to the Women in Public Service Project. Dell will provide hardware, training, and other support for the summer institutes and the greater Women in Public Service Project."

I also got the chance to address the delegates and talk about Dell’s purpose behind our involvement. We truly believe in the power of technology to foster collaboration and creativity among people everywhere. This is especially true for emerging leaders, entrepreneurs and visionaries who have ideas that can advance our communities and impact our world. Programs like this one, the Dell Social Innovation Challenge, Powering the Possible for Pediatric Cancer and the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network are all examples of our commitment.

There really was an impressive group of leaders there, including former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and International Monetary Fund President Christine Lagarde. One of the more inspirational moments for me was when I met Kosovo President Atifete Jahjaga and heard her story about how there is no failure in life—there are only new beginnings that take us to where we’re supposed to be.

As we get ready to end the year, I hope all of you have stories like mine that have inspired you in 2011. Happy holidays everyone!

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.