Interview with Dell’s WISE Network

EiDA16 Winner

Outstanding Diversity Network Award

Women in Search of Excellence (WISE) is one of Dell’s largest employee resource groups, with a presence in over 40 countries. The network is aimed specifically at creating a stronger gender balance across the organisation and better opportunities for women. What particularly impressed our judging panel was also Dell’s participation in Catalyst’s Men Advocating Real Change (MARC) program. MARC is designed to engage men in creating a more inclusive work environment. It is an online community for men committed to achieving gender equality in the workplace. Dell is the first in the IT industry to implement the MARC Leaders pilot program. Last year, 20 global senior and emerging Dell leaders from the US, EMEA and Latin America participated in their first MARC training session. Following that, the entire EMEA Leadership Team participated in the MARC training. In June, a further 40 EMEA site leaders, executives & senior leaders from 23 countries participated in MARC training.

We caught up with Tim Griffin, Vice President and Managing Director of Dell UK, check out what he had to say here….

What were your thoughts when you found out Dell won The Outstanding Diversity Network Award?

The men and women involved in our WISE network work incredibly hard to raise awareness for this issue so it’s fantastic to see that work recognised so I was delighted when I heard.

How did you feel about the other shortlisted nominees within your category?

A few years ago, we wouldn’t have seen the breadth of nominees in this category that we do today so it’s great to see so many different networks established to raise awareness for diversity issues. We were honoured to be listed among them as there has been some great work from all of the shortlisted organisations.

Excellence in Diversity Awards 2016

Excellence in Diversity Awards 2016

After winning the award, what are the next steps in term of diversity for Dell and the network?

We aren’t going to rest on our laurels. Until we see a stronger gender balance in the IT industry, we will continue to tackle this challenge with a head-on structured leadership approach, which involves both men and women and focuses on the key pillars of community, professional development, building the brand internally and externally, and business and customer impact.  We continue to roll out our MARC (Men Advocating Real Change) programme across our business, an initiative that has enabled our staff to recognise those ‘unconscious biases’ where diversity gets stifled. 

What impact do you think your diversity work is having?

A big initiative for our WISE network is working with children and encouraging girls in particular to consider IT as a career option. WISE supports this effort through number of EMEA-wide programmes and locally-run activities, such as ‘IT is not for Geeks’. ‘IT is not for Geeks’ is an in-school classroom module designed to inspire school children aged 14-16 to consider a career in IT, run by Dell team members. Through the feedback we get from the schools and the uptick we’re seeing in applications, we believe that these programmes are having an impact.

Why do you think diversity within an organisation is important?

We believe that to be a successful company and a great place to work, our business must be able to leverage the similarities and differences of all team members.  We enable our employees to ‘bring their whole selves to work’ which unleashes the potential in all of us. In order to build enduring relationships, we must create a welcoming workplace where people of all backgrounds come together to do their best work. By not only embracing individual differences, but actively leveraging them, we’re able to harness each individual’s full potential, drive innovation, and foster an environment for our global team to do its best work to meet the aspirations of our customers.

What were your thoughts on the awards? Did you enjoy the night?

The team that attended on the night had a great time.  They thoroughly enjoyed meeting and socialising with the other nominees and were over the moon to be recognised with the award.  The event had a good atmosphere and was of a comfortable size to remain friendly and engaging.

Return to 2016 Winners

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