EMEA Strategic Sourcing & International Supplier, Diversity & Inclusion Director, Intel
“As a society, we need to remember that we all bring something to the table through diversity of thought. Women can do anything that a man can do and, in some cases, bring a stronger skill-set to the table due to her different way of looking at things through feminine eyes.”
In your opinion, what qualities make a “Power Women”
I believe a “Power Women” is someone who looks for ways to help promote other women in different spheres of her working and community area. She empowers her team, is trustworthy, empathetic, resilient, and strong, but fair. She leads by example and continuously strives to find the best in people to bring their passion to the forefront to ensure their success.
With all the different issues one could focus on, how do you balance your efforts in pursuit of gender equality? Is it a global approach or a specific issue that you are passionate about.
I don’t believe it is a balance, but rather a way of life. In my opinion, in order to make a change around equality you need men to help drive this, as without them we are only using 50% of the world to try and achieve this. From a very young age, I was told that, “Whatever you want to do, you can do it.” I had two very strong role models in my life–my grandmother and my mother–both of whom were very successful in times when it was not thought of for a women’s place to be in the workforce. I also grew up in Zimbabwe and South Africa, where I witnessed inequality from a young age. Again, I was shown that this should not be the way life works, by my parents, as anyone can do anything no matter of their gender, color, race, or religion. The specific areas I am passionate about are: STEM with young females and driving more into the STEM industries, as well as my main focus area, which is in making a change around supplier diversity and inclusion, ensuring in our supply chain that we have diverse ownership. My belief is that many of the women owned businesses have unique and amazing capabilities, which drive success in delivering what the corporations want and need. They are nimble and passionate about their area of expertise/business. I am very fortunate that my company is a huge advocate of diversity and inclusion and has allowed me to drive this area forward. This approach should be global, as it has been shown that women reinvest their money into their communities and their families. Ensuring that women have the same business opportunities as men around the globe will ultimately help to sustain the growth of their own communities.
Do you think there is any gender specific role for women to play in the Climate Change debate?
I think climate change is something everyone should be worried about and play a role in. Right now, we are not doing a great job of leaving this phenomenal planet in a fit state for our children to enjoy. In some developing countries, it is the women who farm the lands and they have an excellent knowledge in what is needed to help curb the way in which the climate is changing and affecting their crops. I do believe if we could harness the ideas of these women, capturing the knowledge they have, it would lead to the potential opportunity to develop effective climate change solutions, which would benefit everyone.
Do you believe industry and commerce (and government) should factor into a ten year plan the costs involved in mitigation of effects of climate change? (According to an Oxford University supported survey, to total global economic cost would be E200 – E300B per year by 2030. This is less than 1% of the global GDP in 2030).
As stated above, everyone should be looking at this, not just industry, commerce, and governments. We each need to do our bit. As David Suzuki stated: “In a World of more than seven billion people, each of us is a drop in a bucket. But, with enough drops, we can fill the bucket.” We do need to start looking at strategies to mitigate climate change and start implementing these with the support of industry, commerce, and government from both an implementation perspective and cost perspective.
If you could have someone else’s job for a day, who and what would that be? Why?
This is a hard question. I love the job I do today, as I can make a difference, especially in supplier diversity and ensuring we have balance in our supply chain. I also do a lot of mentoring and sponsorship of women in the company, which I love doing–helping them move forward in their careers. By doing these things I am helping move people forward and developing/growing them in their chosen area of passion.
Which historic figure do you most identify with?
Jane Austen. Not sure if “identify” is the right words here, but I do admire her–a pioneer and rule-breaker who defined an entire literary genre with her shrewd social observations and wit. Her novels are funny, endearing, and questioned women’s roles in society. Austen wrote her now classic novels, such as Sense and Sensibility, and Pride and Prejudice, in her teens and had to hide her identity as the author until after her death when her brother revealed the truth to the public.
Why or Why not? In what way do you work for women’s power and equality? What do you think is the number one action we as a society should take? (eg: affirmative action)
As part of my role, I am the International Supplier Diversity and Inclusion Program Manager. The role allows me to look out into the world of women entrepreneurs and business owners and invite them to the table when we have an opportunity for these companies to bid for our business. As I have worked through this program, from the incubation stage through to where we are today, I have met an abundance of talented, dynamic, and very capable women. It is not always possible to bring them into the supply chain, but if I can’t do this, I do want to introduce them to further corporate companies, where applicable. It is important, just as it is to have diversity in the workplace, to have diversity in the supply chain, allowing women to have equal opportunities, which in turn helps bring economic value to their communities. As a society, we need to remember that we all bring something to the table through diversity of thought. Women can do anything a man can do and, in some cases, bring a stronger skillset to the table due to her different way of looking at things through feminine eyes.
Do you think that asking previous salary requirements in a job interview contributes to the pay gap between men and women? NY state recently outlawed this practice. Should we push as a nationwide ban?
In my opinion, there are many reasons for the pay gap between men and women, not just from giving your previous salary. There are more women coming into companies now from college, so they need to work their way up the ranks. This is reflected when you look at the ratio of men and women in companies today–there are still more men at the senior levels. I also think many women (not so much now as in the past) are more conservative when looking at new roles verses men, as well as when it comes to asking for salary increases. What needs to be done is to teach young women coming out of college, and even before, that it is ok to ask for the things they want and to be bold and take the risk when they apply for a job. Just because they don’t meet 100% of the skills needed does not mean they can’t do the job.
Have you seen changes in the political landscape for women over the past few years? If so, what are they?
Yes I have. If I look at it, globally, more women are going into politics and are finding their way. I think a great example of this is the New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Arden. She has not tried to copy men’s behavior, but has brought her unique skills and ways to role model her femininity. An example of this was the attack in New Zealand where she used her female compassion to support the victims.
Was there a defining moment or experience in your life that led you to where you are today? What was it?
Not sure it was one defining moment, but a few, with many sponsors and mentors along the way. Firstly, my mum and grandmother showed me that if you want to do something, go and do it and accept the challenges along the way, but never give up. Also a very supportive husband and family who allow me to thrive and flourish. From a work perspective, I met one of our executives when I was working in Asia and she pushed for me to get into the procurement world and take on a role, which I was apprehensive in doing due to the fact I did not have the full skillset at the time. If I had not taken that step, through her encouragement, I would not be in the role I am today. There have been many sponsors and mentors along the way who have pushed me into areas of unknown and ambiguity, all of which have gotten me to where I am today.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given?
There are a few bits of advice along the way I have had. The first being from when I was a child: Never give up on something you want and treat others the way you would want to be treated. The other one is: Life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.
There are many studies that support the idea that a female presence in the board room increases the bottom line and leads to healthier work environments. What can we do to continue to support and enhance the growth and presence of women in high profile positions?
I believe we should continue with the mentoring and sponsorship we are doing today. If people see others like them in the board room, or in senior leadership positions, they know it is achievable. I also believe we need to continue the push of “go out of your comfort zone,” even if you can’t do 100% of the scope–it is possible. As one of my icon’s said, “It always seems impossible until it is done” (Nelson Mandela).
What do you most value in your friends?
Accepting me for who I am, understanding me, being a sounding board, and just being there–someone to laugh with and whom I have the utmost trust in.