Dell ANZ Boss on Diversity, Culture and Talent

Group of eight people reaching for slice of cake, close-up, overhead view
SHARE
THIS



Yesterday in Canberra, ahead of an event celebrating 10 years of the DELL WITEM (Women in IT Executive Mentoring) program, B&T sat down with Managing Director and Senior Vice President of Dell ANZ Angela Fox.

When Fox left school, she was considering teaching, nursing or becoming a physio as a career. Through the influence of her brothers-in-law who encouraged her to go to university and broaden her options, she ended up majoring in zoology before joining IBM on a graduate program.

Pictured: Angela Fox

What lessons can the media, marketing and advertising industries learn from the IT sector which has been traditionally so male-dominated?

My view is that it’s down to us as business leaders to be developing environments that are, by nature, open and inclusive. The reality is that building a culture that is focused on inclusion really allows you to tap into the true talent that’s out there.

It’s a very competitive employment market, so all of us need to be finding ways to tap into the best and the brightest, and that means you need to be drawing from the vast broad base of the population that is represented out there in society.

Frankly, I don’t think anybody has the ability to be selective. I feel strongly about meritocracy. You do need to be hiring the best and the brightest, and human capital is one of the key competitive differentiators still, underpinned by things like technology. But the reality is that you need to ensure that your candidate base is diverse.

If it’s not, there’s a need to step back, reflect and ask yourself what it is about the process or the brand reputation or the culture that is inhibiting that attraction of a diverse candidate pool.

When you think about that, there’s a couple of things that play a role.

At Dell, we have taken a look at our job descriptions and how they are written. Are they written in an unconscious biased manner that uses ‘male language’, or does it talk about things that appeal to a male population or a stereotypical standard employee? Is the language we’re using, the way we’re describing the role, actually appealing to a broad base?

We found there were disparities. There were describing words that were more ‘masculine’ or ‘aggressive’ by nature. It’s about stepping back and asking if that creates a barrier to some people being attracted to that job or how its described. It’s a simple, practical thing.

Or it can be as simple as the selection process. We need to ensure that we have a diverse interview panel and that there is at least one woman on the panel, and we have a fair and equal representation of diversity.

Gender bias starts from an early age. It’s having little girls think they can do whatever they want or having children exposed to a peer group and/or role models that they might aspire to be. There’s that really influential point in development where all of a sudden there’s a perception that this IT stuff is for geeks, not for girls.

From the early ages, how do you keep it cool for kids to want to be engaged in technology? How do you then reach the high school age and continue to attract and retain them in programs? Who’s having an influence on the selection of their syllabus? When you’re a young teenager, you’re not the only one making big life-changing decisions, so it’s also about reaching these people.

Once you get them into the workplace, how do you set up an environment that’s supportive? That could be as simple as ensuring that there is paternity and maternity leave, that there’s support systems in place, that there’s flexibility in work habit. That is when it translates. It doesn’t just have to be flexibility for females, not just maternity leave. The male or partner in that relationship plays a really important role in being supported by their workplace to play their role.

Do we need quotas to ensure diversity in Australian workplaces?

I think it depends on the actual company.

Meritocracy is important. You don’t have the luxury of putting people in positions for the sake of it, and I don’t think that’s occurring. People earn their right to a role.

I believe, however, in some environments that measurement is important. What form does that take? It needs to be relevant to the different company or environment that its operating in. “Thou shalt” doesn’t always work.

I do believe a degree of measurement or visibility is important. It could be as simple as a diversity score card, which we have at the senior leadership level at Dell. It can take many forms.

Ultimately it’s about amplifying and being consciously aware of what your organisation looks like and what you’re doing to change it.

What’s the biggest barrier to changing the status quo?

People feeling supported. Developing cultures where people feel they can bring their authentic and very best self into the office.

It can be as simple as people having courage. But if the environment and culture around them is not supportive, they’re not going to put themselves in a vulnerable position.

Education is key to all of this. At Dell, we launched a chapter of LGBTI and a key component of that was education of first-line management – asking the questions you don’t know the answer to, being courageous enough to understand and to get a perspective of the people that feel they are the minority.

Would you describe yourself as a feminist?

I don’t know that one needs a label. I’m an advocate for continued change. I’m an advocate for creating diverse and inclusive work places.

I believe in giving any group within your workforce who feels a minority and unable to truly express themselves the opportunity to feel comfortable coming to work, being their authentic self so you can truly tap into the talent and the perspective and opinion that they bring to the table.

And let’s face it, that’s what makes business interesting. That’s what drives innovation, and you can directly correlate it to business results.

I don’t feel the need for a label, but I’m certainly passionate about wanting to drive change.

Latest News

Quiip Announces Raft Of New Business Wins
  • Marketing
  • Media

Quiip Announces Raft Of New Business Wins

Australian social media and online community management firm Quiip has announced a raft of new business wins and contract renewals. Publicis Worldwide (Australia), Sydney Adventist Hospital and the Museum of Australian Democracy have all recently enlisted the services of Quiip. The company has also had contracts renewed with VicHealth and beyondblue. Quiip is providing a […]

Women In Media Profile: Judy Sahay
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Judy Sahay

B&T's Women in Media profiles are like a wave washing over you. Even more so if an actual wave washes over you.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
How B2B Companies Can Use Their Customer Data More Effectively (And Why They Need To)
  • Marketing
  • Opinion

How B2B Companies Can Use Their Customer Data More Effectively (And Why They Need To)

In this opinion piece, SalesPreso co-founder and CMO Joel Thomson (pictured below) explains how B2B companies can use their data more effectively and deliver a personalised customer experience that matches their B2C counterparts. From the Cambridge Analytica scandal to the EU’s recent GDPR legislation, this year has prompted individuals all over the world to consider […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
M&C Saatchi Launches THIS Film Studio
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

M&C Saatchi Launches THIS Film Studio

Not one to rest on its laurels, M&C Saatchi unveils new production studio it hasn't called 'Not One To Rest On Laurels'.

Creative Agency Launches Project Management Tool ‘Hassl’
  • Advertising
  • Technology

Creative Agency Launches Project Management Tool ‘Hassl’

Yesterday at TedX Melbourne the team behind award-winning, Melbourne-based agency Your Creative launched their new tech venture Hassl, the project management platform taking on Trello and the likes. With the belief there was a better design solution to project management, the platform has been developed over the last two years in collaboration with their clients. […]

ABC Axes Tom Ballard’s Tonightly
  • Media

ABC Axes Tom Ballard’s Tonightly

It's one of the ABC's edgier, controversial shows, but Tom Ballard's proven too edgy and controversial for ABC chiefs.

Taboola Strengthens APAC Programmatic Offering With New Partnership
  • Advertising
  • Media

Taboola Strengthens APAC Programmatic Offering With New Partnership

Global discovery platform Taboola has announced a strategic partnership with Wider Planet, Korea’s largest demand-side and data management platform. The partnership builds on Taboola’s programmatic efforts in Asia-Pacific, and will bring together Korea’s largest demand platform for agencies and brands to provide access to Taboola’s global audience through premium publisher placements. The partnership means advertisers […]

The Haus Picks Up Two New Clients
  • Marketing

The Haus Picks Up Two New Clients

The Haus announces two new client wins. Admittedly, not as good as winning three, but far better than losing four.

businessman using tablet PC and information communication technology concept. IoT(Internet of Things). GUI(graphical user interface). paperless office.
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Smartly: The Future Of Martech Is Automated

Automated ad buying platform, Smartly was at the centre of the tech innovation stage at the Online Retailer conference 2018. Smartly head of ANZ Marta Bonzanini (pictured below) discussed the integral role automation plays in the future of marketers and creatives. “If an ad is not performing as well as planned, you probably have some […]

Messenger Launches Video Chat AR Games
  • Technology

Messenger Launches Video Chat AR Games

For the moments when we can’t be together IRL, Messenger video chat helps you connect in real-time with the people you care about most. Chatting face-to-face live makes all the difference when you have exciting news to share, you need a study buddy for a big test, or you simply want to pass the time […]

Sphere Wins Stockdale And Leggo
  • Media

Sphere Wins Stockdale And Leggo

Sphere snares Stockdale & Leggo business, which is a real estate group & not a simmer sauce as first reported on B&T.

Aussie AgTech Start-Up Leads Global Farming Innovation
  • Technology

Aussie AgTech Start-Up Leads Global Farming Innovation

With Aussie farmers facing so many challenges, could the answer be Blockchain technology? Ranking top 10 at this year’s Overseas Talent Entrepreneurial Conference (OTEC), pitching against 32 other start-ups from around the world, Aussie start-up Agunity are leading AgTech innovation. Having won the right to represent Australia during Investible’s nation-wide pitch competition, AgUnity took to […]

Women In Media Profile: Carolyn Bollaci
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Carolyn Bollaci

Facebook's Carolyn Bollaci is the latest to sup at B&T's truth serum we prefer to call our Women in Media profiles.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Vic Govt Unveils ‘Tafe + Jobs’ Via Fuel Agency
  • Advertising
  • Campaigns

Vic Govt Unveils ‘Tafe + Jobs’ Via Fuel Agency

The Fuel Agency has launched the new ‘TAFE + Jobs’ campaign, aimed to promote and drive applications and enrolments for courses starting in 2019 There’s a lot happening in Victoria, with record investment in road and rail projects, and in the health, community and disability sectors. As a result, there’s greater demand for skilled workers. […]

Rakuten Marketing Appoints New CEO
  • Marketing
  • Technology

Rakuten Marketing Appoints New CEO

Rakuten has a new CEO. However, judging by the tired handshake photo, B&T doesn't have any new ways of illustrating it.

Why Consumers Block Your Advertising
  • Advertising
  • Opinion

Why Consumers Block Your Advertising

Who better to explain why your ads are getting blocked than a real ad blocking expert. As B&T has done right here.

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Women In Media Profile: Jackie Crossman
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Jackie Crossman

B&T has spared no expense with today's top Women in Media profile, save for suit hire, corsage and dry-cleaning.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Kantar certified by Google as a verified Measurement Partner
  • Technology

Kantar certified by Google as a verified Measurement Partner

The announcement designates Kantar as an approved third-party measurement provider for brands looking to verify their media spend performance on Google owned platforms. Kantar is approved globally to provide both Brand Lift Insights for evaluation of brand impact from campaigns and for independent measurement of audience reach from campaigns on Google properties. Kantar CEO Eric […]

THIS
  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Media

Final Call! B&T Late Entries Close Today!

B&T Award entries officially close at 5pm today! Good news if you've almost finished, bad news if you haven't started.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Australian Women’s 15s World Cup Bid Kicks Off
  • Campaigns

Australian Women’s 15s World Cup Bid Kicks Off

“It’s 2018”, is something you hear a lot when you talk to the players, coaching staff and fans involved in Rugby AU’s bid for the ‘Rugby World Cup Women’s 2021’ tournament. There is this sense that they are not only ready for a greater stage, but raring to go. As one player said “Ready?! We’re […]

Aussie Silk Brand Harnesses Kardashian Marketing Power
  • Marketing

Aussie Silk Brand Harnesses Kardashian Marketing Power

Shhh Silk is an Australian brand that quickly grew in popularity among celebrities like Gisele Bündchen and Kim Kardashian West. Shhh Silk has just received a $1.8 million order from a very large brand in the US, and CEO Olivia Carr’s projections is for this to be a $50 million business in five years’ time. […]