By Paula Burkes The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Great Q&A with Bobbi Dangerfield, VP of commercial sales operations at Dell on how Dell's "Women in Technology" event showcases a pipeline for female talent.
The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City
Q: Tell us about the importance of women in STEM fields. Why are you so passionate about women in IT?
A: As a woman who has worked in information technology (IT) for more than 30 years, STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) has afforded me the kind of diverse, challenging career I've yearned for. Though they may not realize it, women have a tremendous opportunity in this space. In today's age, every company is a technology company and technology is in every field. Although women are currently underrepresented in tech occupations, promising signs are appearing and the truth is, no matter the role, STEM industries can make the workplace better for women.
Q: Tell me about Dell's commitment to women in the IT workforce and specific initiatives the company drives both internally and externally.
A: At Dell we believe that building the pipeline for female talent is an integral part of our responsibility to our customers and the communities in which we operate around the globe. We have many initiatives and objectives focused on supporting women in IT. In 2012, Dell became the first tech industry company to implement Men Advocating Real Change (MARC) training through a partnership with Catalyst. MARC focuses on identifying where unconscious biases exist, engaging leaders to sponsor and advocate for underrepresented groups at Dell, and having tough conversations at the leadership level to spur real change.
In addition, Wise, one of Dell's employee resource groups (ERGs), is a community of women and men who support gender diversity and accelerating the role of women in the workforce. It's the largest ERG with more than 7,000 members and 60 chapters worldwide. In addition, internal surveys indicate Dell's Connected Workplace initiatives represent a distinct benefit for female team members.
Not to be missed, Dell Women's Entrepreneur Network, which we founded in 2010, represents our investment in leveling the playing field. The program is focused on creating and fostering a community of like-minded women founders who are looking for ways to grow and who need a venue to exchange ideas, learn and do business with one another to make it happen.
In addition, through Youth Learning programs, we encourage our workforce to engage with future generations of women particularly in STEM subjects with organizations like the Girl Scouts, Girls Who Code, GirlStart and more around the globe. The need to build up the pipeline of women in technology starts with preparing the next generation of girls to be engaged and enthusiastic about the opportunities that the tech industry represents. We believe opening the door for women to contribute like never before will benefit the entire world.
Q: As the head of commercial sales for a global brand, what are your primary responsibilities and what's something you're really excited about?
A: I lead the Global Business Operations organization at Dell. My role is about making Dell the easiest company on the planet to do business with both for our customers working with Dell and our team members doing work within Dell. I oversee the Order to Cash process for the company, as well as Global Channel Operations, and Business Intelligence, Reporting and Analytics for Sales, Operations and Customer Care. I'm really excited about our ability to enable our sales teams to focus on our customers as they take on the tremendous opportunity of the Dell-EMC combination. In fact, I have the privilege of leading a team of more than 5,000 highly engaged team members who take care of our customers energetically and passionately every single day.
Q: Dell OKC has been here more than 12 years. What makes you proud about the team in Oklahoma City?
A: Oklahoma City continues to be an important hub for Dell because of its available talent pool and proximity to great institutions of higher education. The team here not only does its best to serve our customers but also the community as is evidenced by the Women in Technology event last week. I'm a full believer in contributing to the community around you and this team's ability to do that has far exceeded my expectations.