Why does a gender gap exist in pay, even for similar jobs at similar companies? Who are the women succeeding in corporate leadership positions, and how have they arrived there? How do these issues vary from country to country, or across industries?
These complex questions have been top of mind lately, with news highlighting women in the workplace and the changing dynamic of how we work. High-profile companies have announced a move away from flexible work structures that have helped both women and men manage their work and home lives; a new book by Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg has re-invigorated the conversation about women at work.
Every day, my team works to ensure that Dell is a diverse and inclusive workplace. It’s a business imperative for us: we must represent our customer base, and we know that diversity is critical to the innovation that will give us a competitive edge.
I’m excited to be traveling this week to Bangalore, where I’ll see first-hand as researchers dig into these issues at a symposium hosted by the Catalyst Research Center for Career Pathways. Dell is a lead partner with Catalyst in this effort, hosting leading researchers and academics from around the world.
Last year, Dell made a $1 million, multi-year commitment to Catalyst, a leading nonprofit membership group expanding opportunities for women and business, to help create this center. It seeks to support new, larger research panels and data sets in regions around the world — tracking an array of previously unstudied trends and demographics about women’s careers.
This symposium, “Career Paths in Emerging and Mature Markets — Global Trends, Gender Gap and Game Changers,” marks the first event for the new center. As we spend two days discussing these issues, Catalyst will identify future paths of study, with a goal of developing real, fact-based solutions to break the barriers holding women back.
Specifically, I’m interested in a panel on how people are changing, and the impact these changes have on careers. Researchers from China, Australia and the United States will examine how increasing global connectedness, social movements and changing values affect both career trajectories and the way work gets done.
Dell will host and attend to provide real-world insight and feedback: our workforce comes from more than 80 countries, and many of our team members work remotely. Through our Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network (DWEN), we also see many women globally starting their own businesses; this June, we’ll host the fourth annual DWEN conference in Istanbul, Turkey to connect female founders, CEOs and leaders of high-growth companies around the world.
We’ll report back with findings from the Catalyst symposium, and we’ll also continue our deep commitment to advancing women leaders, business owners and entrepreneurs — both inside and outside our own walls. To learn more, visit Dell.com/diversity.