Both companies recognise the importance of celebrating female success
Recognising and celebrating women in leadership roles is, we're pleased to say, something that companies now realise is important. The industry has maintained a male-focused status quo for many years - not only in its recruitment principles, but its working practices - and changing that takes times, but it is happening.
One of the key ways to attract more women is to show their existing success: the people who have reached senior roles and proved that it is possible. The Digital Leader of the Year category, at the upcoming Women in Tech Excellence Awards, does exactly this, highlighting outstanding women who have led digital efforts across the business.
HP and AMD consider the work so important that they have joined together to co-sponsor the Digital Leader of the Year award. We talked to Natalie Pilgrim, HP UK&I Strategic Partner Sales Manager, and James Blackman, AMD EMEA Director, about why celebrating female success is so important:
Why did you choose to sponsor the Digital Leader of the Year category, and why is it important to you?
James Blackman: Computing is ubiquitous and more powerful than ever. Every single day, whether it's in the electronics we rely on at home and work, the advanced data centers and networks that connect us all or the supercomputers used to drive research and innovation in numerous fields, computing makes the previously impossible possible.
Natalie Pilgrim: HP and AMD are excited to sponsor Digital Leader of the Year, as we believe one of the biggest opportunities for our businesses in 2022 will be around showcasing the capabilities of our HP devices powered by AMD, and how these devices meet the demands of the modern workforce. We have spent the past year expanding HPs suite of hybrid-first devices and solutions to fit the new hybridised world we live in.
Why is a diverse workforce more important now than ever?
NP: In our industry, rapid innovation is key to success. Building teams of diverse individuals contributing their unique skills and perspectives will foster a culture of innovation, enabling businesses to stay relevant and to develop the best products, services, and solutions to meet customer needs. A business cannot be pioneering without a diverse talent pool - in terms of gender and ethnicity - therefore, it's imperative that employers prioritise developing a thriving, balanced workforce through implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) strategy and goals.
JB: It is not a 'tick box' exercise to have a diverse team, board, or representation, but a commercial imperative if a business is to be successful in the future. Our customers and channel partners are looking to HP and AMD to make these changes and we are in the process of future-proofing our businesses ready for the next generation of talent.
How can we help more women reach senior positions in the IT sector?
HP and AMD recognise the need to increase the representation of women and continue our efforts to recruit diverse talent and foster an inclusive and innovative culture.
NP: We believe it is important for companies to have a strategy that ensures intentional steps are made every year to increase women in senior positions in the tech sector. This is why partnerships with organisations like the Tech Talent Charter (TTC) are vital and can help companies develop a strategy to nurture female talent. Across the TTC signatories, women hold 25 per cent of technical roles compared with the UK average of 17 per cent, highlighting the positive impact of a result-driven strategy
Low female representation can also link back to job retention. We're proud that HP UK has a 100 per cent rate for maternity returners, which is the result of engagement with middle management teams to create an inclusive and flexible workplace. HP also drive initiatives that improve gender and ethnicity in tech roles, and ensure that every hiring manager in the UK completes a Belonging, Inclusion & Unconscious bias training - our internal systems won't allow a new hire application to be filed without completing this training. All our initiatives ensure we not only attract and retain top female talent but also support their careers and development into leadership positions.
Beyond ensuring that all levels of a business foster a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment, companies should also prioritise creating a culture that helps female employees feel a sense of belonging in their workplace. One way of doing this is creating a network of allies between female employees and management teams to ensure women feel represented and empowered to drive faster progress.
At HP, our employees have created a Women's Impact Network - a network of allies across genders that work with the management team to effect meaningful change. Earlier this year, we announced our global Sustainable Impact goals for 2030, and many of these included pledges to accelerate gender and racial equality in the technology industry. In addition to our goal of achieving 50/50 gender equality in HP leadership by 2030, HP also committed to achieving greater than 30 per cent technical women and women in engineering roles by 2030.
JB: AMD, similarly, have a wide range of Impact Networks including AMD African American Forum, AMD Pride and AMD Women's forum, which all strive to recruit, retain and promote women at AMD through impactful programming and advocacy to create a stronger more successful company.