Interview: Zoe Cuenoud, Altman Solon, Women in Tech Excellence Awards finalist

'I am dedicated to fostering positive change'

clock • 4 min read
Interview: Zoe Cuenoud, Altman Solon, Women in Tech Excellence Awards finalist

A collaborative culture is a strong starting place to build out a robust DEI strategy.

Tonight, Magazine London will host Computing's signature event to bolster inclusion across technology: the annual Women in Tech Excellence Awards.

Spotlighting over 1,800 women over the years and attended by more than 2,700 industry members, this event is a nexus point for trailblazers across specialties and seniorities to come together.

From promising coders to leading executives, these are the women driving advancements across tech. By celebrating change-makers past and present, the event continues Computing's years-long tradition of uplifting women in tech to inspire those who will shape tomorrow.

Zoe Cuenoud is one of those women, hoping to win Rising Star of the Year in the Consultancies & Professional Services sub-category.

A key contributor and advisor to corporate and private equity clients in the telecommunications, media, and technology (TMT) sectors, Zoe drives strategy and investments discussions at Altman Solon. Her career journey has been exciting, and her expertise is incredibly diverse.  

Zoe is a passionate marathon runner (soon to run NYC!) and enjoys participating in mathematics competitions for fun.

Computing: What is Altmon Solon all about?

Zoe Cuenoud: Altman Solon is the leading global strategy consulting firm specialising in the TMT sectors. The company brings together extensive industry expertise to advise clients on critical business challenges and opportunities. Altman Solon is known for its strategic insights, data-driven approach, and tailored solutions that help clients navigate the rapidly evolving TMT landscape.

What makes you different from other companies?

To me, it's the people and the collaborative culture that make Altman Solon a special place to work. With 13 offices globally, our colleagues represent a diverse group from different countries and academic backgrounds who are truly passionate about the TMT industry. No matter which office I work from, I rapidly feel integrated in the team, either by collaborating together on a project, answering my neighbour's questions, or sharing a lunch break.

What one company achievement in the last 12 months are you most proud of?

Recently my company was hired to support the £15b merger between Vodafone UK and Three UK to create Britain's biggest mobile network operator, and one of Europe's leading 5G networks. 

I was a key contributor to this high-impact merger supporting the digital transformation in the UK. Pending approval, the merger promises to deliver enhanced customer experience with a network providing greater coverage, reliability, and speed. The combined business will invest £11b in the UK over 10 years, delivering up to £5b annually in economic benefits by 2030.

Equally fulfilling was my role in steering my team to achieve remarkable results over six months, fostering their professional growth in a cooperative and engaging work environment. As part of our engagement, I led the Network workstream; our team focused on developing an end-to-end network design and operating model, and estimating the cost synergies and integration cost. Collaborating with various stakeholders, managing large, sensitive datasets, and navigating tight deadlines, our team delivered outstanding work. The positive feedback from our client is a testament to our commitment and success in this challenging yet rewarding project.

What are you working on this year?

Alongside my consulting engagements, I am actively invested in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives at the firm. Serving on the committee of Altman Solon's women's network, I am dedicated to fostering positive change both within Europe and on a global scale. 

Our team is actively steering impactful mentoring programmes for female consultants, crafting tailored training sessions (e.g. tackling unconscious bias), organising talks with inspiring female industry leaders, and driving efforts to engage allies. We are also committed to attracting and retaining female talent by implementing strategic initiatives. This multifaceted approach is geared towards creating an inclusive environment that not only attracts diverse talent but also ensures their sustained growth and success within our organisation. 

The consulting landscape within TMT being highly male-dominated, our collective focus on DEI stands as a testament to our firm's commitment to creating a workplace where individuals of all backgrounds can excel and contribute meaningfully.

Why are events like the Women in Tech Excellence important to the IT industry?

I believe events like the Women in Tech Excellence Awards are crucial for the industry for the following three reasons:

Firstly, it provides a platform to recognise outstanding achievements of women in an underrepresented field. Collectively celebrating successes plays an active role in inspiring younger generations to pursue a career in technology. Reflecting on my early years in the workforce, I can attest that having female role models influenced my own journey and aspirations in the industry.

Moreover, such events foster networking and mentoring opportunities. They create a supportive community, addressing a challenge often faced by young female professionals in identifying such networks. Establishing connections with a strong support network, comprised of both men and women, is critical for effectively navigating and advancing your career.

Finally, it contributes to the broader objective of promoting diversity in the workplace, particularly within the technology sector. Bringing together remarkable female talent at the Women in Tech Excellence Awards emphasises the importance of cultivating a workforce that embraces diverse backgrounds, advancing innovation and problem-solving to generate better industry outcomes.

The Women in Tech Excellence Awards take place on 23rd November at Magazine London. Click here to view the shortlist and here to book your table.

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