GHC14: Accountability and Metrics for Gender Diversity

Panelists: Laszlo Bock, SVP People Operations, Google; Danielle Brown, Cheif of Staff, Intel; Theresa Kushner, VP of Enterprise Information Management, VMware; Denise Menelly, Shared Service Operations Eecutive for Global echnology and Operations, BofA; J, Sr Directoreanne Hultquist of Strategic Initiatives, ABI.

At BofA, they talk about metrics at all levels in all positions – this stuff is important.

Lazslo Block noted that they didn’t release their diversity data for business reasons, but because this was just the right thing to do. Google needed to be open and honest about this.  Diverse teams are better, we know that. We were hesitant to release the numbers for the same reason as everyone else: we were afraid to get sued! Simply the right thing to do.

Danielle brown noted that releasing these numbers is an important part of the conversation. Intel has been releasing the data for 10 years, but perhaps a bit quietly in the past. By measuring we know where we stand and where we need to go.

Denise Menelly noted the importance of these numbers – they aren’t just numbers, you have to have actions behind them.  Every senior level manager is expected to have a score card: budget, project schedule and how they are performing against gender diversity numbers.  Not only do the managers have to report, but they need to say what they are doing to continue to increment in the right direction. It’s very important to see what is happening, even small changes are important and need to be watched.

VMware is data driven – so it was an easy, short conversation. Theresa Kushner showed her new CEO the numbers and he instantly said, „Yep, there’s a problem – we need to do something about this“. Then senior management has a new responsibility – measure, track. What you measure is what you look at – so make sure you’re measuring the right things.  It’s not just a number, you also have to change the culture – but how do you measure that?

 At Intel, we often found that women were working in isolation.  Trying to address this by creating networks for women that start when they start.  Making sure they immediately have a network of support.

At Google we’re looking at unconscious bias – for example, if a man leaves early to pick up his kids, everything thinks „what a great dad!“ When a woman does the same thing? „Figures“.  „Our tech population is 83% men – they have to behave differently.“ The unconscious bias training is starting to make an anecdotal difference – people are now aware they are doing this. 94% of Googlers surveyed said they will now step up and say something if they see someone demonstrating unconscious bias.

Denise Menelly noted this is taking too long. While they won award, she was surprised as she sees there is so much work to do.  You’re leaders -NOT just your HR/Diversity people – your technical leaders need to support you to come to Grace Hopper Celebration.  There is an issue that women will look at a job description and not see themselves as qualified (where a man will, even though they have the same qualifications.

Sergey, when he first started Google wanted 50% of his interns to be women (they hired 4 total interns in their first year).  Sergey also has his door open to women – he realizes that they have a perspective that he just doesn’t have.

At VMware the executives don’t just need to mentor women, but rather sponsor them. The execs need to have a plan for doing this and have accountability for their actions.

At Intel, EVERY employee will get a bigger paycheck this year if Intel improves their gender diversity.

At Google, every manager with more than 100 people in their org gets a diversity report and a visit to discuss. There are company goals here, and when people fail to make progress it can cause reduction in pay.  Some people are convinced of this issue, some people are just wrong. We’ll need to work on forcing them out or keeping their wrong opinions to themselves.  The rest, they’re in the middle and we want them to have the epiphany.

At VMware, we are working on diversity because it’s good for business, it’s good for innovation and it’s good for our product line.

Denise  from BofA noted, yes, there’s a pipeline problem, but that’s not the biggest issue. We need to focus on fixing the culture and retention and making this a better industry.

At Intel, it was believed that the „issue“ was women were leaving mid career – but when they looked at data, that actually wasn’t the issue! Focus was in the wrong place, Intel now working on promotion and advancements.  The lack of senior women wasn’t caused by women leaving – it was caused by them getting stuck at mid level.

Lots of good questions about pay data, when will we see more break down of what these companies mean by „technical woman“, if women aren’t leaving – why are they stuck, etc.  Panelists answered them all honestly – unfortunately, I was in line to ask a question (but we ran out of time) so could not take  notes.

Great talk – very inspiring! What are you doing in your org?  Do you think this could be handled bottom up?

This post is syndicated from Security, Beer, Theater and Biking!

Skip to content