Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - 99

SO WHAT DOES IT TAKE?
First, the CEO has to make diversity an important
priority and make that known. Two, it can't be
just a goal of human resources. Otherwise, the
engineers won't believe it's important. And
then, of course, programs have to be developed,
tested, and possibly thrown away when they
don't work, not only for the women but for the
managers of those women.

DO ALL WOMEN NEED A MENTOR?
WHAT KIND OF PERSON SHOULD THEY
LOOK FOR?
For me, a mentor is mostly useful as a sounding
board. I'm looking for someone I can test ideas
against. I need someone that's been in my space
either as a manager or in my space technology-wise.

WOMEN PREFER TO
SEE A WELL-DEFINED
CAREER LADDER.... BUT
THE DIFFICULTY WITH
TECHNOLOGY IS THAT WE
CAN'T DEFINE THE CAREER
LADDER THAT RIGIDLY.

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A GOOD
MENTOR?
Humility, for starters. A good mentor won't say:
You must do such and such right. You're good if
you do X you're bad if you do Y. A good nonjudgmental mentor will say things like, "Have you
thought about X? Here's how I thought about
that once." And a good mentor must be good
at holding things in confidence. You spend 10
hours a day in your career and you don't want a
flippant mentor to break a confidence.

WHAT IF I DON'T HAVE A MENTOR.
CAN I STILL BE SUCCESSFUL?
Of course you can be successful without a
mentor. Many women have been. But does it

help you climb your learning curve? Without
a doubt.

I FIND THAT IN TECHNOLOGY
MEN ARE MORE CONFLICTAVERSE THAN WOMEN.

YOU OFTEN HOLD "LEAN-IN" CIRCLES
FOR WOMEN LEADERS AT HCL. WHAT ARE
SOME COMMON THEMES YOU HEAR?
One would expect those circles to be about
women's issues, but one of the really cool
attributes about HCL is that 80 percent of the
questions are about this company's business.
"Why don't we do X, Y or Z?" "We could
generate more revenue if we did this..."

IN THIS KIND OF CONVERSATION, WHAT
ARE THE MOST COMMON QUESTIONS
AROUND WOMEN'S ISSUES?
The tough conversations are almost always
around promotion and money. The biggest
challenge is that there's all kinds of research
showing that women prefer to see a well-defined
career ladder, because once you know where

WHAT DOES IT TAKE TO BE A
GOOD MENTOR? HUMILITY,
FOR STARTERS.

those rungs are in an organization, you march
right up them. "Tell me what it takes to get an A,
I'll get an A." But the difficulty with technology
is that we can't define the career ladder that
99



Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology

Contents
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - Cover1
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - Cover2
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - 1
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - Contents
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Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - Cover4
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Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - Poster 1
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - Poster 2
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - Poster 3
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - Poster 4
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - Poster 5
Straight Talk Special Issue: Women in Technology - Poster 6
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