President and CEO, Symantec
Headquarters: Mountain View, California
Primary Business: Security, storage, and systems management solutions
Revenues: $6.19 billion
Creating a Climate of Openness
At Symantec, diversity is a business imperative. Innovation requires a work culture that fosters a curiosity about differing perspectives, a variety of backgrounds and life experiences, and a willingness to challenge basic assumptions. By broadening the talent pool, we are creating a climate of openness and respect for diverse viewpoints, which encourages innovation, productivity and competitiveness. Our diversity and inclusion (D&I) initiatives inspire employees to open their minds and think about ideas in the context of a global view. As someone who is deeply invested in the advancement of the technology industry, our diversity initiatives are a key priority for me.
One of my main efforts is to increase women in leadership positions. I have seen first-hand how the attraction and retention of technical women is a challenge for the male-dominated technology industry as a whole. That is why I signed the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles (WEP) CEO Statement of Support, which champions equality between women and men worldwide. I believe that building the pipeline for gender diversity in our workforce begins with making it clear that we are committed to the empowerment of women worldwide.
Across the company, we encourage female employee participation in our Top Talent Program, which offers advanced learning and career development training for our key leaders. In our recent D&I survey, 87.3 percent of men and 71.9 percent of women responded favorably regarding equal opportunity for women to advance at Symantec, indicating that the gap continues to close between the genders’ respective perceptions. In addition, we encourage participation in our employee resource groups, like Symantec Women’s Action Network (SWAN), Hispanic Outreach and Leadership Affinity (HOLA), Symantec’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual Transgender and Allies (SymPride) and the Symantec Black Employee Network Group (SBEN) to broaden their strategic perspective, help the community, and build relationships.
Running a multi-billion dollar global company, I recognize the advantage of having employees understand the cultural differences of our customers and their colleagues. By leveraging employee resource groups and career development training programs, we continue to increase the number of women and minorities interested in technical careers. Greater diversity and building this long-term pipeline is a critical business issue for the technology industry. In fact, it is imperative in order to build a larger and more competitive workforce. One that is as broad and innovative as the customers we serve.
Education: BCS, Dartmouth College
First Job: Systems programmer, Security Pacific Bank
What I’m Reading: Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, by Daniel H. Pink
My Philosohpy: Work hard and have a positive attitude.
Best Advice: Check your ego and title at the door.
Interests: Cycling, skiing
Favorite Charity: Room to Read