How does it feel to be a woman working in a leading STEM firm? Patricia Nuñez, SMB and Channel Manager at Lenovo Iberia, shared with us her experience of working at Lenovo. She also talked to us about her ideas on how to attract more women into STEM careers and shared some of Lenovo’s best practices. To find out more, read our interview!
What inspired you to study telecommunications engineering? How can we make this field more attractive for women?
When I was young, I wanted to do something unconventional and I had a strong interest in innovation and the latest technologies. The telecommunications industry offers many opportunities for disruptive innovations and that is what attracted me.
To make this field more attractive to women, we should start by changing stereotypes about career choices, which exist from very early on. Schools can play an important role in making children understand that there are no careers reserved for women and that women can also pursue these technical studies. School children should know that there are many doors open to them. If girls want to be engineers, they can be engineers. This also means that engineering schools and universities should create a welcoming and conducive environment for girls.
School children should know
that there are many doors open to them.
If girls want to be engineers, they can be engineers.
Lenovo is a partner of our Woman Talent Pool programme (WTP) Lenovo and has launched several initiatives to foster gender equality, such as the Women at Lenovo EMEA digital hiring campaign in 2016. How would you assess your experience of working there as a woman? Could you share with us some of the best practices you have noticed?
My experience has been fantastic! There are so many opportunities available! Gender equality is a hot topic at Lenovo and I am pleased to say that there is a big internal push to make a lasting change and that everyone is supportive of various gender equality initiatives we are currently involved in. For example, we regularly publish internal statistics assessing gender diversity within different teams. We also organize women in leadership breakfast debates, where key women in the organization share best practices.
If you are capable of doing it, why would you not do it? I think this is the mentality we have here at Lenovo. My own team is quite diverse! We have approximately the same number of women and men. It is not because I am looking for women or for men specifically. Above all, I am looking for talent, for a person who has relevant skills and who is going to fit well into the team.
If you are capable of doing it,
why would you not do it?
I think this is the mentality we have here at Lenovo.
What are the benefits of having diverse teams in the IT sector?
Diversity is key to success! We live in an incredibly complex environment that requires us to coordinate across business and cultural needs. It is thus very important to have people from different backgrounds, with various experiences and perspectives. If a company has several employees thinking the same way, it will never progress. You need diverse teams (in terms of gender, age, origins…) to improve your performance and be able to think out of the box! This is especially crucial when a difficult decision is to be made or when you have a new problem to solve.
If a company has several employees thinking the same way,
it will never progress.
You need diverse teams to improve your performance
and be able to think out of the box!
Lenovo manufactures one of the world’s widest portfolio of connected products. What is the key to your success? Can you tell us more about your channel strategy?
Our company does not sell products directly to end customers. Instead, we sell our products to our distribution channel.
We are succeeding and growing fast thanks to our channel strategy. We do not compete with the channel, we complement it! 95% of our business goes through the channel. This means that when we grow, the channel grows with us. We are a company that has a very competitive channel program, and this is key for our partners.
Finally, our departments are like small companies. When making a decision, I always ask myself the following: if the company was mine, would I do it? We are very close to our channel and this is what makes us unique!
We are very close to our channel
and this is what makes us different!
At WIL, we usually conclude our interviews with a question from Proust’s questionnaire. We have picked the following question for you: What do you consider the most overrated virtue?
Being pragmatic and results-oriented! When you work in a sales team, this is something that must become part of your DNA. If you have a goal, you need to achieve it. It is overrated because it is expected. On the one hand, you need to be results-driven if you want to perform, on the other, it is what everyone is expecting from you.
To read more about Patricia, have a look at her biography!