Diversity in telecoms depends on leading from the top

08 November 2016 |


The women in telco panel at Capacity Europe came to the conclusion the action from the top on mentoring is now essential.

The women in telco panel which took place today at Capacity Europe struck a very positive note. It seems that the telco industry is not doing so badly compared to other industries. Introducing the session Karin Kollenz-Quetard, EDHEC, said: “The companies which have more diversity, and more women employees, are less likely to go bankrupt. And remember we are talking about diversity here – it’s about making sure more women are employed at the top levels of the industry. So while some other industries are lagging behind, the telco community is starting to move ahead.”

The roundtable discussions and the comments which panellists made were very clear – the solution is complex but it starts from the top of an organisation with the company culture and this is what has to change.

Sean Rutter, KWR said: “The CEO of one of the major companies which we deal with became tired of excuses from his senior team and sent out a directive complete with targets: ‘Find, develop and mentor your senior women and bring me the results – not meeting these targets is not an option.’”

The mentoring solution, said Gagun Gahir, Telstra: “Does away with one of the old arguments about quotas for women – that the people who are promoted this way are merely there because they are women. If you rise to the top as a result of mentoring then you are accepted as someone who got the job based on your merits and not because of your gender.”

However, it’s not all good news, because it seems very few women in telecoms rise above vice president level so the message is clear – get started mentoring, give your team targets and change your culture by example from the top.