Marie Moynihan Answers YOUR Questions

January 21st, 2020

Marie Moynihan (far left) is Senior Vice President of Global Talent Acquisition for Dell Technologies. She spoke on the “Business Panel: Designing Success,” with Dev Malladi (Cisco), Sharon O’Brien (Liberty Mutual Insurance), and Orla Coughlan (international Human Resources executive).

Marie has been at Dell for more than 18 years, and is responsible for differentiating Dell as an employer by developing an authentic employment brand, and delivering a ‘best in class’ candidate experience. She has also spent six years consulting in Industrial Relations with the Irish Business and Employers Confederation.

Below, she answers some of the questions YOU asked her via the conference’s mobile app Live Q&A feature.

Q: Why change MARC [Many Advocating Real Change] to ‘Many’ instead of ‘Men’? Why not explicitly ask men to take responsibility for gender equality? So often it’s left to women.

A: That is a very fair question and we had a lot of debate about it with differing views on how whether we should rename it or not. In the end, it came down to the fact that we had widened the focus of the program to be much broader, to create a culture of inclusion for people of different cultural backgrounds, age, abilities, etc., and the consensus was this is ‘everyone’s’ responsibility not just men. Women in the organization felt strongly about this. I think if the focus of the program was only on gender, then we would have left it as “Men Advocating Real Change” to explicitly ask for men’s leadership on the topic

Q: I feel a great responsibility to have the gender diversity conversations but as the only female leader on my leadership team, I’m often viewed as talking about a ‘women’s issue’. Any advice on how to change the conversation to frame the advantages?

A: Yes, this is a very tough situation. For me, the least emotive argument is really the one about access to talent. Women are 50% of the talent pool – in a tight labor market why would we not want to be highly attractive to this pool of talent, and we know that talented women will want to understand the culture of the organization and the leadership team before they consider joining a company. The ideal would be to get one of the male leaders on your leadership team who is already bought it to champion the cause!

Q: Do you see closing the pay gap as an integral part of the inclusion program, and do your companies have any specific commitment in that regard?

A: Yes, I think closing the pay gap is a critical and integral part of a diversity and inclusion program. The two aspects are really making sure that 1) you have broad pay parity within a range for roles at the same level – obviously experience and performance also impact here, but it should not account for vast differences. 2) The gender pay gap, which is what the legislation in the UK is promoting, is all about increasing the number of women at the higher echelons of a company because it measures the median income of men and women in the organization. If you have a disproportionate number of women at lower vs. higher grade levels, then you will automatically have a big gender pay gap. The more balance you have at all levels of the company, the smaller the gap. Dell looks at both, and tries to address proactively any issues arising on the pay parity front. Fixing the gender pay gap is a longer-term project, but we have just announced a goal to increase our overall workforce representation to 50% female by 2030, and increase our leadership representation to at least 40%.

Q: For a small organization just starting the diversity and inclusion journey, what do you recommend as early steps or the first area to focus on?

A: I think starting out the first thing would be to gather data that is relevant to your organization to show that you have a challenge – overall representation, representation at different levels, any differences in hiring, attrition and/or promotion rates, any employee feedback or external feedback like Glassdoor. Look at this in comparison with your competition. Framing up your challenge in numbers terms and either cost or lost opportunity is critical to getting your company leadership engaged. I think the next step might be some kind of awareness training for the senior leadership team on things like unconscious bias, privilege and what behaviors would create an inclusive environment. From there, it is about setting some goals and getting the leaders to evangelize these and have then regularly inspected and reported on.

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