Episode 9: Driving Diversity and Inclusion


Available on iTunes.

On this week’s Women Talk Tech podcast, we talk to Carissa Allen, who is the Worldwide Business Applications Sales Strategy and Planning Lead at Microsoft.

Like many other women we have spoken with on the podcast, Carissa “accidentally” ended up in the high tech sector and she has many observations about young girls and a career in tech. Growing up, Carissa was a people-person and soon realized how technology connected people but Carissa wasn’t drawn to tech. Although technology constantly surrounds us, there is something that is not drawing young girls and women into the tech sector and Carissa feels many companies have blind spots when it comes to diversity.

“…Often, you will find women or under representative minorities in the room more so than 20 years ago but the behaviour hasn’t changed. Its still a culture where people are talking at each other and the loudest voice will win. They don’t feel their voices are being heard all the time.”

Carissa discusses some of the blind spots organizations have with respect to diversity:

  • Organizations will say “they have women in the company” and think the numbers are enough but they don’t stop to consider if their voices are being heard and acknowledged
  • Organizations need better tools to communicate and ensure women’s voices are heard
  • Organizations need to do a better job listening and presenting information for people to digest and feel comfortable reacting to.

Organizations need to create a culture that drives diversity and inclusion with less aggressive communication and better collaboration internally. By doing so, women will be drawn to these organizations and want to be part of them.

About Carissa Allen

Carissa has worked in the technology sector for over 20 years. She has held multiple roles in Enterprise Account Management, Field Marketing Strategy and Execution, Partner Management, and Dynamics Sales and Marketing Strategy experience. Carissa currently works at Microsoft’s Worldwide Business Applications Sales Strategy and Planning Lead.

Carissa grew up loving people and her passion for collaboration and helping others helped spark a passion for technology. Carissa has been honored with multiple awards and recognized as a compelling presenter able to demonstrate the “art of the possible” with internal teams, customers and partners. Connect with Carissa Allen on LinkedIn.

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