On this weeks episode of Women Talk Tech, we speak to Victoria Pelletier, Vice President, North American Talent & Transformation Leader at IBM. Victoria is also a board member at several organizations, an active mentor, and a champion for diversity in tech.
Victoria’s initial goal was to be a corporate lawyer but discovered how much she loved the corporate world when she was working in business. She decided to continue down the corporate leadership path. Throughout the podcast, Victoria speaks about the advantages of hiring women in tech, her journey as a board member and important success lessons she has learned as a leader in tech and business. Victoria also speaks about why it is so important to have a strong personal brand and network and she speaks about one of Women Talk Techs 4 pillars – Mentorship and Sponsorship.
One of the main reasons Victoria started working at IBM was because of all their work around diversity and advancing women in tech. In Canada, IBM has structured diversity programs in place at different career stages including entry-level and mid-level. Victoria is proud to say that in Canada, over 50% of entry level associates within the IBM Services business, which she was part of are women – so kudos to IBM and the talent acquisition team. At the mid-level, IBM has taken a very active role in identifying women that sit in that mid-level job band and pair them up with mentors from their executive leadership team across the country. IBM has done an excellent job creating coaching, mentorship and sponsorship programs within the organization.
Diversity is not a big company problem, it’s a small company problem as well and we asked Victoria to give some advice to small and medium sized companies. The three pieces of advice Victoria mentions are:
1. It may seem like a daunting process to create a diversity program yourself but there are so many resources out there to help you!
2. It might be hard to find proper mentors within your small or medium company that have the skill needed and time but you can always pair mentees with mentors from the broader eco-system!
3. This is a retention technique small and medium businesses need to invest in and there is great sponsorship opportunities in the broader eco-system as well.
Don’t forget to download our 2020 Action Report to learn about steps you can take to create action in your tech company.
ABOUT VICTORIA PELLETIER
Victoria is a corporate executive with IBM and she is also a board member of several organizations, including two technology companies. Victoria appears regularly on television and on stage as a public speaker. She is heavily engaged in volunteer and mentoring activities and is a huge advocate for diversity and inclusion, having just been awarded the HSBC Diversity & Inclusion Innovation leader as presented by the Digital Finance Institute. She is passionate about her family, health and fitness and great wine. You can follow Victoria on LinkedIn.