Karen Quintos: Creating a Women-friendly Workplace

July 12 - On The Dot
It’s a great day to be a woman! Melinda Garvey here as your voice, with the mission to give women everywhere a place to be heard and tell their stories. We’d love to hear from you!

FIRST THOUGHT: On Being Confident and Getting What You Want

Have you ever done that thing where someone said something rude and you just stood there, but then, on the drive home, you thought of the perfect comeback?

We can’t all be sharp-tongued or quick-witted, but there is something we can all try to improve: confidence. Today, practice shaking off your nerves and talk to someone you rarely speak to. You might be surprised at just how far a little bit of confidence gets you.


The amount of women in business board seats has doubled in the past five years in Germany. In January, a new law went into effect there requiring that women hold 30 percent of board seats at the top 100 publicly traded companies. The thing is, a new study found that these seats only comprise of 22 percent of women, which falls seriously short of the new federally mandated quota.

The United States has no such laws. At the top 500 companies, only about 19 percent of board seats are held by women.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Karen Quintos, Chief Customer Officer of Dell

When you think of Dell, what do you think? Chances are you think of computers. But I bet after hearing about today’s Woman to Watch, you’re going to think of one particular word: innovation. Karen Quintos has been with Dell for nearly two decades. In her time in various executive roles, she learned that companies need inclusiveness to succeed, and women bring that to the table.

This is why it is no surprise that Quintos is the founder and executive sponsor of WISE, or Women in Search of Excellence, Dell’s largest employee resource group dedicated to the advancement of women. In 2014, Forbes named her one of its 50 Most Influential CMOs and she was recently promoted from chief marketing officer to chief customer officer, an important new role that leverages her customer-relationship experience and thought leadership in driving corporate citizenship programs, including sustainability, social responsibility, entrepreneurship and diversity. Since she’s the most senior woman at Dell, Quintos feels a responsibility to create a culture that’s not only friendly to women, but one that helps them achieve their goals—even their personal ones. And she’s certainly qualified, as a mother of three and Working Mother Magazine’s 2012 Working Mother of the Year. Anyone in awe yet?

It’s no secret that large corporations, particularly in the tech industry, lack women in key roles, which Quintos attributes to a couple things. First, girls and women have a lack of role models. If, as a girl, you see a woman doing a job, you’re more likely to think you can do it too. Second, she says a company must focus on creating a culture in which women can feel comfortable being, well, women.

Quintos is definitely effecting some change. Dell recently joined a program called MARC, or Men Advocating for Real Change, a community for male professionals to learn how to create an inclusive work environment and honestly discuss the kind of challenges they might face in doing so.

One of the things Quintos practices and encourages other women to do is to put our hands up when we deserve a raise or a promotion or just have something to say. The message is paramount to women’s success in these tough industries: exude confidence.

We are fortunate Quintos has put on her role-model cap and is a testament that women not only belong in the workplace, but that we deserve to be there.


I’ll leave you with this quote by Helen Keller. She said:

“Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence.”

That’s all for now. Be sure to share this so more women can have a voice! Thanks for getting ready with us.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at OnTheDotWoman.com and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

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