In the Company of Women

by Carrie Bobb

As our family waited for the killer whale show to start at Sea World, we watched a video among a few thousand other people about the ocean. Trivia questions would pop up for the audience to participate. The answer to “If an orca whale and a great white shark got into a fight, who would win?” stopped me dead in my tracks while handing my son popcorn.

Pod of orca whales | Photo credit: Shutterstock

The orca wins every time because the females lead the orca pods. They work together on everything from raising their young to defending the pod. A shark hunts alone and a killer whale hunts with the pod. It’s not a competition. Not even close. Therefore, the orca whale is at the top of the oceanic food chain and has no predator.

It reminded me of lions. When it’s time to hunt, the male lion lets out a roar, clearly staking his claim at the top of the food chain. It can be heard up to five miles away and causes prey to hightail it in the opposite direction.

But it is the pride, the group of lionesses, that are the hunters, hidden in the tall grass motionless waiting and working together for their prey. The lion is at the top of the African savanna food chain.[1]

As part of Intel’s blog, We Are Intel, the company wrote, “At Intel, our vision is simple and direct: diversity drives innovation…We need different creative prospectives, and that means building a workplace where diversity and inclusion thrive.”[2]

In the Company of Women by Grace Bonney | Photo credit: Halli Photo & Co.

As part of the company’s Diversity & Inclusion report, “Intel has achieved full representation in its US workforce two years ahead of its 2020 goal. The company’s workforce now reflects the percent of women and underrepresented minorities available in the US skilled labor market.”

It went on to say, “Retention of women also continues to be a priority at Intel…The company offers several programs to support women through career progression, including ‘Pay It Forward’, a mentoring program scaled to support 6,000 female mid-level employees, and ‘Women at Intel Network.’” It is worth noting that the Women at Intel Network is the company’s largest employee resource group supporting more than 7,000 employees globally.[3]

With annual sales exceeding $70 billion a year, Intel is easily the largest semiconductor company in the world. The company has been listed as Best Employers for Diversity, World’s Best Employers, Best Employers for New Grads, Best Employers for Women, World’s Most Valuable Brands, America’s Best Employers, America’s Largest Public Companies and many others.

Having met with Intel and witnessed their company culture, I can attest to how much their employees love the company. I mean, they genuinely love working at Intel. The value of diversity is evident meeting with people, walking through their campus and participating in corporate settings.

The top of the food chain is not female. The companies (or species) are those who have females working well together.

HOW TO BUILD A CULTURE FOR WOMEN TO COLLABORATE

Foster a culture of teamwork. Women’s networks and organizations supporting women within companies are because it creates an environment for ideas and bridging gaps where the results can be exponential. Carve out space for workshops or business planning sessions where women can come up with new ways to work together to hunt, protect the pack and grow the company.

Reese Witherspoon & advocating for women | Source: vogue.com

Community over competition. Women can be our own worst enemy. We have all seen mean girls in middle school and in the office. This is different than competition. Fostering community builds trust so together we can compete strong. We don’t benefit if we are competing with each other. Strong community builds stronger individuals with more confidence to express ideas and drive results. Kim Scott put it this way, “If you want your team to achieve something bigger than you could achieve alone, if you want to ‘burst the bounds of your brain,’ you have to care about the people you are working with.” Curating a community makes room for companies to achieve bigger things together.

Leave space. When we fill up every inch of our calendars or agendas with how we think something should be done or how it should look, we don’t leave room for something better. And it’s simply because we can’t see it. By creating space and leaving room for diversity and inclusion in our companies, we are leaving room for better.

When women work together, not just for the common good of women, but for the good of the entire pack, magic happens. Companies who see it and embrace it grow closer to the top of the food chain. Or in Intel’s case, remain at the top. 

Photo credit: Halli Photo & Co.

Carrie is the founder and CEO of Carrie Bobb & Co. She is passionate about companies who do good, empowering people and she is a consumer behavior analytics nerd.

She has closed over $2 billion in total consideration throughout her career. Carrie has completed transactions with brands such as Sephora, SoulCycle, Drybar, Fox Restaurant Concepts, Restoration Hardware and many others. She has implemented leasing strategies through social media and online influencer programming on several projects. She was named one of San Diego’s Power Women in Real Estate and received her MBA from the University of San Diego. Carrie lives in San Diego with her husband, Matt, their three inquisitively adventurous kids and one joyful golden doodle.

[1] https://study.com/academy/lesson/the-food-chain-of-a-lion.html

[2] https://blogs.intel.com/jobs/2018/07/women-of-intel/#gs.wiydx8

[3] https://newsroom.intel.com/news/intel-achieves-goal-full-us-workforce-representation-notes-just-beginning/#gs.wiyr2z