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Intel CIO Paula Tolliver: Sponsoring the next generation of women leaders

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Chief Information Officer Paula Tolliver joined Intel 18 months ago. Under her leadership, over 6,000 IT professionals worldwide protect Intel’s assets while accelerating business growth through best-in-class IT solutions and services.

For Women’s History Month, here’s what she has to say about championing women at work and why mentorship/sponsorship is critical.

Q. You’re one of six female Management Committee Members at Intel. How do you champion women at work?

Being a woman, I have a unique interest in gender diversity and not only advancing women inside of Intel, but also helping women choose STEM careers. Frankly, I want to see an overall broader diversity representation in STEM careers.

One of the big things that senior women at Intel are doing is mentoring and sponsoring more. We, along with our male counterparts—BK’s been at the forefront of this—have helped move the needle by talking to women about how they can progress and achieve their career goals. Helping women achieve leadership-level and influential roles in the organization is something that I am particularly passionate about.

Q. What are some of the barriers women face in achieving leadership roles?

Some women may not (or feel they do not) have access to, or have developed, the right mentor and sponsor relationships. They don’t raise their hand enough and advocate for themselves.

Q. How can women prepare for leadership?

Beyond just your given job, you should always be looking for how you could contribute in that next opportunity or expand your skills beyond your core job. You could volunteer for special projects or take that international assignment. Those are all the things that have made me successful and is the general formula I see amongst my peers who have also achieved success.
About the Author
Nisha Desai is an employee communications manager and writer who enjoys finding, shaping, and sharing great stories about Intel’s technology and people.