Intelligent CIO Europe Issue 65 | Page 82

the 2,000 people surveyed reported an improvement in their mental health . This is the biggest , most transformational opportunity for workers that we ’ ve had for generations . Henry Ford was the first advocate for the 9 – 5 and that was almost 100 years ago . We can ’ t let this opportunity for change fall by the wayside .
What do you think is the current hot talking point within the enterprise tech space ?
Conversations around AI are happening absolutely everywhere at the moment . We ’ ve known it was coming and now we see its power when we apply it in business : driving productivity , for example , and supporting the customer experience . It ’ s going to be fascinating to watch how it ’ s influencing companies ’ D , E & I goals too : it could help write job descriptions without unconscious bias ; it can support neurodivergent workers with editing and proofing content and it can boost accessibility .
Also , ESG continues to dominate conversations across the industry and will continue to do so as we find better , cleaner , sustainable ways of working and work hard to overcome disparity and inequity at every level . One study I read recently by Vandana Singh at the University of Tennessee found that ‘ Women make up only 27 % of the workforce in the technology industry . Half of them are likely to quit before the age of 35 and 56 % are likely to quit by midcareer .’ We need to get to the point where this isn ’ t even a discussion topic because we ’ ve removed the barriers that drive inequality , but as an industry we ’ re still a long way off .
How do you deal with stress and unwind outside the office ?
I ’ ve always enjoyed sport and believe that there ’ s a huge connection between body and mind . I love lifting weights , HIIT workouts and long walks in the morning to get my day started . I also believe that a few minutes of breathing and meditation set the stage for a more thoughtful approach to people and projects . I use various apps like Calm and Balance and follow Sadhguru or Wim Hof .
I also believe that not all stress is ‘ bad ’. Stress can be good if you have the right mindset towards it . It can help you grow , create deeper connections with others and enable you to challenge yourself . If seen as good , Kelly McGonigal , a professor from Standford , tells us that it can create the hormone Oxytocin , that can make you live longer . So , in my mind – stress is a fundamental part of our life essence and the more positively you can respond to it , the better of you will be .
What do you currently identify as the major areas of investment in your industry ?
As digitalisation accelerates and disruptive technologies like AI and IoT become widely used across business and society , we ’ ll need greater , faster , secure infrastructure which interconnects seamlessly across different regions with different providers . We ’ ve seen how quickly the world can change , so flexibility and ‘ on demand ’ is critical . But it ’ s not about more cables in the ground : it ’ s about finding intelligent , connected , sustainable ways to do things – smart buildings , connected cities , Industry 4.0 for example . If we don ’ t do this , the impact on our planet could be devastating .
What are the region-specific challenges you encounter in your role ?
We have over 5,000 employees working remotely and in 66 offices across the world . Our digital infrastructure connects 32 countries , 22 cities and 31,000 buildings – so we understand the different regulations , economic drivers , cultures , customs and nuances across our markets . Every region has its own challenges and we all share a common goal of connecting with purpose . Although we look for what we have in common , we also celebrate our diversity as a business .
If I were to outline one common challenge that we see it is that of language and time zones . Running a global business requires you to think about ‘ human hours ’ for when you ask others to work and when you work . It also requires you to speak slower and simpler and enable next-generation technologies for translation so that English as a second language is not seen as an inhibitor to career growth .
What changes to your job role have you seen in the last year and how do you see these developing in the coming months ?
It ’ s incredibly exciting leading the team behind our proposed acquisition of Lumen EMEA and I ’ m looking forward to driving this through to completion as we work through regulatory requirements in different markets . This has shifted my priorities for the year . As a business , we ’ ve repositioned ourselves from a telecoms company to a digital infrastructure business , so I ’ m driving that culture change across the business . At a broader level , I ’ m being called on more and more to speak at events and on panels about how the industry can do more to drive diversity and our talent problem . We ’ re not there yet , but I ’ m determined to close the gap . p
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