Mon. Apr 15th, 2024

Name: Adele of Toledo
Post: Country Manager of Pure Storage Iberia
Birthdate: 3/31/1967 Children: two
Hobbies: reading, trekking, golf and paddle tennis
Studies: Degree in Business Administration from the UAM

Interview with Adela de Toledo, Country Manager of Pure Storage Iberia

How did you get into the ICT world? I came to the ICT sector in Spain more than 15 years ago. Before joining Pure Storage as Country Manager for Iberia, I was Sales Director at VMware and Strategic Customer Director at ServiceNow Iberia. A long history now focused on providing Pure customers with a modern data experience through its storage-as-a-service offering in a multicloud environment.What do you value most about your job?What I value most is the opportunity to add value to the people and companies I work with, contributing innovation with a positive impact, both professionally and personally. In this sense, I would say that what I value most is any positive impact on a 360 employment relationship, both with our clients, as well as with our partners and with our employees.In your opinion, what is wrong so that women do not bet more on the study of STEM careers?According to data from the report “X-ray of the gender gap in STEAM training”, from the Ministry of Education, only 25% of STEM career students are women. I believe that one of the main reasons for this inequality is the lack of female role models, girls grow up without having a reference of well-known women who work in this field and, with such low student ratios, it is very likely that in their closest environment nor do they know any women who work in the sector. That is why it is necessary to give more visibility to all those professional women who are and have been part of the sector. Without a doubt, this lack of references also reinforces the gender prejudices of the sector, for which we must also work to break them.Do you think there is a “glass ceiling” in ICT companies? What should be the solution?As the data shows, inequality in the technology sector is a reality: according to the European Statistical Office (Eurostat), only 1.7% of employed and active women work in digital technology environments. However, I believe that the causes are also external, such as the lack of female students in STEM majors. I admit that throughout my career I have had some unpleasant experiences related to the gender gap, such as in one of my previous companies, when I I found out that a colleague earned more than me occupying the same position. Once they notified me, it was soon fixed. However, I am optimistic. Today companies value the best professional, regardless of gender. This is certainly the culture of Pure Storage and I hope it will become a universal model.Can a quota policy solve the problem?In my opinion, quotas help, but we will not achieve the desired results in terms of equality if we do not address the other factors that contribute to inequality. Making professional women more visible, ending gender stereotypes or awakening girls’ interest in STEM subjects from an early age are necessary measures to move towards real equality. Without a global strategy in this regard, quotas will not be the solution.What difficulties did you encounter to get to the position you currently have?On a personal level I have not experienced any obstacles to reach the professional place where I am. As a woman, the main difficulty that we all have to face, in any context, is prejudice, especially pronounced in the technological sector. At Pure Storage we are very committed to advancing diversity and inclusion with the application of programs like Women@Pure, which aims to double the number of women and increase the retention of female talent by offering more rewarding professional experiences for our professionals. Actions aimed at attracting and retaining talent that go directly against stereotypes.What do you value most about your company with regard to the integration of women?Pure Storage has a real commitment to equality and diversity, and therefore to the integration of women, and our company culture takes this very seriously. That is why I am proud to have programs like Women@Pure, which is based on strengthening the presence of women, offering a mentoring program to increase the hiring rates of female professionals, as well as reinforce the retention of female talent. And this is key, as it generates a feeling of belonging and empowerment that drives the creation of community.35% of students do not manage to finish high school or the equivalent FP. Is the problem of the lack of specialized profiles in education?In any aspect of life, motivation is essential, as well as having references and models, especially in a moment of personal transformation such as adolescence. Combining these two aspects, from areas such as school, family and social, can determine success in studies at this age. Undoubtedly, the specialization of teachers is important, but all these factors must be balanced.Have the studies you did help you to carry out your current work?Of course. Although my university studies are not related to the ICT sector, since I studied Business Administration, this learning has been the basis of my subsequent specialization in the technology industry. I have acquired and strengthened my knowledge of the sector throughout my professional career, in which my university education has played a fundamental role.Solve the problem of education in Spain… If you had to advise a young person what to study in order to obtain a stable employment future, where would you guide him?In my opinion, enthusiasm and interest are essential. Therefore, I would advise any young person to choose the career he is going to study based on her interests and abilities, without being influenced by prejudices and gender roles. We all know that the technology sector has a great future, we live in innovation, and both women and men have a place here.Where do you think the ICT sector is going? In your opinion, what are the trends that are really going to transform society?The ICT sector is constantly evolving, every day innovation surprises us from many different angles. And, without a doubt, data and its storage play a key role in all of this. Personally, I think that one of the main trends is going to be the utility of artificial intelligence. As an example, its application in health. Three years have passed since the pandemic began, a situation we could never have imagined, and this has made us reflect on the importance of medical research and how technology can help streamline these processes. In this sense, an improvement in data processing together with artificial intelligence can revolutionize the diagnostic system and treatments and, ultimately, healthcare.AI, automation, robotics, do you really believe that the future depends on people?Absolutely. Technological advances such as AI, automation or robotics lead one to think that people will be left behind, but I don’t see it that way. Innovation and research are essential for the application of these new techniques to be successful. Professional teams, their training and experience will continue to be necessary elements for progress.

By Alvaro Rivers

Award-winning student. Incurable social media fanatic. Music scholar. Beer maven. Writer.