Stuart NyemeczAt Dell Technologies Stuart Nyemecz leads the Enterprise Business in the UK.

Ultimately, they help leading companies deal with the myriad of challenges around realising their Digital Transformation, and in the Enterprise division, they work with the largest and most complex organisations globally. Stuart is responsible for our largest customer relationships, for developing value propositions for the UKI market, setting business development strategy and driving talent development for the customer facing teams. He is a Board Member, a Diversity Champion and spokesperson for Dell Technologies, and he plays an active part in a number of EMEA and Global leadership committees.

Stuart Nyemecz is an advocate of balancing a strong work ethic with time for family and adventure, having taken a six-month sabbatical with his own young family to travel the world. He is privileged to be able to use his professional platform to help drive his personal passion in creating a fairer world for his daughters. Stuart holds a BSc in Computer Science from Durham University and an alumni of Cranfield Business School.

Why do you support the HeForShe campaign?

I support HeForShe from a business perspective as a leader because I am a strong believer in innovation to drive business performance. Innovation comes from the successful execution of new ideas; diversity of talent brings increased diversity of ideas and therefore helps to find new solutions and accelerate progress. I enjoy working in an environment that is representative of the real world we live in and reflects the customers and partners that we have the privilege to support. From a personal perspective, growing up in London and being part of a diverse and multi-cultural community has always been my own normal. I have a wife that works in Finance in the City, and we have two young daughters that are still in primary education, so want to do my part to create a fairer world for them to fulfil their potential.

Why do you think it’s important for men to support gender equality in the workplace?

Gender Equality isn’t a female problem, it is a collective problem as with any form of inequality, which whether we realise it or not prevents real inclusive progress; so, it falls on all of us, men included, to help address it. Given that in most workplaces, men still make up the majority of the workforce, it is even more important that men are dialled into and supportive of these efforts if we are to collectively address the balance so that we are not just talking about it but pro-actively putting in measures & environments that support the recruitment & career progression of our female colleagues.

How welcome are men in the gender equality conversation currently?

I have personally always been made to feel extremely welcome in supporting these conversations. I currently sit as part of the leadership team on two steering boards; one more generally around all aspects of diversity and inclusion, and one more specifically focused on gender diversity and supporting the creation of an environment that allows the women in our business the opportunity to fulfil their potential without gender barriers in place.

I am acutely aware that there is a limit to how comprehensively I can truly understand the challenges from a female perspective, and I think at times men can feel self-conscious about this. We must strike a balance between effective advocacy and our own awareness about voicing an opinion on areas that we may not have directly experienced. I have always found however, that if your views are well-intentioned, and your actions genuine, then your support is rarely questioned and the more support we can garner the better. By being open and part of the conversation, we are all in a much better position to support progress.

Do you think groups/networks that include the words “women in…” or “females in…” make men feel like gender equality isn’t really their problem or something they need to help with?

I personally don’t subscribe to the view that the name changes the emphasis for who is responsible for solving the problem. That isn’t to say the naming convention isn’t important. I have found the name of the group alone can put some people off from initially approaching a network or community, as they sometimes feel that if they don’t fall into the demographic represented by the name, then they somehow don’t qualify to be part of the group and contribute.

What can businesses do to encourage more men to feel welcome enough to get involved in the gender debate?

Firstly, it is about creating an environment where everyone can feel safe and secure about sharing their views, creating that trust that allows everyone to be themselves, so that they won’t be judged.

Secondly, I think it is important that men aren’t being positioned as, or seen as the enemy, that men are somehow broken, and that we need to fix the men to fix the issue. The systemic challenges we face in addressing the gender inequality issue extend well beyond the walls of the office and are established well before people enter the world of work. Once that is understood and established then it isn’t about pointing the finger, it is about what we can do to collectively to address it.

Thirdly, we need more influential male role models, visibly and actively supporting these topics, not just in words, but in their actions. That doesn’t necessarily mean more men taking centre stage, but it is important that they play an active supporting role.

Lastly, with any group of society that hold a majority position within a space, they have an inherent responsibility to encourage the inclusion on those who are underrepresented. Whilst women tend to be the minority in the workplace in general, they are often the majority in the groups focused on this debate, so they by actively encouraging men to join the debate they can start to broaden that conversation. Some men, depending on their background, don’t know what it’s like to sit within a group who are underrepresented, so it is amazing how easily it can be to feel intimated in that situation. Luckily, living in a household with three strong females, I am pretty much used to being in the minority these days and am well accustomed to it!

Do you currently mentor any women or have you in the past?

Yes. I currently have three women that I mentor, along with two men. The three women I mentor are at very different stages of their working career, however, all share the common goal of being the best they can be and fulfil their potential, whether they are just starting out in the world of work or are looking to finish their career having achieved or exceeded the expectations they set out with for themselves.

Internally, I have just championed a collaboration app in collaboration with Natalie Eicher, the CEO of Mettacool, which helps to connect Mentors and Mentees across the organisation. We use this platform to help open-up and expand the Network for Female Talent, creating new relationships, new sponsors, and identifying opportunities to further their career and fulfil their potential.

Have you noticed any difference in mentoring women – for example, are women less likely to put themselves forward for jobs that are out of their comfort zones or are women less likely to identify senior roles that they would be suited for?

I find that every individual I mentor now, or have mentored in the past, irrespective of gender, are different in how they view their own capability and how they promote themselves or put their names into contention for certain roles.

Whilst I tend to try and avoid generalisations, from my own personal recent experience, the female mentees I have worked with tend to demonstrate far greater levels of humility, to the point of underestimating their own capability, and as a result don’t put themselves forward as readily as their male counterparts. That is why I believe that in addition to the investments an individual can make in their own career, companies need to develop a proactive and programmatic approach to ensure that every individual within their organisation is encouraged to be the very best they can be, whatever their personal level of ambition is.

WeAreTechWomen has a back catalogue of thousands of HeForShe interviews, including Christian Edelmann, George Brasher, Stephen Mercer and many more. You can read about all the amazing men championing gender equality here.