Delphine is a people-first leader with over 25 years experience in consumer electronics. Lived and worked in China, North America, and Europe she has transformed many global businesses leading innovation and forming cross-functional global teams. Today, she leads Logitech’s biggest business group, Personal Workspace Solutions (>2bn$).

Tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your current role

My name is Delphine Donné and I lead Logitech’s Personal Workspace Solutions business group. I am also a mum of two kids and I live in Switzerland. I have more than two decades of experience in the tech industry across different companies and I was fortunate to live and work in different regions of the world: North America, Asia, Europe. On top of being an amazing experience both professionally and personally, this journey shaped my belief in tech and my mission. Few industries have the power to make a real impact on people’s lives like technology. And this is what drives me every day: create simple and intuitive solutions that enable all people to work, create and learn from anywhere.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

At the age of 14, I had this idea of being an international business leader, and I never lost sight of this idea. The evolution of my career was more of a discovery journey… I started by accident as a product manager in Tech and then the passion drove me from one opportunity to another. I didn’t have a plan other than the countries I wanted to live in and the jobs I didn’t want to do. I was more focused on the success of the business or product I was working on, and the great leaders I worked for gave me new opportunities to grow. It was later in my career that I started to have a plan for the next steps and I had to learn to be more patient… This moment of reflection, taking the time to understand the bigger picture, can bring new perspectives and get you to overcome obstacles and continue to progress and grow.

Have you faced any career challenges along the way and how did you overcome these?

The hardest times are not necessarily when you first start your journey but rather when you start growing and reach a plateau. This is for me the most challenging every time. At this moment, impatience becomes your biggest threat to future growth. Instead, you need to step back, empower, and trust your team to come up with the best ideas. I learned that having patience, trusting your new team, and taking the time to understand different perspectives and ways of working are fundamental to personal growth. And once you perform as one team, you achieve miracles… the positive energy of the people I work with gives me the strength to move mountains.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

This is a great and tough question to answer. Maybe two things: First of all, I am glad I had the opportunity to work in many countries in different roles. And I am very proud to lead a passionate team of very diverse and talented people together working towards our defined mission. My team today accounts for 53% women, 30+ nationalities and around 80% non-native English speakers. The richness and creativity these sparks are invaluable and essential to driving inclusive innovation. I do not believe in one-size-fits-all and this is reflected in how we innovate as a team and how the teams themselves are organized.

What one thing do you believe has been a major factor in you achieving success?

It’s not just one thing… Passion, resilience, tenacity and great teamwork! There is only so much you can accomplish as an individual, the impact you can make as a team is far greater. Following the same mission with a passionate team, open to feedback, resilient and tenacious will bring the most difficult project to success. A brilliant example of this is our recent innovation. Born during the pandemic to help women deal with the struggles they faced, often leaving them with no dedicated workspace at home. With a diverse multifunctional team, we worked towards generating deep insights that would help us develop a meaningful solution, simple and intuitive, durable, compact, environment-friendly, ergonomic, aesthetically pleasing and x-os compatible. As the process evolved so did the solution: It became relevant to a much bigger audience. People with limited space seek comfort, flexibility, and productivity without turning their home into an office. It is called the Casa (Spanish for Home) Pop-Up Desk, an innovative foldaway desk kit with your work-from-home essentials (keyboard, touchpad and laptop stand).

What top tips would you give to an individual who is trying to excel in their career in technology?

  1. Always think about people first: the team, the company’s culture, and the audience you want to reach.
  2. Have the passion for what you do: Be authentic about the role you want to play, the passion that drives you.
  3. Always dream bigger: A bigger dream forces you to relook at your strategy, team organization, capabilities, talents, and priorities.
  1. Strive for excellence & always aim for intuitive design & experience: I am not a fan of launching a product half-baked and letting the customers have a disappointing first experience. We can always improve any new product but it’s best to have a strong start.
  2. Do the right thing for the planet and for all people.

Do you believe there are still barriers to success for women working in tech, if so, how can these barriers be overcome?

It is my opinion that conscious and unconscious bias pose the greatest challenges. According to a study we posted recently, nine out of ten women have experienced microaggressions at work. This must stop. It is more critical than ever that we make inclusivity pervasive. Whether at school, at work, or anywhere else, we must cultivate an inclusive and collaborative environment that encourages and enables everyone to speak up openly and confidentially. It is essential to train people – men and women – to become aware of their biases and to be able to adapt. Furthermore, our leaders must embrace the feedback they receive and walk the talk. Leadership means knowing that your leaders are there for you, that they listen, and that they act. Considering how underrepresented women are in tech, having access to a women-friendly community can serve as an additional source of support to help them deal with the challenges they may face.

What do you think companies can do to support the progress of the careers of women working in technology?

I would say the key is flexibility. I have seen it for myself in many ways: working from home helped me to balance private and work life so much better. Looking at my organization offering flexibility helps me to form a much more diverse team: My head of software, head of UX Design and head of marketing, all very talented women, work in different models, either fully remote (UK and US) or hybrid with some days in our office in Lausanne and from home.

The progress of women in their careers is greatly enhanced by the support and collaboration of male allies. Although sisterhood and women’s empowerment initiatives foster unity, the engagement of men in advocating for gender equality is equally indispensable. Consequently, the synergy between sisterhood, women’s support networks and male allies remains pivotal in propelling women towards meaningful career progress.

There are currently only 21 per cent of women working in tech. If you could wave a magic wand, what is the one thing you would do to accelerate the pace of change for women in the industry?

If I had a magic wand, I would change the way we teach STEM classes to attract more women. Technology is an enabler of creating incredible magical experiences which enhance people’s lives. It’s fascinating and we need young women to understand the impact they can have by joining this field. Even though I would love a magic wand of such power, let me share something more realizable: In my view, the move to hybrid work has the potential to significantly hasten progress in our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives. If I had a magic wand, I would use it to ensure that everyone is engaged and actively contributing to the flourishing of DEI in this evolving work setup. We have a unique chance to create a better future by having open discussions, fostering understanding, and breaking down barriers. As we navigate this transformative landscape, our joint efforts to promote diversity and empower every voice become the cornerstone of a more inclusive and equitable workplace culture.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech, e.g. Podcasts, networking events, books, conferences, websites etc?

Get Mentor and Sponsorship: Women tend to be over-mentored and under-sponsored. It is important to have both. Preferably you have a good mix of both men and women.
Be part of an ERG: Employee Resource Groups or COmmunities. Offer the opportunity to women to connect in a safe environment to discuss, learn and grow.

Follow Role-Models: Get inspiration and motivation from following role models in the industry, in your country.
Attend conferences: They are great to break out of the day-to-day business and help you broaden your network. There is for example the Women in Tech World Series, the WIN conference, or the Global Women in Tech Summit. Depending on where you are in your career you might choose to attend one or the other.

Lastly, there is a book that I have recently read and had the pleasure of meeting its author: It is called “Why men win at work” written by Gill Whitty-Collins. It looks beyond the facts and figures on gender inequality and uncovers the invisible, unconscious and unintended barriers that sabotage us in the workplace and limit our shared success. It is provocative and eye-opening in so many ways. A must-read for everyone.

Read more about our inspirational women here.