Inspirational Woman: Trish Blomfield | General Manager, Intel UK

Trish BloomfieldIn her current role as UK General Manager, Trish is responsible for all elements of Intel’s operations in the United Kingdom.

Trish’s remit spans UK sales, acting as Intel’s main UK media spokesperson, building the UK customer pipeline, and managing the overall financial performance of the UK business.

Trish is a passionate advocate of the importance of customer-centricity, having held integral sales roles at Intel in both the UK and in Asia. Trish passionately believes that in the era where the customer is an active business stakeholder, she needs to work with Intel clients to enable them to excel in delivering this new, unspoken contract between the client & their consumer.

Trish is also a major champion of Intel’s diversity and inclusion initiatives. She is integral to Intel’s progressive mindset in creating an inclusive company culture and environment that sets senior female executives up to thrive.

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

My career has always been in technology and I’ve now been with Intel for over 15 years. Before taking on the UK Country Manager role, I was based in Asia where I held sales roles across Intel’s Asia-Pacific operations. Most recently, I ran sales for Intel’s Internet of Things Group in Asia, and prior to that, I held Sales Director positions in Taiwan, growing business with Intel’s major client and data centre customers, and in the PRC, partnering with the fast-growing China technology ecosystem.

I have spent much of my time at Intel with our customers, listening, learning, and anticipating their needs. Focus on customers is my north star and it’s more exciting than ever to work with our innovative partners in a world that’s increasingly digital.

When I took on my current role, it represented a return to the UK in many ways – my father was British, I received my university education here, and my first job in technology was also in the UK. In my role today, I’m responsible for Intel’s business growth across all segments of the market for technology solutions in the UK, and it feels wonderful to be back.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?  

No, but I’ve always been curious about what’s next, and keen to learn and grow. As an undergraduate, I was lucky to be offered programming electives and to have heard Prof. Peter Haggett lecture at Bristol on infectious disease modelling. His comments, so topical now, on how data and fast, reliable models could better inform disease control have stuck with me. It’s that constant innovation to solve big problems, with new and better things always coming up, that fuels Intel’s purpose of creating world-changing technology to enrich the lives of every person on earth.

While I didn’t sit down and plan a career, I do try to sit down and think about ‘what’s the next thing coming and what do I need to know about it?’ I’ve applied this approach to how we work with partners, understanding what’s keeping them up at night, and what we can do to meet their needs. Thinking about technology today and what I think is coming up next, it’s about AI, cloud, connectivity and intelligent edge – these are the transformative ‘superpowers’ that Intel’s working to address in our portfolio.

For anyone considering a career in this business, get ready for constant change and keep your hunger to understand the technologies changing and shaping our futures.

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

During the era, I worked at a startup, completed two merger and acquisitions, and structured a recovery from bankruptcy, in the space of about four years. I should clarify that the bankruptcy was unrelated to the other activities, but each of these was a major undertaking. There were many anxious periods, but through these you learn to overcome challenges that might feel unsurmountable. Those periods of intensity, or when things may feel quite low, can also be the moments where you’re propelled onto the next high. During those defining periods, you learn what you’re capable of, you forge relationships, and these can set the stage for the next big career trajectory.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

Becoming Intel UK Country Manager has been a significant achievement for me. I am lucky to be leading a sales organisation filled with world-class talent, driving innovation and positive change in one of the biggest markets for technology, and with some of the biggest customers in the world. On a personal level, when I told my mother about this appointment, she told me this was a wonderful opportunity to give back, and I like to think that my British father would have been proud of me.

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

Not standing still has been a constant for me in my career, and that probably rings true for anyone with a successful career in technology. You have got to keep adapting, innovating, learning, and moving forwards. Whether it’s looking inwards and identifying the skills or technologies you need to master or looking externally at the products and services that you need to make available to your customers.

This is a mindset that’s integral to successful technology businesses: without a growth and innovation mentality, and, of course, a focus on customers, success can’t last.

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

Come join us at Intel! And don’t stand still once you’re in. From day one, keep learning.

Someone asked me recently “what does Intel think about upskilling”, and I told them that the day I joined Intel I had a learning programme handed to me, and it’s continued ever since.

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

Yes, there are still barriers. It’s heartening to see more women in leadership in so many sectors of society, but we have more work to do on female representation in the tech sector.

The UK’s technology industry is thriving, and we want women to thrive with it. We want to encourage women to enter the industry, contributing their diverse perspectives to the UK’s success, and to thrive in their technology careers. In 2020, 47% of all our UK hires were female, an increase of 2% YoY – but we recognise there is more work to do. We need to start early with education, to counter gender stereotypes that discourage girls from STEM, and to have recruitment into the industry that’s unbiased.

And once women are in, we need to ensure that the tech industry culture is inclusive and supportive of female progression into senior leadership roles. Gender pay equity is a critical part of this and Intel, including the UK organisation, has achieved gender pay equity globally since 2019. Also, having female role models is so important – Intel’s working to our 2030 goals of increasing the number of women in technical roles to 40%, and doubling the number of women and underrepresented minorities in senior leadership.

There is currently only 17 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?

Unfortunately, there is no magic wand – this is going to take real hard work to address all the barriers that we talked about earlier. It also takes an industry working together in partnership for D&I. As an example, Intel launched the Alliance for Global Inclusion in 2021. The belief is we can accelerate inclusive business practices by having collective goals, transparency in reporting progress, and sharing best practice.

There is something magical about Intel’s Women at Intel Network though. This year we’re celebrating 25 years of our WIN and the magic is from a community that supports women to achieve their full potential. Our UK WIN chapter is open to men and women who support the WIN mission to promote, empower, and retain female talent. More than 20% of our workforce engage in the annual WIN Conference, tech talks, newsletters, podcasts, networking, and leadership trainings, and through the pandemic we’ve increased support on mental health topics.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

Absolutely I recommend having a supportive network. I am so thankful for Intel’s [email protected] community and I really encourage any woman working in technology to make the best use of any internal resources available to them. If that’s unavailable, be proactive – reach out to women you admire, seek mentorship, read biographies of women you find inspirational.

I like to jog and will often listen to podcasts out on a run like the HBR Women at Work and the Exponential View podcasts. And, of course, your customers are a fantastic resource – listen to them and find out what they’re excited about and figure out how to help.

I’m glad that resources like We Are Tech Women are available to women in the UK as a platform to lift each other up. We will achieve faster progress as an industry if we support each other and work together.

Inspirational Woman: Sara Dalmasso | General Manager & Vice President, Omnicell International

Sara DalmassoI have over 20 years of digital and healthcare experience and previously worked in senior leadership roles for companies such as GE Healthcare.

I hold an MsC in Management, International Business from ESSCA in France and Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. I am also certified as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt. Since 2020 I have been running Omnicell International. We are a leading provider of drug distribution management solutions around the world. Today, more than 7,000 institutions use our automation and data analytics solutions to increase operational efficiency, reduce medication errors, deliver actionable intelligence and improve patient safety.

Did you ever sit down and plan your career?

No, I never sat down and planned it. The only thing I knew is that I didn’t want to do the same thing my whole career. I was fortunate to meet some great leaders, men and women, who pushed me to achieve more, develop myself and give me fantastic opportunities.

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

I had a manager that didn’t want me to evolve despite me asking for job opportunities. I had to find opportunities so I started working and leading cross functional projects that went beyond my job description. This gave me some great exposure to leaders and broadened my experience enabling me to find opportunities outside my department.

What has been your biggest career achievement to date?

I was promoted to a role leading very technical teams when I didn’t have a technical nor services delivery background. I didn’t feel competent for it because I felt I was an impostor. I was open and honest with my team about it. To address it I immersed myself with the teams to understand what they were doing. I went to customers with them and learned on-the-job while trying to help the team the best way I could with the experience I did have - decision making, communication, relationship building with customers. After a few months I felt accepted by the team and by the customers which was a great achievement.

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

The ability to step out of my comfort zone and learn on the job.

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

Believe in yourself:  if someone is offering you an opportunity, it means they believe you can achieve this (even if you don’t).  And be bold, you can learn tech and leadership on-the-go.

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

Yes, I believe there are still some barriers, likely due to a combination of historical and cultural factors. When tech development really took off in the 60s, women were still denied access to the business world. Furthermore, engineering schools are dominated by men worldwide, and the pop-culture representations that associate tech with an essentially masculine universe (think geek archetype or Zuckerbergian hero), do not inspire women to pursue a career in tech. We need to focus on the new female stars emerging and advancing the cause of women in tech. In addition, we need to recognise that digital is now everywhere, from commercial functions to marketing to finance, which presents an extraordinary opportunity for women because it is turning the tables. We need to keep the momentum going in terms of continuing to change attitudes, both from within the industry and wider society.

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

Every company and its leaders should lead by example as everybody will be watching them. If you don’t treat women the right way then there is no way you are going to foster the right gender diversity in the company and drive parity.

We are working on our own plan to support women in careers in tech which other companies could also adopt. At Omnicell, HR will now not conduct an interview without at least one female candidate in the running. We are also providing in-house training to provide the best opportunities for the women we recruit. Lastly, we are working as closely as we can with schools in terms of preparing female pupils for roles in the digital/technology industries in order to help encourage future generations of women into careers in tech, to show them that they truly do have a place in the digital sectors.

There are currently only 17 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?

Gender diversity. It’s not only my problem because I am a woman, it’s everybody’s problem. We all need to act to make the change – men and women alike.  We need to look at introducing quotas. We are so far behind in some countries that if we don’t introduce quotas, I’m not going to be here to see parity. Some will say that quotas might influence performance negatively, I strongly disagree. Quotas are the only way we are going to be forced to look for talented women (vs candidates coming to us), and believe me, there are as many talented women in tech as there are talented men.

What resources do you recommend for women working in tech?

I recently joined the International Women’s Forum in France, which works tirelessly to promote parity in traditionally male-dominated sectors and I would encourage other women working in tech to do the same. Being a member engenders a real sense of community and it has made me even more determined to move things forward. The IWF recently put on the annual Assises de la Parité conference in Paris which I attended and it was a really positive experience. It brought together companies and start-ups, experts, journalists and politicians in a space where we could exchange and share our views and experiences and stimulate a new dynamic for parity. The power of the network is beyond what you could imagine.

Also, I follow a few podcasts: “Finding Mastery” by Michael Gervais is one of my favourites. He interviews people excelling in the most hostile environments to discover the mental skills used to push the boundaries. Another one is “Dare to lead” by Brene Brown. Brene is having conversations with some passionate transformers, change catalysts and troublemakers who are innovating and daring to lead.

WeAreTechWomen has a back catalogue of thousands of Inspirational Woman interviews, including Professor Sue Black OBE, Debbie Forster MBE, Jacqueline de Rojas CBE, Dr Anne-Marie Imafidon MBE and many more. You can read about all our amazing women here