During our recent trip to Singapore for the Dell Women’s Entrepreneur Network Summit, we caught up with Angela Fox, Senior Vice President & Managing Director, Dell Australia & New Zealand. In this role, she leads the commercial and public sector strategy and direction of the business while maintaining a commitment to keeping customers at the core of what Dell EMC does. Angela has a passion for people management and is a strong advocate for diversity and inclusion. She is also a promoter of mentoring, advocacy and sponsorship, having experienced first‐hand the success these relationships manifest.
My first job was … working in a Chemist in my local town on university holidays.
The biggest thing lesson I have learnt after 13 years of working at Dell is… that no idea is a bad idea.
If I didn’t have the job I have today, I would be a… teacher, I studied a bachelor of science in Zoology and my likely path was to go to be a secondary school science teacher. My brother-in-law’s who were both significant influences at the time when I was graduating encouraged me to go into corporate instead of the public sector, with belief that I could always go back to being a teacher.
My proudest accomplishment is… my successful marriage and my son and daughter.
My boldest move to date was… taking my family on a journey around the world with me. I moved from New Zealand to Australia for my job, I moved from Australia to Singapore and then from Singapore back to Australia.
I am an advocate for diversity and inclusion because… it truly is not only the right thing to do, but it also makes a real difference for business and I want to play a role in making sure that everybody has a place at the table. When I was working for Dell in an Asia Pacific Japan role based out of Sydney, I was on maternity leave after having my daughter Sophie and I was really keen and had really supportive manager to keep me involved in the business. Our business changes with such pace and I didn’t want to come back early from maternity leave but I wanted to create an ongoing connection to the business and so during that period, I worked with the team in Australia to launch the diversity and inclusion council chapter within Australia.
DWEN is important because… it’s an incredible opportunity for women to really be authentic and take away lifetime friendships and business partnerships. They are all able to network in a safe environment, share their views and their stories – the triumphs and the trials.
“I don’t believe success in business comes without the people. Above all else, I remain very available to people – I want to stay getting the insights from every level of the business.”
My favourite thing about this DWEN summit has been… the energy, the enthusiasm, the stories. The stories that we have heard have been so powerful. And also, I just love the Girls Track – to pop in and see these young girls take the journey, scared as anything about what they’re going to present and then see the development that they’ve had, the friendships that they’ve forged in a really short space of time, is beautiful. (Girls Track a supplementary DWEN program available to girls 13 – 18, investing in girls so that their path to entrepreneurship can be a guided one.)
My biggest setback was… moving to Singapore, the organizational structure changing around me and therefore my role changing dramatically and that meant I had to look at what my alternatives were to continue in the company.
I overcame it by… leveraging my network, leveraging my reputation and worked hard to make sure that everybody knew that my future was in the company and I wanted to continue to make a positive difference.
My top 3 tips for women wanting to become leaders in the tech space are …
My greatest advice from a mentor was… to lean in and have a self-belief that you are capable of what at the time you don’t think you are capable of.
If I were to pick one thing that has helped me succeed, it would be… my passion for people. I don’t believe success in business comes without the people. Above all else, I remain very available to people – I want to stay getting the insights from every level of the business. I don’t like the concept of the higher you go, the less you know in the sense of what’s really going on at the grassroots level – that’s where you can find the most amazing insights.
If you googled me, you still wouldn’t know that… that I have a bachelor of science in Zoology.
The future excites me because… when you look at technology and where it’s taking the world. I just think of technology influencing health outcomes, influencing poorer nations and technology is an incredible opportunity to break down barriers.