Every day, Equinix Chief Sales Officer Mike Campbell is challenging the norm in the male-dominated technology industry by emphasizing cooperation and diversity on his teams. He says Equinix, the global interconnection and data center company, is the perfect place to do so.
According to Campbell, Equinix’s 20+ year-long success isn’t only based on its business approach but on its “secret sauce”—the Equinix culture. Fueled by authentic and humble people who share a passion for winning, the company’s culture didn’t just happen by accident. As all allies know, diversity takes work, especially when you’re fighting industry norms.
We spoke to Campbell about how companies can achieve a more gender-diverse workforce, the tactics he’s used on his own team and what Equinix is doing to support women. He also shared the advice he has for women breaking into traditionally male-dominated industries and three ways male leaders can become more intentional allies to women at work.
What do you do at Equinix?
I am fortunate to lead the sales organization at Equinix. After selling technology solutions for more years than one should admit, my belief is that solution-based selling and keeping customers at the center of everything we do is paramount to success. The company’s success over 20+ years is a reflection of smart and driven colleagues, the best partners in the business and a leadership team that is second to none. Our secret sauce, though, is our culture. It is fueled by authentic and humble people who share a passion for winning and want to be trusted advisors to customers. It is a place where the whole team works hard, has fun and stretches to be the best we can be every day.
Fairygodboss is all about helping women build their careers; what can companies do to achieve a more gender-balanced workforce?
First of all, make sure you’re recruiting in different places to help discover a diverse candidate pool. Websites like Fairygodboss are great because we see very qualified women who could be excellent additions to our team. Second, hire women, give them opportunities to succeed and promote them until they reach the top. Our employee set—especially in Global Sales—should reflect the customers who buy from us. Equally important, company leaders must ensure a safe and inclusive workplace for everyone.
How is Equinix a particularly supportive place for women employees?
Equinix celebrates diversity in all forms and we encourage our employees to celebrate their similarities and their differences. From our “Pride Connect” organization to the “Diversity Inclusion and Belonging” team, we want every person at Equinix to feel safe and know they matter.
We also believe it’s important for women to have a channel to connect, mentor each other and lift each other up. We have several employee-led organizations for women—Equinix Women Leaders and Global-IT Women for example—offering programs for networking as well as personal and professional growth. All Equinix senior leaders, both women and men, support these organizations and meet with them often. The great thing is that we value our time together and always learn from each other.
What advice do you have for women who want careers in the technology industry?
Honestly, the best advice applies to every person interviewing for a new job. Have no fear. You have studied hard in school, worked hard to learn your craft and built your career. Own that experience and be confident in the interview. And, if necessary, fight for what you want. At the end of the day, I will give women in the workforce the same advice I give my two daughters, spoken by Eleanor Roosevelt: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
What’s your advice for men who want to be allies to women at work, but aren’t sure of what to do or where to start?
Being an ally is all about cooperation and working together for the same goal. This is expected from everyone on my team. The best ways we can be allies is to learn from each other; ask questions to better understand our experiences, points of view or references; and, most important, maintain mutual respect.
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