Adrienne Gormley, Dropbox
6th August 2019
As part of our WMB Gender Diversity Ambassador series, Adrienne Gormley tells us about her role at Dropbox, her thoughts on diversity and her vision for the future.
Describe your current role at Dropbox
I am the Head of EMEA for Dropbox for the past year as well as Vice-President of Global Customer Experience. My day involves working across the functions in EMEA to drive great culture, great business and great customer experience for our Dropbox customers in the region. In my global role, my teams drive great customer experience for our customers across the world.
What’s the size and scope of the operation?
Dropbox is a modern workspace designed to reduce busywork – so you can focus on the things that matter. Dropbox has over 500 million users worldwide and over 400,000 teams use Dropbox Business.
How important is it to have role models in business today?
It’s extremely important to have people to learn from and get valuable career advice. I look at the people around me who I work with on a daily basis – these are my role models. I also mentor people, but I particularly enjoy that I am also learning from the conversations I have with my mentees.
What motivates you?
I love to continue to learn and develop my skill set, but what truly motivates me is taking on a challenge, beating my problems and learning from those experiences. Not only do I have a sense of achievement, but I also enjoy looking back at how I can help others on their journey and overcome problems.
How important is it to invest in technology?
It’s critical to have the right technologies at your fingertips. The work environment has been completely revolutionised in the past 10 years, and now the opportunities are endless. We can truly work flexibly across geographies and timezones, but also collaborate with colleagues and partners like never before. Technology is an enabler to being able to work more effectively, collaborate easily and search for content quickly.
How important is it to have other women visible at management level?
It’s critically important from a diversity point, to ensure different skills and leadership styles are displayed. Also, women being in leadership roles is really important for the next generation of women who want to be inspired and have other women to look to and learn from.
How has Dropbox evolved to accommodate the changing needs of its customers, and it’s employees?
I’ve been part of the Dropbox mission for the past 5 years, and I have seen our product evolve as we continue our journey of solving some of the ‘workaboutwork’ that is now part of day to day work life. We have built our product on customer insights and feedback, and have great customer-focused teams looking after our customers across the world. Internally at Dropbox we have put a lot of time into creating an environment that has culture at the heart of day to day life. We have truly flexible working, a focus on learning and development as well as a safe environment for employees to experiment and fail, without being judged.
How does Dropbox attract and retain female talent?
We focus on diversity as a key pillar in our recruitment process. We ensure our job specifications are open and inclusive, and give unconscious bias training to everyone in Dropbox. We also have moderators who oversee the roles we are hiring for. In terms of retaining talent, we look at detailed data around performance reviews and promotion rates to ensure there is no bias.
What attributes should a person have to succeed in business today?
Be curious and open to change! Work is changing at such a pace now, there are amazing opportunities for anyone ready to take a risk and change the norm. Emotional intelligence is also really important, when it comes to being a leader, you have to invest in developing your emotional intelligence skillset and figure out how to succeed through others.
Best piece of advice?
You are the person that cares about your career the most, and you need to own your journey. You will meet people along your journey who can help and support, but you are the only constant.