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Pandemic Response Exemplifies Strength of Keysight’s Women Leaders

2020-03-24  |  5 min read 

The global spread of COVID-19 is unprecedented in modern times, affecting individuals, communities and businesses worldwide. From a corporate perspective, companies are frantically managing their business response, engaging continuity plans and navigating a complex and highly volatile landscape of business aspects. Keysight is no different, with our Global Crisis Management Team (GCMT) and other key personnel working exhaustingly long hours to ensure employee health and safety, as well as continued support of our customers, shareholders, suppliers and communities. What I find inspiring about the extraordinary work of our GCMT in these difficult times is the fact that it is primarily led by Keysight women leaders, and the coincidence that this is Women's History Month is not lost on me.

Keysight’s global crisis response is led by our GCMT, which interfaces across more than 120 company sites in 30 countries, through both country- and site-level crisis management teams (CMTs) staffed by local company leaders and functional team members trained in response procedures. In fact, I lead our Santa Rosa headquarters site CMT and am also a member of the core GCMT. It has been quite an experience to be a part of the worldwide mobilization that this team has orchestrated from the early days of the virus spread. The GCMT engaged soon after the first cases of COVID-19 began appearing in Wuhan Province in China, where the company has a small office. Initially focused on cross-China response, as the virus spread, so did our alignment with additional country- and site-CMTs, reaching a crescendo with the government mandates across Europe, the U.S.A. and other regions just last week.

After several days of unrestrained 100%+ engagement with our crisis management teams, I just recently had a few minutes to pause, look at my normal work duties and catch up on some eMail. This is when I realized it was already late-March, more than halfway through Women’s History Month. It then occurred to me that the leadership team of Keysight’s GCMT – the team that works expeditiously and tirelessly in support of employee safety and security, while maintaining business continuity during crisis events -- was predominantly driven by women leaders!

Our GCMT has 12 members, 8 of whom are women, including the team leadership. Ingrid Estrada, Keysight’s Senior Vice President, Chief Administrative Officer and Chief of Staff, heads up our GCMT as the executive sponsor. Through her broad business experience and responsibilities across human resources, workplace strategies, global sourcing and internal company operations, she is well-positioned to address the dynamic situations that crises have on corporate functions. Claire McCarthy, just recently named Keysight Director of Global Sustainability, Security & Safety, is the GCMT Incident Command Manager and a critical leader on the team, with connections across multiple functional organizations. The other women playing a critical role on the GCMT are from Workplace Solutions, Human Resources, Legal and Communications. In addition, there are many more women either leading the site CMTs or acting as site Incident Commanders.

And, unfortunately, COVID-19 is not the team's first engagement. Having managed through wildfire impacts, power outages and other events over the last few years, this team is seasoned at crisis management. Which also uniquely positions the team, and the company, to benefit from past learnings in support of continuous improvement.

As I sit back in awe of the most recent efforts and results of this team, paired with the realization of Women’s History Month, I can’t help but think how these women have become part of Keysight’s legacy through their strategic contributions to our business continuity. They will forever be in my mind as having made not only a significant impact, but history of their own as well.