Rima Qureshi, senior vice president and head of CDMA, Ericsson

Ericsson is the leading infrastructure provider and managed services player in the business—and Rima Qureshi, senior vice president and head of the CDMA business unit, is the firm’s highest ranking female employee.

Qureshi’s role was created in January this year, following Ericsson’s purchase of Canadian vendor Nortel’s CDMA business, but she’s been with Ericsson since 1993. From 2004 she was head of Ericsson Response as well as head of a strategic improvement programme within the North American market unit.

“I think diversity is good to have at all levels,” Qureshi says. “In senior positions, though, it changes dynamics in management. It’s not just about gender, it’s about diversity in general, and we should be careful to ensure that it doesn’t become tokenism,” she says.

Her experience of mentoring women in the sector has shown that barriers between professional and personal lives can successfully be brought down, she says, which is something both men and women can benefit from. “We need to be more open to people’s personal situations when we promote them” she says, adding that the industry is comparatively advanced in terms of diversity.

Born in Pakistan, Qureshi has a degree in management information systems and an MBA from McGill University in Montreal.

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