Behind the Click: Silicon Valley Lawyer Cheree McAlpine

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LDC:  Good to hear.  So knowing that, what is a typical day like?

CM: I’m the General Counsel of a global company–there is no such thing as a typical day.  I advise the executive management team on corporate strategy, corporate governance and other legal matters, so there are meetings, presentations and management of global legal issues each day.  For example, one day the issues may be in China and the next it could be France.  My focus is to make sure that legal issues don’t interrupt the business, the innovation or the vision.

LDC:  Just to jump back to your previous position prior to Wyse, I read that you started the diversity program at Sun?  What inspired you to do that?

CM: I always want to work at a great company.  Diversity is part of building that greatness.   Diverse companies have broader viewpoints and are more adaptable.  This results in better execution and more success.  My commitment to diversity is about promoting an unrestrained perspective about qualified people and what they can contribute to building a great organization.

LDC: How interesting. However,  I find that diversity programs don’t typically address interaction between the company and outside firms/individuals with projects.? Since so many of us are entrepreneurial, how would you suggest, for example, working with Sun via its diversity program when seeking partnership, client-based relationship, etc?

(NOTE:  Sun was acquired by Oracle in 2010. McAlpine has been an employee at Wyse Technology, Inc. since 2005. She is answering these questions more broadly)

CM: I’ve been involved in building diversity for many years and I have seen diversity programs evolve over time.   Diversity can be about building a diverse internal organization, but comprehensive diversity programs are certainly broader than that.   Many diversity programs measure success by how it fosters diversity internally, but also  how it engages with businesses and individuals outside its corporate structure.  Entrepreneurs should reach out to companies who have developed a more expansive program.

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