Last year on International Women’s Day (IWD), I wrote about the gratitude I have for all of those who have forged for gender equality before us, as well as those who continue to keep fighting the good fight. That gratitude is unchanged as IWD approaches this Sunday. If anything, I’m moreappreciative of each and every person who continues to stand up for gender equality. This year, I’m also recognizing the power of what happens when we come together to create change.
That collective strength has moved the needle significantly in terms of policy and practice as cultural expectations have shifted, including the following wins:
- Historic Weinstein conviction: We saw a glimmer of justice served for many sexual assault survivors with a watershed verdict for Harvey Weinstein, who was found guilty on two felony charges in January.
- California’s boardroom quota: The state enacted SB 826, a pioneering law mandating that each public company headquartered in California must have at least one woman on its board by the end of 2019.
- Goldman Sachs’ stand: One of the world’s largest investment banks announced in January 2020 that they won’t take a company public unless it has at least one woman or non-white board member.
These are few of the more headline-grabbing moments of achievement in the last year, but there so many smaller ones happening all the time. When colleagues lift each other up, when women seek out mentees, or when male allies stand up for equal pay, to name a few.
It plays quite well into this year’s IWD theme, #EachforEqual, which states that, “Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions — all day, every day. We can actively choose to challenge stereotypes, fight bias, broaden perceptions, improve situations and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, each one of us can help create a gender equal world.”
Over the past year, I’m proud to say I’ve taken my own actions to embrace the #EachforEqual spirit.
- I spoke on several panels on diversity in technology and elevating women, including an OCC Women’s Leadership Panel and an ARA Closing the Gender Gap event. Part of the ARA event included a pivotal discussion on supporting young female leaders in technology, as we heard from the impressive Erika Jarosh on her experience in Girls Who Code.
- I walked the talk on promoting female leadership at my own organization by hiring a young woman for a micro-internship this past winter, as well as hiring Jane Hamner as my Chief Growth Officer last month.
- I continue to be an advocate for women in tech through my client relationships, advising on ways to improve equal hiring efforts and proactively coaching hiring managers on how to be more equitable.
On Sunday, I encourage you to reflect on your own individual contributions for greater gender equality in the past year, as well as celebrate the victories we’ve achieved together. I’d love to hear how you’re embracing the #EachforEqual mantra — please share in the comments below.