Happy International Women’s Day!

March 5, 2020 mara McLean

A rising tide lifts all boats.

Happy International Women’s Day! (We’re a few days ahead, but it’s never too early to celebrate women, right?) In honor of the occasion, I sat down with our executive team and asked them what equality meant to them, personally. This was inspired by the 2020 International Women’s Day theme #EachforEqual, which focuses on equality at both an individual and community level.

While talking to the team, it was fascinating to see how equality is both a universal concept and a series of deeply held personal beliefs, informed by our individual experiences. Ask a hundred different people to talk about equality, and you’ll get a hundred different answers. Yet when we all come together with our different ideas about equality, the result is always going to be a more equal world — or, in the case of Engagio, a more equal workplace! (And, by the way, it’s not a marketing tactic that there’s an equal number of men and women in this post. That’s just the way our executive team actually is.)

 

“Is it too much to hope that this could be the decade where we’ll choose to live without the damage of labels? Equality means we give everyone the chance, the choice and the resources to be who they are, who they can be, and who they want to be in every stage of life. What will it take for us to overcome the conscious and unconscious use of labels that cause us to make assumptions about ourselves and others based on biased expectations, limitations, shortcomings and stereotypes? In the name of equality, let’s pledge to be kind to ourselves and others and strive to live without whatever labels we’ve created. Let’s promise to open our minds and hearts, to ourselves and others, and lose the labels so we build communities where everyone is equal under our sun to enjoy safety, health, hope and love.”

– Megan Heuer, Marketing Department

 

“The seeds of gender equality in engineering are planted at a young age. Enabling all children to develop a love for math and science allows our next generation of technical innovators to flourish. As Harvey Mudd College has shown, gender equality in engineering can be achieved by making work environments supportive and engaging for everyone, building confidence and community among women, and demystifying success. When we build careers, teams, industries, and products with equality in mind, I strongly believe that all of society benefits — and I hope the day comes soon when we’ll be able to say with 100% confidence that engineering is an equal field, in an equal world.”

– Brian Babcock, Engineering and Product Department

 

“Equality between men and women is certainly important, and an issue that I hold dear to my heart. However, true equality encompasses much more than that: true equality is equality of the sexes, equality of sexual preference, equality of race and ethnicity, equality of ability/disability, equality of mental health issues, equality and diversity of thought… just to name a few. My hope for the world is that we’ll move closer towards a reality in which people feel comfortable being their authentic selves at school, at work, and at home. This is so important to me because when people feel comfortable being themselves, without having to change or hide any aspect of their identity, that’s when their true creativity and potential can be reached. Plus it’s a hecka lot more fun to just BE YOU!” 

– Sandra Freeman, Marketing Department (ABM)

 

“Simply put, like the studies have shown, companies with a higher percentage of women in leadership roles have better financial performance. Of course, it’s also the right thing to do! I believe it is! But frankly, for those who aren’t persuaded by the moral high ground, let’s remember that it’s also downright practical to have an equal team and an equal world. If women in leadership roles lead to better financial performance for companies, imagine what it would do for the entire world economy if we had evenly distributed leadership roles in every company, in every government, in every place where decisions are made. That’s something I would love to see.”

– Patrick Donnelly, Revenue Department

 

“What does it mean to be a lady in silicon valley tech world? I’ve been told – you’re too emotional, you’re being dramatic, you need to be softer, you need to be harder, you need to be tougher, you’re scary, you need to speak up, you need to calm down. What I’ve learned is that you really only need one thing – you need to trust your instincts. Know (I mean really know) that it’s ok to be emotional when you care deeply enough about something that it makes you emotional. Be soft when the situation calls for an approach with softness and kindness. Be hard and be tough when the situation demands it. Be heard when you want to be heard, and when you must be heard. Be calm if it helps others to be calm. Equality means that we don’t need to be any of the things they tell us to be, and we can choose to be all of the things they tell us to be. Trust yourself, trust your instincts, be yourself.”

– Inger Rarick, Customer Success Department

 

“At Engagio, our motto is #MakeItHappen — this is the idea that if you see something that needs to be done, then you are fully empowered to take ownership of that task and see it through. I think this is applicable here too: gender equality isn’t just an ideal, but a series of actions that are informed by the goal of making it happen. Worried about unconscious bias in the interview process? Train the team on how to avoid it. Make equality happen. Realize that your coworker is being underpaid? Help them to advocate for a raise. Make equality happen. I strongly believe that if we take ownership at the micro level for equality, then the macro will follow.”

– Jon Miller, CEO

The post Happy International Women’s Day! appeared first on Engagio.

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