This year's International Women's Day theme is #BreakTheBias. What does this slogan mean to you in your work life?
We are all biased, whether or not we like to admit it. What this slogan means to me is that we need to shine a light on our biases - be them conscious or not so that there's no place for them to survive. I believe that people are inherently good, but we are socialized to believe that people of different color, sexual orientation, gender, origin et al embody certain traits. #BreakTheBias is an opportunity for us to intentionally educate ourselves, our peers, our families and friends to be the change we want to see.
What progress have you seen on gender equality in your life and work?
In my company and in the industry that I service (Renewable Energy), there is now a safe space for companies and individuals to talk about our reality - that there is an imbalance in gender equality. Previously it felt like this topic brought defense and resistance.
At Spencer Ogden, there's been material progress not only on our ability to broach the subject but in that we have more balance in men/women representation across all roles in the company. However, where we are lacking in gender equality is on the senior leadership level. I feel this is something that many companies struggle with but I don't believe it's because the talent doesn't exist. We have promising female leaders coming up in the organization but few have a "seat at the table" and that is something we can work on.
Which women have supported or inspired you in your career path?
I pull a lot of my leadership inspiration from Brene Brown (shocker). She is unabashedly vulnerable and shows how being vulnerable can actually make you a better professional and leader, not an unstable one like we were taught to believe. I have found that my leadership journey took a sharp and positive turn when I let myself truly be myself. I have skeletons, I have baggage, I have fears and self judgement and THAT is what makes me a great leader.
How do we encourage more women to join recruitment?
Show them that you can be incredibly compassionate and incredibly baller at the same time.
Why do we need more women in leadership?
Diversity brings diverse perspectives. Getting more women into leadership roles creates more opportunity for different people to come into their own in their careers when maybe they didn't have a voice before. I believe that women have helped to shape the management environment to be one of compassion, vulnerability and have created a safe place for people to be human and dare I say it, to have "feelings" in and at work.
How important is it to have male allies who may support women's progression?
Very important! We're still in the process of #breakingthebias, we haven't finished our work yet. We need male allies to support and recognize the value women bring to the workplace and be comfortable with, embrace even, our differences. Empowering women isn't about disabling men. It's about creating a more inclusive and equitable environment for everyone to thrive based on their skills and merits. We should all be more supportive to each other.
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