Equity in Action: How our Companies that Care #EmbraceEquity and drive change in 2023 and beyond
At half the sky, we celebrate women 365 days a year. To us, International Women’s Day is yet another day to celebrate the amazing women who inspire us every day and who make a difference in the world. We recognize that, as a career platform, we are creating an essential tool for forging equity and empowering women in their personal and professional lives. Whether it's through mentorship, networking, or educational opportunities, we provide women with the resources and support they need to achieve their goals and pursue their dreams.On this day, it is important to remember that celebrating women is not just a once-a-year event but a constant effort to recognize their achievements and contributions to society. In IrnizahKhusaini of Johnson Controls words, it means to be “empowered, and take ownership to create the environment and space for every one of us to develop, succeed and thrive”.This year’s IWD theme is all about #EmbraceEquity. In this blog post, we have asked our incredible companies that care to share with us how they uniquely #EmbraceEquity in their organization. #EmbraceEquity is about ensuring that every woman, regardless of her background, has equal access to employment, support and opportunities for reach her full potential, despite the roadblocks they are be presented with. Janelle Delaney, Women@IBM A/NZ Executive Sponsor shares the importance of driving conversations about “flexible working, tackling tough issues like menopause, domestic violence, infertility – yes these are topics that need to be spoken about - as well as looking at how to support our teams in life after COVID”. And this isn’t limited to the global gender gap. Hwa Choo Lim from Equinix shares the organization’s commitment to “accelerating digital inclusion and closing the gender digital divide” through “empowering women specializing in technology roles, giving them the support and confidence, they need to succeed and thrive in the field.”Hearing their stories, we are proud to celebrate our Companies that Care, who share the same mission as us and inspire us daily with their profound and authentic commitment to helping women succeed in the workplace and beyond. Read on as we highlight some of our amazing clients who share our mission of how they #EmbraceEquity and celebrate their achievements! Hwa Choo LimVice President, Human Resources, Asia-Pacific, Equinix"Observing the theme “DigitALL: Innovation and technology for gender equality”, this year’s International Women’s Day is an opportunity for us to recognize the achievements of women who forged their own path no matter the obstacles thrust in their way. Whether it’s dispelling stereotypes, speaking up for themselves and their peers or achieving beyond what was expected of them, we celebrate their accomplishments and courageous perseverance. At Equinix, we place great importance on making women feel “I’m safe, I belong, I matter.” Through long-standing communities for empowerment like the Equinix Women Leaders Network (EWLN), women are able to mentor, connect, belong and nurture one another through ongoing programs that encourage professional growth.Going the extra mile this year, Equinix Foundation, our employee-driven global charitable organization, has committed a $100,000 grant to World Pulseto support its work accelerating digital inclusion and closing the gender digital divide. In order to close the digital divide for women, we will continue to empower women specializing in technology roles, giving them the support and confidence they need to succeed and thrive in the field."Spring AiSoftware Development Manager, Autodesk"I'm embracing equity by taking a new role as the China Region Chapter Lead for Autodesk Women's Network (AWN), our Employee Resource Group dedicated to empowering and developing women at Autodesk. In this new role, I lead the community and collaboratewith other talented women in the executive team. Due to the pandemic, the China AWN community has been relatively quiet for the past three years. Now it's time to restart, reinvigorate, and reunite community members and empower people through various programs and activities. This position allows me to use my strengths to support other women, extend my network, and discover growth opportunities.I'm also embracing equity by engaging in the Autodesk Mentorship Program. This program has helped me learn a lot of practical knowledge, including people management and communication skills."Janelle DelaneyPartner, IBM Consulting and Executive Sponsor, Women@IBM ANZ"Working with our fantastic Women@IBM in Australia and New Zealand squads, we plan to continue to make IBM the best place for women to grow, work and flourish. We focus on initiatives that not only support women but support everyone in our workplace, such as looking at flexible working, tackling tough issues like menopause, domestic violence, infertility – yes these are topics that need to be spoken about - as well as looking at how to support our teams in life after COVID. We are also running events to enable technical women from different organisations to network and encourage each other in their career development. At IBM we care about our people and inclusivity is key to an organisation’s success, so I love having the opportunity to contribute to our success through the work of Women@IBM."Azadeh KhojandiManager, Engineering, The Trade DeskWe recently held our Global Convention in Singapore in February. We hosted a breakfast for all our members of APAC Women in The Trade Desk (TTD). It was a fantastic opportunity to network and we had the chance to meet lots of new people from many different offices. We also posed a challenge to our attendees. We created bingo cards with TTD leaders names on them, and asked our members to take photos with everyone on their bingo card. The pose was in light of International Women’s Day theme for 2023, ‘Embrace Equity’ and we asked each person to pose with a self hug. This challenge was an excellent opportunity for our members to engage with leaders outside their immediate work circle and for them to also have some fun along the way. In 2022, Women in TTD Circles was created to provide a space where women can pursue their own version of success, with a solid base of TTD members who will cheer each other on.Irnizah KhusainiSenior TA Manager, Southeast Asia, Johnson Controls"Creating an equitable and inclusive culture is key for us at Johnson Controls, especially one that’s sustainable over time. For such a culture to happen, we recognize that the journey goes beyond creating appropriate resources and opportunities. It’s also about increasing visibility and support through a collective effort as One Team. Together with the rest of my colleagues in Johnson Controls, we are empowered, and we take ownership to create the environment and space for every one of us to develop, succeed and thrive. I’m committed to reducing bias in the recruitment process, and to amplify the voices of my team and people around me. This journey starts today, and I invite you to join us to build a better tomorrow together!"We are thrilled to have the opportunity to showcase some of our exceptional clients who are leading the way in promoting gender equity and creating a more inclusive and supportive workplace. Their dedication to empowering women and providing them with the tools they need to succeed is truly inspiring, and we are proud to partner with them to make this mission a priority in 2023 and beyond! By having a glimpse into their passion and commitment to women in the workplace, we hope to inspire others to join us in the mission of promoting equity and creating a brighter future for women everywhere.
Autodesk’s Renée Pinto on How to Harness Your Creativity to Advance Your Marketing Career
Renée Pinto is a creative soul.The Australian native’s passions include all things creative. “I love to paint. I also love to take photos. I was even represented by a gallery in Paddington, Sydney for many years showcasing my oil paintings , as well as my photography,” Renée shares.When she doesn’t have a paintbrush or camera in hand, she harnesses her creativity at work as a Senior Marketing Manager at global software solutions companyAutodesk.We sat down with Renée to learn how she has used her creativity to grow her marketing career and her tips to harness your creativity so you can do the same.From Hospitality to MarketingRenée’s career started with her love for people. “I started working within the hospitality industry, and that's where my love of marketing first took off,” she explains. “I'm a people person. So marketing and events were something that really suited me.”With a new-found interest in marketing, she moved from working in events to working with small advertising agencies where she enjoyed working in an intimate environment and getting to know people on a personal level. “I started off as a graphic designer,” Renée shares. “I worked in the studio with only two others, which taught me so much about the ins and outs of the business”This experience lent her valuable insight into the different roles it took to run a small business. “You are learning all aspects of the business which I believe is vital to understand how it operates and how your role fits into the bigger picture.While building her understanding of the different moving parts of the company, she started building relationships with her colleagues, regardless of their rank. “Being able to connect with people and not having the hierarchy in smaller organizations, has been something that I think has got me to where I am, because I don't see titles. If you are the the junior graphic designer, I'm going to ask you if you want a cup of coffee, just like I'm going to ask the CEO,” Renée says with pride.This people-first approach supported her when she took a break from the corporate world and turned her passion for photography into a full-time career — an unconventional career move that eventually led her to a bigger marketing role.Passion Project to Full-Time Career and BackRenée’s photography business started as an act of kindness over 15 years ago, first starting as a second job. “It actually started as a charitable thing. I started taking photos for friends and people who couldn't afford it on the weekends whilst still working full-time at an agency,” she shares.And it was through photography that Renée further developed her marketing skills. “It started by using social networks, friends, and family to nominate a family in need of a photo shoot,” Renée explains. “I didn't realize at the time that I was actually marketing, using multiple digital platforms and social channels. Back in those days, print advertising was the way to go, so we even made flyers that we put in letterboxes.”Eventually, her photography and marketing skills flourished so much that she was able to financially sustain herself through her business full-time. However, over time Renée realized that her passions didn’t need to be her full-time job. “I love photography, but I needed more than that. I needed a full-time job as well as an outlet,” she says. “I soon realized [photography] is something that brings me joy, it's almost like my yoga, my escape, my therapy.”After five years of full-time photography, Renée chose to opt for a corporate career that would fulfill her professional desires and allow her to keep her hobbies as passion projects.Landing the Ideal Role at AutodeskRenée eventually found her way to Autodesk, a tech company that is changing how the world is designed and made. Their technology and software span various industries and help customers solve problems and design a better world.She first joined as an events and marketing specialist, which went well with her previous experience. But when a former Autodesk co-worker went on maternity leave, Renée got the opportunity to step into the vacant marketing role on the demand generation team. “I loved it. A portion of that role was executing to our end customers, and then the second portion of that role was my introduction to partners and the channel ecosystem and the importance of building relationships,” Renée shares. “I was working directly with our partners. And that's when I [realized], ‘this is where I need to be. This is my calling.’”Renée has spent the past three years in the Channel Marketing organization at Autodesk as a Channel Marketing Manager, and has recently been promoted to Senior Manager for Channel Marketing APJ. Her day involves “working with Channel Marketing Managers across APJ, meeting with our partners, understanding the gaps and challenges they are facing, and also identifying the enablement our partners require to be successful. Also working alongside our key stakeholders internally, our channel sales teams, demand generation team, channel programs team, and making sure we're aligned with them and have the same priorities and same goals for our partners.”And it was her previous creative endeavors that helped build the framework for her success as a manager and working with partners. “Photography is the perfect starting point in understanding people, because you're sometimes photographing individuals that don't want their photo taken, you're having to get the best out of them,” she explains. “You need to gauge and learn more about their personality and how you will draw the best out of them. Photography's exactly the same as how you would manage and interact with people in the workplace.”Some of Renée's artwork and photography she created during the COVID-19 lockdown and an internal Autodesk painting class she led an internal conference.How to Harness Your CreativityCreativity can often be seen as something you do or don't have, not a skill that can be learned. But Renée disagrees. “I think we're all born with some sort of creativity. It's just how we utilize it or how we embrace it, practice, and develop it. It's like anything in life, the more you do something, the better you become,” Renée encourages.For those looking to harness their creativity and advance in the world of marketing Renée offers this advice.Think outside of the box.“It's great to have an analytical mind. And at the end of the day, data is key — but I think you have to have a balance.” Renée explains. “It's important to have that creative mind and look at things through a new lens so you can work out how you can market that product or solution differently. Sometimes you may fail and sometimes you may succeed, but never be afraid to speak up and share an idea no matter how silly you think it may sound. Usually when in a team environment, what originally sounds like a silly idea, becomes a group discussion with multiple stakeholder inputs and then develops into something that ultimately could be a huge success.”Try different things outside of work.“You are not going to know what you enjoy or what you are good at, in a creative sense, unless you try different things,” says Renée. In order to do this she recommends stepping outside of your comfort zone. “Do a drawing class. Take up the saxophone, whatever your passion is,” Renée urges. And once you try something new, take that same energy into the business world. “We think that we have parameters and we have to stay within those parameters at work. That's not always the case. I also believe having a creative outlet or hobby outside of work is something that is critical to our mental health and in turn will make you successful and happier at work”Try new things within your career and don’t be afraid to fail.At Autodesk, Renée has worked with people who have come to marketing from all different careers and walks of life. “There are definitely people within Autodesk, like myself, who have a very non-conventional background in the tech space,” Renée shares. “We are told when we leave high school that we must know what we want to do and move straight into studies. The pressure on young people can be immense to make a decision straight away, however you can also be successful by trying different roles, working within different industries, and actually getting first-hand experience, which will be valuable in finding where you truly are meant to be. I tried multiple different careers to learn what I loved and then went on to study. There is no one path you should follow and it is never too late to try something new.” To Renée’s previous point, trying new things can be key to success, but more importantly, you shouldn’t be afraid of failure. “If it doesn't work the first time, maybe there's a different way you could do it.”
The “boomerang” effect: Former Autodeskers in Shanghai share why they returned to work at Autodesk
Sometimes, you might decide to leave a company for another opportunity, and then after a while, return to the company you were at before – a lot of people call this being a “boomerang” employee. We love when former Autodeskers make their way back to us!We recently spoke with a few boomerang Autodeskers based in Shanghai, China, on why they decided to come back to work at Autodesk:Junyu Zhang first started at Autodesk in 2015 as a Senior Quality Assurance Engineer. After leaving the company for another opportunity, Junyu returned to Autodesk as a Principal User Experience Designer in the PDMS Gen/SIM UX team and is responsible for the user experience design of Generative Design territory in Fusion 360.Liang Shao was a Senior Manager of Software Development when he left the company. After just half a year, Liang decided to come back to Autodesk and returned to the same role.Monica Zhao started her career at Autodesk as an SQA Engineer, was a Product Owner on multiple projects, applied for a Product Manager job in a different division, then switched to an Engineering Manager role. She returned to Autodesk after one year and took a new role as a Product Manager.Renbo Jiang first joined Autodesk in 2007 as a Software Engineer working on Map3D, one of AutoCAD’s vertical products. After exploring other career opportunities for three years, he returned to Autodesk in 2014 in a new role as a Principal Engineer on the Map3D team. Today, he is a Tech Lead on the AutoCAD CI team.Wayne Wang was a Software Engineer at the beginning of his career with Autodesk and a Software Architect when he left to explore another opportunity. He came back to Autodesk after only three months and returned to the same role.What were the reasons for your decision to come back to Autodesk?Junyu: It’s a long story, but in brief, I faced a hard time due to the expansion of family duties during COVID, but the employer I was with wasn’t very supportive, and the repetitive overtime working schedule just depleted every bit of energy both physically and mentally. So, I looked for other opportunities with a better work-life balance. Luckily, former colleagues at Autodesk reached out at the perfect time. Based on my previous experience with Autodesk’s culture, I decided to come back. I’m so glad to be back and see all my old friends!Liang: After Autodesk, I took a role as head of engineering and product at a startup company, with 50 people reporting to me. It turned out my adventure was very risky, and the challenges there became serious concerns, including higher demand with limited resources, negative company culture and lack of psychological safety, and the pandemic’s impact on the company’s performance and overall economic health. My worries kept increasing while my feeling of safety kept decreasing, so I finally decided to quit and return to Autodesk. In contrast, Autodesk is doing so well in these areas, and I got a deep impression of how important these factors are to our professional careers.Wayne:I left Autodesk to join a start-up company. I came back to Autodesk because I needed to have more balance between life, family, and work. I also found it hard to fit into the local company culture at the startup, and I prefer to deal with the more technical work that I had in my previous role at Autodesk. Thank you for having me back!What are the things you enjoy most about working at Autodesk that you didn’t find at your other jobs?Monica: The company culture at Autodesk is very promising and charming. It fosters a psychologically safe environment for employees to bring up their ideas and opinions, guiding everyone on a much simpler and clear decision-making process. It reminds everyone to always collaborate with a One Autodesk attitude.Renbo: Autodesk’s company culture is very attractive to me. Managers care about the growth of their employees, and at the same time, they also pay attention to work-life balance. My colleagues are very friendly — whenever I have a technical problem, there are always colleagues who will proactively help me.Junyu: When I was job hunting, I did get some very good offers with high salaries and great titles. For me, money is an important factor, but not the number one priority. I am a very hard-core technology enthusiast and working for Autodesk, I just feel so proud to be part of such a great journey in technology. We are the voyagers and what we’re doing is a contribution to all mankind — although it may be very small, all the huge leaps are formed by the tiny parts.Liang: Without the comparison of being at another company, I would not have such a deep feeling about how company culture is so important for being successful. Among Autodesk’s company values, one I’d like to highlight is “inclusive.” At Autodesk, you will see being inclusive in the work at every level. Your thoughts are listened to and respected. Feedback is well accepted, and actions are taken. All of this is built on top of Autodesk’s people, who share the same values with our culture and are guaranteed with tools and processes (e.g., 360 feedback, 1-on-1 conversations, employee insight surveys, etc.).Autodesk always tries its best to build a psychologically safe environment. One example is the well-known BPM (blameless postmortem) process, which focuses on improvement rather than blame. Autodesk cares about people – you will find work-life-balance is a common question in the employee surveys, and no doubt, the care is about much more than just work-life balance, if you take the examples about how Autodesk has responded to the pandemic and other events impacting our employees. Also, Autodesk cares about people’s careers and supports them with very meaningful career paths for every job. I believe Autodesk gets paid off with continuous innovation and sustainable growth in business by retaining talent.Why should people consider a career at Autodesk?Wayne:Autodesk is technically driven, with plenty of hard problems to solve, great materials and opportunities to learn and grow, while also balancing life and family.Monica:The company really cares about its employees, from a lot of new initiatives on how to support the new norm of remote work to the support company provided to employees during the pandemic. Even the regular updates from our CEO on the status of the company really demonstrate how we work hard to gain customer trust, take new initiatives to adapt to the world’s changes, and embrace new technologies to help customers reimagine how they work today.Renbo: At Autodesk, you’re treated fairly. Your manager is very concerned about your growth, and there are plenty of training opportunities for you to choose from. You also have many opportunities to do things according to your ideas and influence the people and teams around you. Here, many decisions are made from bottom to top, instead of always top-down.Junyu: I think if we only consider the company culture, Autodesk is quite an ideal organization that is caring and supportive to the employees. Here, it’s easy to balance work and personal lives. But also, if you are the “geek” type like me, you’ll find you’ll always have amazing leading-edge creations to work on to fulfill your curiosities!Liang: From a technical perspective, the depth of the domain knowledge and the professional skills an engineer will learn at Autodesk promise great career growth opportunities. Here, we encourage knowledge sharing and everybody is nice and glad to do that, which is one of the factors that makes Autodesk a great learning environment for everyone. Second, Autodesk’s business is so successful today, but there are still new business opportunities we are exploring – for example, business opportunities with the Cloud Information Model.Finally, everything Autodesk does makes a positive impact on the world! More than 10 million professionals in 185 countries are using Autodesk software to save time and money, gain competitive advantage, and change the way ideas are brought to life — from manufacturing, architecture, engineering, and construction, to media and entertainment. As Autodesk employees, we are proud to say we are doing our part to make the world better and make people’s lives better!Interested in working at Autodesk in China? Check out our current openings!This blog was originally published here.
Lessons in Authentic Leadership & Personal Resilience for International Women’s Day
We all have career-defining experiences. A mentor who validates the road less traveled. Speaking up, even if it takes courage. Getting feedback that lands like a brick. Each moment–even the comment that is hard to hear–adds up over time to shape who we become in the workplace. In light of International Women’s Day (IWD), I’ve been reflecting on the people and moments that have molded my career. This year, Autodesk’s IWD theme is “Authentic Leadership & Personal Resilience.” I’m struck by how salient that theme is to my path. Here are four pivotal moments that continue to influence how I lead and grow at Autodesk. Hear from Autodesk Women’s Network members about what this year’s theme means to them. Find and foster enabling environments About two hours after stepping onto the Mills College campus, I called my parents and told them my choice was made. I was 18 years old and had visited countless colleges. Feeling anxious that there were weeks left to decide where I’d spend the next four years, I had hopped on a flight by myself to visit Mills – a women’s college and the last place I thought I’d end up. By attending Mills, I learned first-hand about the value of a supportive environment. A place where it’s normal to challenge yourself and to have your peers cheer you on as you go. Where it’s okay to not be perfect because that’s how you learn from yourself and others. Here, as a member of the Autodesk Foundation team and as the global lead for the Autodesk Women’s Network (AWN) employee resource group (ERG), I’m fortunate to have found that space again– and to be able to help shape it for others. I get to live out my purpose and passion while being inspired by colleagues demonstrating Authentic Leadership every single day. Stretch to grow Public speaking used to make me incredibly nervous. Now, it’s just part of my job. This year’s IWD theme was borne out of an AWN event on Authentic Leadership & Resilience that took place a year ago. What stuck with me is how Authentic Leadership isn’t a rigid concept. As leaders, we bring new things to the table as we grow. But to grow, we must stretch outside our comfort zone. Maybe even fail. And rather than see failure as an endpoint, look for the lessons that we can carry forward into leadership. That’s Authentic Leadership. But to do so successfully, time and again, requires Personal Resilience. I’ve experienced this trajectory through my work with AWN. Years ago, I spoke to an audience of 100 people in the Autodesk Gallery. I was so nervous I couldn’t sleep the night before. I’ve now spoken to groups as large as 500 people. And even as I write this, I’m headed to speak at an internal conference – and I couldn’t be more excited. These public speaking skills translate to my work with the Autodesk Foundation team, where I’ve had an increasing number of opportunities to present to our team and customers. Because I’ve had the chance to take on new and challenging experiences in such an enabling and supportive environment, I can step into opportunities with that much more confidence. Go ahead, take the afternoon off Like many of my colleagues on the Autodesk Foundation team, finding time to enjoy nature is a priority. In 2019, a collection of us carved out some time from our business trip to take some of our customers on a kayaking adventure. Five years ago, I had just moved into a new role with the Autodesk Foundation when I left early on a Friday to go camping. While at the campsite, I recognized a woman in front of me, and my body went cold. Here was my skip-level manager and Autodesk Foundation executive, and I thought I had been caught skipping out, two weeks into my new job. Instead, she came over to greet me and shared that she sometimes leaves early on Fridays to spend time in nature. She talked about the importance of finding time for herself, to refill her cup. Our work on the Autodesk Foundation is important but heavy work. I’ll never forget her message that day: it’s okay to take the time you need. Little did I know, that message would continue to shape me as a leader to this day. Seeking help as a way back from burnout That talk to 500 people for AWN was a high point for me. But to be an Authentic Leader, I have to share that it was also the start of a low point. Like so many this past year, I burned out for a while. The journey to regaining my energy was a long one. Through the Employee Assistance Program, Autodesk offers resources like career coaching through Bravely and access to therapists through services like Lyra Health. Tapping into these resources gave me access to the mental health services and coaching I needed to work through the burnout I was experiencing. Community was also important. Writing this now, telling a close colleague or friend about your burnout seems like an obvious step. But in the thick of it, I worried about how I would be perceived. Connecting with my peers was monumental in helping me fight burnout. Just last week I got to catch-up with fellow ERG leads from Autodesk’s Pride, Veterans, and Young Professionals Networks. As I started to talk about what I was experiencing, I realized that I wasn’t alone. My vulnerability was the opening to start an outpouring of sharing stories, experiences, and ideas within my circle on how to move through the burn-out. These candid conversations gave me the space and support I needed. Mentorship and connection aren’t just for moving forward in your career, it’s also about having someplace to go when things are tough. Today, I’m recharged and refocused. I’m passionate about this topic because we’re seeing women burn out at higher rates than ever. Personal resilience is about more than merely pushing through. It’s about stepping back, recognizing the causes, and asking for help. As we celebrate and raise up women during International Women’s Day, I hope you also take some time to reflect on the moments and people who have shaped your careers. And may those reflections foster your own Authentic Leadership & Personal Resilience journey. The original article was published here.Half the Sky's mission is to supply the tools that can give every woman the ability to build a successful career and be fully prepared for the future of work. So, that they can lead a healthy, prosperous and more balanced/blended lifestyle of their choosing. By building your confidence, you’re setting foundations to empower yourself and your career. The world is your oyster, and it starts with you. 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Belonging, Strong Connections and Meaningful Change: Growing a Global Women’s Network
At Autodesk, they have a vibrant and growing network of Employee Resource Groups (ERG), where employees can connect with colleagues who have shared experiences. Each ERG is sponsored by a member of their executive leadership team and ERG Global Leads receive an appreciation bonus for each term of service. Embracing what makes us different, as well as what unites us, helps create a culture of belonging that allows everyone to do their best work and thrive. Autodesk’s ERGs are essential to enabling and fostering a diverse, inclusive workplace where everyone can feel like they belong. Since its founding in 2011, the Autodesk Women’s Network (AWN) has grown a great deal with regard to its scope, reach and membership — all thanks to its innovative leadership team and passionate members. AWN’s vision is “to empower women, at all levels of Autodesk, to develop and realize their full leadership potential, and its mission “is that Autodesk becomes the recognized model workplace for women,” says Ramona Biehn, a Senior Manager of Client Services at Autodesk in Barcelona. AWN also encourages full and inclusive participation, regardless of gender, and has grown greatly since its start. “Today, AWN consists of over 1,000 members across more than 40 offices globally,” shares Nancy Haj, a Chief of Staff in Autodesk’s Montreal office. And, as Anchal Khatwani, a Software Engineering Manager in Singapore, explains, all these global members aim to work together and achieve their goals “by globalizing professional development opportunities, fostering community building and belonging among members, and developing AWN as a strategic partner.” AWN’s benefits don’t stop here, either — members make plenty of meaningful connections in the group, too. Yaara Orha, a Senior Technical Program Manager in Tel Aviv, notes, “I can honestly say that being a part of this ERG has influenced my decision to stay a part of the company for so long.” In this article, all four of these AWN leaders share their journeys with the group, how they work to help others, and more! How and why did you first get involved in Autodesk Women’s Network (AWN)? Ramona: I joined Autodesk in 2018, and am based in Barcelona, Spain. In March 2019 — as an extension to our annual EMEA partner conference, OTx — I joined the first EMEA Women Summit in Barcelona. Following the summit, a group of women in Barcelona came together to keep up the momentum, and we started organizing multiple events in Barcelona under the AWN umbrella. With the pandemic in 2020, we took the opportunity to extend our programming efforts. When AWN went global earlier this year, I took on the lead role for EMEA on the AWN board. Anchal: I got involved with AWN in 2015 through its group mentorship program, and in 2016, I started leading the effort from Singapore. At the time, Singapore was a growing site and multicultural hub. The demands for professional development were increasing, so we started growing the ERG in Singapore by seeking more volunteers and leadership support and organizing events and workshops. Yaara: I first got involved with AWN nearly five years ago. I’m based in Tel Aviv, Israel, so we’re pretty far removed from the corporate headquarters, so I wasn’t aware of the different opportunities for ERGs. However, when I became pregnant with my first daughter, I started looking into the support available for me as a woman at Autodesk. I heard about AWN (then AWiL – Autodesk Women in Leadership) from a colleague of mine, and together, we started to grow the local chapter of the ERG and offer new resources for the women in our office. My first official role as part of AWN was to be part of the group that led group mentorship for the EMEA and East AMER regions, and I was able to connect with an amazing group of women from around the organization in different roles across the globe. What do you like most, or are proudest about, with regard to the Autodesk Women’s Network?Ramona: Personally, I am most proud of how we managed to transition during the pandemic, moving from face-to-face programming to a completely virtual environment – and extending our programming efforts at EMEA level. The move in 2021 to have all of our Autodesk ERGs operate at a global level and get an executive sponsor was a very important step, and we are still in the process of building our global structure overall. Building all of this alongside the other AWN board members – as well as including and empowering local and regional chapter leads – is my priority for the year, and I hope that in a year’s time, this will be what I can become most proud of. Nancy: Globalizing the Autodesk Women’s Network has been an incredible journey. We have members from around the world who participate in AWN. Each member brings a diverse perspective that enhances the AWN experience. Listening to each other's stories provides many valuable learning opportunities. Anchal: The way Autodesk’s culture team supports the ERGs in a streamlined way that enables us to create a robust, sustainable ecosystem — which will continue to provide for the community in many ways – is amazing. What I’m most proud of is that the scope of AWN efforts extends beyond Autodesk boundaries. The effects of the impact AWN is creating supports women with not just their professional careers, but also on their personal fronts. At the same time, the level of awareness AWN creates by including everyone in the company helps us support all of the women around us, not just at work. Yaara: For me, being part of AWN is definitely my passion project at work. It doesn’t necessarily affect my “day job,” and the things I do there aren’t always as obviously visible as the other projects I work on, but they’re essential in helping me feel a strong connection to the company and growing my sense of belonging. Especially with the pandemic disconnecting us from everything we were used to, having a connection with other women who are going through similar situations has been an amazing addition to my life at the company and beyond. Through AWN, I’ve made friendships with women across the world that have completely gone beyond the “workday.” We all share the experience of being a woman at Autodesk. I regularly text with a colleague I met through AWN who lives in Munich to talk about the joy and hassle of being mothers to young children. I flew to Barcelona for a summit focused on Women at Autodesk a few years ago and made connections there that still influence my career today. How have you used your role to help bring up other women around you? How do you build time into your schedule for this kind of work? Ramona: It is one of my passions to help people grow and develop, even beyond the potential that they see themselves. This is independent of gender. I do this daily for my own employees, and am also mentoring seven women inside and outside of Autodesk. Nancy: Any time I get the opportunity to help or highlight another woman, I do it. It’s important to share your experiences, successes, and even your failures. Your story could inspire someone and encourage them to help other women, too. Anchal: My role within AWN has given me the unique opportunity to get exposed to the barriers women experience showing up authentically or confidently. I, alongside the other AWN board members, am constantly striving to come up with programming that serves the needs of the community in a way that helps women address their barriers through professional development opportunities, or by creating a platform to promote support groups and shared learnings. On a narrower scope within the team and projects I lead, I take advantage of my awareness and seriously evaluate hiring and promotion decisions, present equitable opportunities to women, act as a buddy in taking up tasks that challenge my team, and gradually empower my team to push their limits through career coaching conversations and connecting them with the right people and opportunities. Honestly, it is difficult to find extra time to get a lot of things done, especially considering these trying pandemic times. This area organically motivates me to work on the weekends or after normal work hours because, ultimately, creating a platform for everyone to have a sense of belonging and grow together is significant to me. Yaara: Especially after going through two very difficult pregnancies while working at Autodesk, I always make a special effort to reach out to women who are expecting children, making sure they have the support they need and that they’re fully equipped with the information that can help them. I do this through mentorship – both officially, by setting up mentorship groups focused on young mothers, and unofficially, by offering advice (when it’s asked for!) and helping when I can. Why do you think Autodesk is a particularly supportive place for women employees? Ramona: Autodesk has multiple programs in place that support women and their development, such as AWN, as well as AWiS (Autodesk Women in Sales). Autodesk has been very supportive to all employees throughout the pandemic, and employee wellbeing is top of mind all the way up to the executive level. Nancy: Autodesk’s company culture respects and empowers women to succeed in their careers. You can grow your career and be your authentic self. Anchal: I have been with the company for close to 14 years, and it has been exciting to see small systemic changes seeping through the ecosystem for women, from hiring to career advancement opportunities. This has been made possible by raising awareness and effecting intentional change at all levels. It is enriching to see how many leaders translate the intention around equity into concrete action during the focal phases and ensure that women employees’ pay matches their performance by consciously eliminating any unconscious biases. There are specially tailored or parallel streams of professional development programs or focus groups for women to create more opportunities and accessibility. For instance, Autodesk has an emerging leaders program that supports the development of aspiring leaders, and this now has a parallel stream for women. In Singapore, the maternity leave for citizens is typically one month longer than it is for foreign nationals, but Autodesk offers the highest leave available of 16 weeks for all women across the site. As a new mother who went back to work after four months of maternity leave, I had enough psychological safety to return to what I had left, infrastructure support in the form of pumping rooms and flexible working options. The original article was published here.Half the Sky's mission is to supply the tools that can give every woman the ability to build a successful career and be fully prepared for the future of work. So, that they can lead a healthy, prosperous and more balanced/blended lifestyle of their choosing. By building your confidence, you’re setting foundations to empower yourself and your career. The world is your oyster, and it starts with you. Enjoyed this article let us know your thoughts in the comments below:
Make the New Possible by Joining a Software Company That’s Transformed the World for Over 4 Decades
Autodesk is changing how the world is designed and made. Their technology spans architecture, engineering, construction, product design, manufacturing, media and entertainment, empowering innovators everywhere to solve challenges big and small. From greener buildings to smarter products to more mesmerizing blockbusters, Autodesk software helps to design and make a better world for all. Autodesk is more than just a place to work. As a company leading change, they are committed to listening deeply to experiences, providing education on the principles of belonging, implementing programs to embed those principles in their culture, and, most importantly, fostering collective accountability for building belonging. These principles start with the company’sCulture Code— the foundation that defines the values and ways they work to ensure they are providing an exceptional customer experience as they deliver exceptional products. At Autodesk, you won’t just learn about theCulture Code, you’ll live it every day by instilling these values into all aspects of your employee experience: ● Think: Smart, Innovative, Adaptable ● Feel: Inclusive, Impactful, and Humble ● Do: Courageous, Accountable, and Pragmatic Autodesk prioritizes its commitment to diversity and belonging. Autodesk is committed to building a culture of diversity and belonging where all employees have equitable access to opportunities to succeed and contribute. They believe that diversity encompasses so much more than gender, race, ethnicity, gender identity, or sexual orientation. Diversity also includes valuing backgrounds, perspectives and beliefs that are different from your own. They believe that a vibrant and engaged culture serves as the foundation for diversity and belonging to thrive. At Autodesk, the case for diversity and belonging is not only a business imperative, but a moral one. Additionally, Autodesk’s culture of diversity and belonging was acknowledged in the 2021 Best Places to Work for LGBTQ Equality. Autodesk is a proud participant in the McKinsey Black Leadership Academy, which creates opportunities for rising Black leaders to network and build strong relationships with leaders from other organizations. They also have a vibrant and growing network of Employee Resource Groups (ERG), where employees can connect with colleagues with shared experiences. And as of September, Autodesk now grants global ERG leads an appreciation bonus of $10,000 to recognize their work of connecting employees to learn and celebrate their differences, and feel supported and included. Autodesk is also committed to gender pay equity. In FY21, women at Autodesk make 100% on average as much as men in comparable work. Autodesk’s Board of Directors is also 50% women. Employees at Autodesk can feel confident about viewing other women in leadership positions as clear examples of how Autodesk is committed to championing women and advancing them professionally. What is it like working and growing a career at Autodesk? At Autodesk, “we celebrate each other”, the company says. They achieve this through an “Applause” program which allows employees to show recognition to their colleagues. Employees can be awarded points through this program that can be redeemed for a variety of prizes. And, to support career growth for all their employees, Autodesk has a successful mentorship program that pairs leaders who are more advanced in their careers with those just beginning their professional path. The program also fosters peer-to-peer mentorship and reverse mentorship opportunities. To support employees in continuing to enhance their job skills, Autodesk is committed to providing a variety of learning opportunities such as live courses on power speaking, communication success skills, coaching essentials and how to influence and negotiate. Further, Autodesk fosters a culture of learning via bite-sized learning and courses available on platforms including Degreed, LinkedIn Learning, and Harvard Business Online. The Autodesk Women’s Network employee resource group (ERG) also forms a thriving community of women who support each other’s professional growth, engage in collective learning, and organize events, forums, and workshops specific to women’s issues. Autodesk supports employees through a variety of programs. $1,000 “Benefits My Way” wellness reimbursementthat helps to pay for items including massages to exercise gear, from yoga classes to gardening tools and even background checks for nannies or caregivers. Employees can even get reimbursed for a self-defense class! It’s a perk that reminds employees that Autodesk really cares about their well-being. Professional coaching through Bravelygives employees access to highly trained and skilled coaches who can support employees’ professional path to success. Coaches help employees identify goals, map out desired outcomes, and design strategies for building a fulfilling professional life. The employee Assistance Program (EAP) through Lyra Healthprovides therapy to Autodesk employees and dependents who need extra help, especially with the challenges and demands that the pandemic has piled onto our cognitive loads. The Flexible Workplace programis designed to maximize flexibility and meet individual employee needs while also meeting business needs. The Flexible Workplace program includes three work-type categories: Office-based — These employees work primarily from an Autodesk office and will have a dedicated desk. Hybrid — These employees have the flexibility to work from home and from an Autodesk office. Home-based — These employees work from a home office. Child Care Subsidy up to $1,500 per yearis given to employees who participate in the Dependent Care FSA and whose AGI from the most recent tax return is less than $175,000. Discretionary Time Off or Vacation— For discretionary time off, salaried employees have the flexibility to take a reasonable amount of paid time off that fits with their personal and work life. Hourly employees are eligible for 15 vacation days per year. Sabbaticalsallow extended time away from work so employees return to work refreshed and excited about new ideas and ready to tackle new challenges. Full-time employees are eligible for a six-week paid sabbatical every four years. Annual Week of Restconsists of paid holidays from Christmas Eve through New Year’s Day. “Make a Family” Reimbursement Programallows employees to be reimbursed up to $10,000 per year for eligible expenses related to adoption, IVF, co-maternity, surrogacy, and egg freezing services. Want to learn more about the current opportunities at Autodesk? Click here to see what positions they have available. The original article was published here.Half the Sky's mission is to supply the tools that can give every woman the ability to build a successful career and be fully prepared for the future of work. So, that they can lead a healthy, prosperous and more balanced/blended lifestyle of their choosing. By building your confidence, you’re setting foundations to empower yourself and your career. The world is your oyster, and it starts with you. Enjoyed this article let us know your thoughts in the comments below:
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