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 KhusainiHead of Talent Acquisition, 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.
Debunking Myths in IT & Consulting
Are you currently or thinking about working in IT or Consulting industries? You must have heard some rumours about these fields. In this session, we will have women leaders from IBM who have been in the field for quite a long time to debunk those rumours and misconceptions, also they will explain their jobs and experiences, how they built their career path in IT & Consulting industries. Come join the event to learn the global trend of IT and Consulting industries and how women can play key roles in this field. Featured women leaders from IBM ASEANZK; Jeraldyn Lagman (SAP Project Manager) Charu Mahajan (Partner - ASEAN Garage & Ventures Leader, Sector Leader – Distribution) Carissa Hughes (AWS Alliance Lead A/NZ) What to expectDebunk rumours/misconceptions of IT & Consulting industries Discussion around the change to IT & Consulting industries Career journey sharing and career advice What other skills can you bring into the field
Double the Impact in Half the Time
In today’s busy world, there is no longer a typical work day or job arrangement. Alongside the transforming workforce, we challenge ourselves to restlessly reinvent by listening and responding to how our top talent thrive at work. More than ever, companies are now exploring flexible work arrangements, including opportunities for job sharing.Helen Whitehead was sitting at a campsite when she designed the job share solution to a full-time opportunity presented to her by IBM. Working with Rebekah (Bex) Taka, the duo successfully reverse-pitched this arrangement to IBM. They are now the most senior leaders to job share in IBM Australia and New Zealand as Associate Partners and Practice Leads in GBS.We sat down with the Helen and Bex (who have since created their own engaging joint name: Rebellen or Hex!) to learn more about the key elements in their partnership which help themselves, the business, and the future of job sharing thrive.More than Just Job SharingThere is no shortage of evidence that gender-diverse leadership is good for business. However, when combined with the benefits of job sharing, Helen and Bex are epitomising the change. They are showing future leaders what the possibilities can look like. In their job share arrangement, they each work three days a week, including a cross-over of 1.5 days. For these two trailblazers, job sharing was not just a way to achieve work-life balance, but a means to ‘having it all’.In a matter of months, the old saying that “two is better than one” has never been proven truer than as we see Helen and Bex at the forefront of change. Uniquely whole as individuals, their ability to work together and double the impact in half the time propagates the inspiring message: job sharing is an option for all, at any level, for any gender and any role.For Helen, “Job sharing is building on two complementary skill sets and having that exponential growth. It’s about aligning values, and sharing visions, or fighting it out until you do!” Bex approaches things top-down and I approach things bottom-up. That’s where they find the middle ground. “It’s not about dividing and conquering as that leans more towards part-time work.”Making it WorkWinning the AMI Excellence Award for Customer ExperienceWhen asked about how the idea of job share came about, we learned that they have worked in the same companies for the past 8 years, but IBM was their first job sharing role. Deciding to partner together presented a new set of challenges that the pair wield to their advantage.Helen sees Bex as the leader who has challenged her the most and helped her grow. “She always brought a very different perspective, and taught me to be a better leader,” says Helen. “She told me to bring my daughter to work and leave the constraints at the door.”Talking about their working relationship, Helen shares, “Everything is accelerated. Talking out loud to each other helps the process move so much more quickly. It helps navigate the opportunities that the other doesn’t see.”“If you say something to one of us, know that you can’t pit Mum against Dad. You will have both of us!’ Bex shares, “We will work out who can genuinely deliver the best outcome.” Often, this enables the dynamic duo to carry big things more lightly and accelerate the process of tough situations and conversations.Fearlessly loyal, they are united when it comes to making tough decisions and setting joint goals, especially when it comes to work that impacts their personal lives. Both Helen and Bex are married with families. Their ‘non-divorce policy’ at work and at home keep them strong and focused on the right outcome.Setting intentions deliberately is key to allowing them to do what is needed. They have unparalleled confidence when it comes to communicating and navigating through managing life and work. An open and shared approach with the partners to parenting is essential.Breaking Barriers and Designing Flexibility for the FutureIn their roles at IBM, they lead the practice of Customer Engagement and Design within iX. This includes designing IBM as an organization. “We’re the people who change things, not the people who make powerpoints pretty.”Passionate and headstrong, they are not afraid to hold a mirror up to the organisation and reflect on the systems which need to change. Systems are designed based on what they know at the given moment. But they go on to explain that, “As we evolve over time, we find limitations and through these arise opportunities to grow.” By breaking barriers from the ground up and actively examining unintentional biases in the system, Helen and Bex are paving the path for agile and flexible work for IBMers.Their One Advice for a Successful Job Share ArrangementAsked for their one advice on job sharing effectively, they both agree, “You need to do the work on understanding yourself. Job share can be successful for those who are deeply invested in self-awareness. One has to know their strengths and weaknesses deeply. You have to make space for any emotion to be okay. That’s how you get to the nugget! It’s part of what we do, and we don’t just tick boxes.”Bex and Helen continue to challenge boundaries and in the true spirit of IBM, unite to get it done.The original article is published here.
I Almost Gave Up on My Tech Career But Found New Hope in IBM
After not having a job for almost 6 months, I was at a low point in my life. I was so discouraged that I was ready to give up and find something outside of the career and industry that I had initially chosen. Little did I know that there was something else in store for me.In early 2019, a friend of mine who was working at IBM pushed me to apply for a job opening as an Advanced Programming Specialist. I didn’t really want to go, but there was something in the back of my mind that pushed me to give it a try. So the following day I printed out my resume, psyched myself up and went to the IBM Recruitment Hub. The recruitment process was so different from the other interviews I had in the past – it was so laid-back and the recruiters were so accommodating that I never felt nervous. Days later, I received a call telling me that I passed the interview process and would be moving on to the next step, a two-month training in Java Fullstack.During our training, I reviewed the basics I learned in college and learned new information about Java. The trainers were eager to teach us, even working with us individually to make sure we understood what we needed to know, and the other trainees helped each other move forward through the program. I was introduced to people who helped however they could and who, I felt, truly wanted me to succeed. Sure enough, I passed the training for Java Fullstack and now had a new goal: to become an IBMer.There was a month between my training and my start date with IBM. To utilize that time, I was placed in another training for multi-cloud. Here I met another group of IBMers that were so encouraging, inspiring, and so much fun to be with that I enjoyed every single day. In addition to multi-cloud, we also learned about the IBM ways of working such as agile, design thinking, growth mindset, and many more. With all this learning it was impossible not to feel motivated.When I finally started my new role, I experienced a welcoming environment. No one made me feel like a new hire. Instead, my team accepted every opinion and ideas that I had and even encouraged me to speak up and not be a “Yes, that’s right,” kind of employee.Now, as an IBMer, I am surrounded by people who inspire and help me, and who have really changed my perspective in life. From being discouraged and ready to give up, I became a motivated IBMer focused on moving my career forward, having a growth mindset and becoming essential in every way I can. Now I am excited about my journey, about the things IBM has to offer and the things that I can do with IBM.About the Author: Paula Dichoso is a graduate of Information Technology at FEU Institute of Technology who underwent the all-female NHT Brighter Blue Program. She had the privilege to be part of the first batch of multi-cloud trainees in the Philippine Client Innovation Center (CIC).The original article was published here.
These Women in Security Talk About Re-Launching Their Careers After a Long Parental Break
IBM Tech Re-entry Program was developed to bring back talented technical professionals who took a break from the workforce and were looking to restart their careers. In IBM India, the program was successfully launched in 2018 where we on-boarded the first batch of re-launchers for Security roles. We’ve chatted with these two women from the first batch, and asked them about their experience with the program.Neeta NaikSoftware Engineer for IBM Security“I started my career as a Trainee Software Engineer in the year 2006 and worked in technology roles for the next 8 years. In the year 2014 I became a proud mother and decided to take a career break to attend to my baby. When my son/daughter turned 3 and a half I started looking for opportunities to re-start my career. However, I faced multiple rejections at interviews due to the break in my career. Around this time, IBM had launched the Tech Re-entry program for roles in Security and I realized this was my opportunity. I applied for the role and I was selected!The orientation program, conversation cafes, meetings with senior women professionals and weekly meetings with the program HR partners during the 3-month internship period boosted my confidence. My team mates and managers were very co-operative and I felt everyone wanted me to succeed in my endeavor to re-start my career. At the end of the internship I was offered a regular role at IBM which I believe signified my successful re-integration in the workforce.I would say re-initiating one’s career is like taking an injection! There is momentary pain but once it’s over, it’s smooth sailing from thereon.”Sridevi NarayanaswamySecurity Services Specialist for IBM Security“I started my career in 2007 as a Linux Administrator and continued to work until 2014, when I took a maternity break to look after my child. After four years of career break, I began looking for opportunities to make a comeback to the corporate world. That is when I came across IBM’s Tech Re-Entry program. I applied for the internship and got selected!IBM Tech Re-Entry program, I believe, is a great initiative for professionals looking to re-launch their careers after a break. The structured on-boarding, focused mentoring and regular discussions with senior management has greatly benefited me.In my view, a career gap does not necessarily mean a decline in capabilities; but one must make an effort to stay up to date with the latest technologies and developments in the industries. Additionally, a strong support system in the workplace is vital to ensure a smooth transition in the workforce. The support and constant motivation I have received from my manager and co-workers has helped me immensely.”We are now embarking on the second wave of hiring in India and are looking for professionals interested in Cloud Sales roles. Interested candidates may visit the IBM India Tech Re-Entry site to know more.To learn more about the program and joint he IBM talent network! The original article was published here.Enjoyed this article? Let us know your thoughts comment below:
Celebrating International Women’s Day with more than 100 years of IBM empowering women
IBM originated in 1911, and ever since women have played an integral, and equal, role in the company’s success today. To observe International Women’s Day and their campaign of #pressforprogress, means to strive towards gender parity in and out of the workplace, and IBM has taken a lead role in achieving that goal.IBM’s rich history of opportunities for womenFor more than 100 years, IBM has been on the forefront of employing and empowering women. This initiative began in 1899 when the Computing Scale Company, which later became one of the three companies that formed IBM, hired its first three women employees, 20 years before women won the right to vote. These three women 25 years later went on to help establish IBM’s first Quarter Century Club. Following in that tradition, in 1935 chairman and CEO Thomas Watson, Sr. spoke out in favor of the introduction of women into IBM’s professional ranks. Mr. Watson boldly predicted that “pioneering women” are the first wave of IBM female employees to take roles traditionally only filled by men, and that this was only the beginning. Ruth Leach Amonette - First Female Executive and Vice President of IBM, at the age of 27.For example, a vanguard such as Ruth Leach Amonette in 1943 was named the first female executive and vice president of IBM, at the age of 27. In 1959, IBM’s Sarah Wilkinson was one of the first three women admitted to Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. IBM has pressed for progress starting a century ago and continues to this day.Overcoming obstaclesThe barriers that existed in the technology industry for women are well-documented but still remain in modern times. Almost half of women in tech presently feel that there is a serious dearth of women mentors and role models in the industry. While more than a third of women in tech believe there are an unequal amount of opportunities for career growth as well as unequal pay for the same set of skills as compared to men. Proactively fighting this discrimination, IBM has provided the backdrop of groundbreaking women scientists, engineers, and technologists worldwide for over a century. Trailblazing women include Phoebe C. LeSesne, IBM’s first woman Senior System Engineer. At the time she joined this group of executives in 1960, there were only 10 other Senior System Engineers, all males, across all of IBM. Senior executives as Jane Cahill Pfeiffer, who began her career with IBM as a systems engineer, went on to be IBM’s second female vice president in 1970, and afterwards became the first chairwoman of the National Broadcasting Company. While the contributions of women are well known within the company, IBM is extremely proud to have 13 women elected to the Women In Technology International Hall of Fame. Extraordinary women such as Frances E. Allen, who joined IBM in 1957 as part of the first generation of women scientists, became the first woman IBM Fellow in company history in 1989.The contributions of women at IBM to society over the last century are immeasurable, but what can be quantified is the environment and culture that IBM has continually provided to promote women to thrive and succeed in the workplace. Today, led by Ginni Rometty, we implement initiatives such as the “Empowering Women’s Success in Technology, IBM’s Commitment to Inclusion” study to outline how IBM is driven by inclusion and empowerment worldwide. Externally, IBM partners with groups such as Girls Who Code and the Society of Women Engineers, while actively engaging with young women in STEM to promote women in the workplace.As Dr. Lerner states, we strive to bring women into the center of historical inquiry and to act as a sustaining energy and a source of strength. At IBM, we are extremely proud to work with the next generation of women in tech pioneers.We can’t wait to see what the future holds for them.Original article was published here.Enjoy this article? Let us know your thoughts and comment below:
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