Every March, people around the world get together to celebrate International Women’s Day. Celebrated since the early 1900s, International Women’s Day is a day to recognize not only the economic, political, and social achievements of women, but also to advocate for greater gender equality.
This year’s theme, #PledgeforParity, encourages everyone to pledge to take concrete steps to help achieve gender parity more quickly. Whether helping women and girls achieve their ambitions, to calling for gender-balanced leadership, this year’s theme calls on all of us to become leaders within our spheres of influence to help accelerate gender parity.
Today marks my second International Women’s Day at OpenText, and on this day I’d like to reflect on what we’ve accomplished. Personally, I’ve received mentorship and support from my peers and managers to help me grow, learn, and become a better employee.
Over the year, the men and women in my professional sphere of influence have provided me with guidance, insight and learning opportunities that have been instrumental in furthering my career in the tech industry. I’ve become involved in a number of engaging and interesting projects. From photo opportunities to creating promotional videos, I’ve been exposed to new and exciting areas of the company and the communication industry.
Thanks to the support of my managers and the education opportunity that OpenText offers, I’ve been able to take courses about technical writing and document design. The support I received, both financial and professional, to take these courses has allowed me to gain additional skills that will serve me well as a technical communicator.
Last November, I was selected to attend Enterprise World 2015 in Las Vegas on behalf of the Customer Experience team. While there, I attended engaging sessions on the future direction of the company and the industry, and was able to network with professionals from across the tech industry–including OpenText employees and partners, representatives from federal governments, and private sector industry professionals from around the globe.
Back at OpenText, we’ve also spent time increasing our internal networks, encouraging the women around us, and working on building each other up. One Tuesday, a note was left in the women’s washroom encouraging women to leave an affirmation for their fellow women in tech. The response was overwhelming and show the strides we’ve made over the year to support and encourage our colleagues.
As the well-known advertising jingle from the 60s says, “You’ve come a long way baby.”
And yet, there is still progress to be made, according to OpenText CEO and CTO Mark Barrenechea, in his blog post celebrating International Women’s Day today.
Looking forward to the year ahead, I’m excited to be part of a company in which diversity, equality, and a commitment to reducing the gender gap continue to be front and center, and I look forward to seeing the progress we make in 2016.
This International Women’s Day, I pledge to continue supporting my fellow colleagues, to continue working to reduce the gender gap in the tech industry, and to help make the world a better place for all – one day (and industry) at a time.