CEO BlogDiversity

International Women’s Day: A Bold Call to Action

This March 8th, on behalf of my colleagues here at OpenText, I invite you to celebrate International Women’s Day and the economic, political, and social achievements of women. Through diversity programs that promote women in technology we can make a profound and lasting change for the betterment of the equality and posterity of women, the technology industry, and society as a whole.

The first International Women’s Day dates back to 1911. The 21st century has brought significant changes to equal representation and emancipation for women. There is greater equality in legislation, workplace standards, and social situations. There are more women in management positions and more woman in the boardroom. And there is a greater visibility around women as invaluable role models in society.

Despite these changes—from the classroom to the boardroom—men still outnumber women in fields like science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In the technology industry alone, there is a great disparity in representation by women when compared to men. In Canada, according to a report released by the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Council, ICT is still 75% male. In comparison to leading companies in technology, OpenText ranks higher in its representation of women, but we can do more to reduce gender disparity.

International Women’s Day is about celebrating the wins. We have an opportunity here and it is one we should not miss. I believe that women play a vital role in building the technology that the world needs. To quote Weili Dai, president and co-founder Marvell Technology Group (and the only woman co-founder of a major semi-conductor company): “Technology is one of the key drivers of female economic empowerment.”

At OpenText, diversity makes us strong.

People inspire every effort we undertake at OpenText. A people-first approach is core to our value system and our culture. As we create the best possible solutions for our customers, we are committed to creating an environment of empowerment. One that enables our diverse workforce to excel at what they do, gives them the freedom they need to innovate, and drives the passion to make contributions that are worthwhile. OpenText is continuously identifying and promoting opportunities for improving the quality of a work environment that supports diversity. The wide-ranging backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives of our employees provide a powerful competitive advantage and are crucial to our continued business success.

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We are dedicated to creating an environment that respects differences in culture, ethnicity, and gender. To demonstrate our commitment to becoming the employer of choice for women, we have named “Women in Technology” as the top initiative of our Global Diversity program. We have joined with the Catalyst organization to expand on opportunities for women at OpenText through shared research, events, workshops, webinars, and other services and networking opportunities. We will also participate in internationally-focused women in technology events like the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. And finally, we are working to establish baseline metrics to measure our progress each quarter.

Our first step is this call to action: Please join me in striving to empower women and alter the gender imbalance in technology.

Today we celebrate women everywhere for pushing the boundaries and challenging the status quo. We also celebrate the incredible women at OpenText who inspire us and drive our business forward each and every day. Please take a moment to watch the video.

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Mark Barrenechea

Mark J. Barrenechea is OpenText's Vice Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer. A prominent thought leader, he has extensive experience in information technology and his vision is to enable the digital world to help transform organizations.

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