International Women’s Day – Be Bold for Change

Progress is the result of human action. The proof is in our history of innovation—from eradicating disease to exploring space to connecting the world with…

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Mark J. Barrenechea

March 7, 20173 minutes read

Progress is the result of human action. The proof is in our history of innovation—from eradicating disease to exploring space to connecting the world with the Internet. Progress requires bold pioneers, inquisitive minds, and a thirst for change. And yet, despite all of the successes of the past, we have yet to achieve gender equality in the workplace.

The sobering reality is that women around the world still make significantly less than their male counterparts. This disparity is more pronounced in some countries than others—in Canada, for example, the gap is more than double the global average. While it is true that we’ve made some progress closing it, according to the World Economic Forum we won’t eliminate the gap entirely until 2186. This is not acceptable, and it is up to us to “be the change we want to see in the world.”

Throughout my career, I have seen the unequivocal and positive effects of a workforce made up of a mixture of generations, genders, cultures, and perspectives. I have long been an advocate on the direct relationship between diversity and innovation. In my opinion, the two are inseparable. Research shows that diversity drives innovation by providing a variety of perspectives. As a result, the more diverse a workforce, the more creative the organization. At OpenText, we recognize that gender is a key component of diversity and are committed to advancing equality and the representation of women in the workplace. As a global company, diversity is part of our DNA. Together, #WeAreOpenText.

Our numbers reflect this commitment. Women make up 30% of our workforce. But we refuse to grow complacent and rest on our laurels. While we maintain a higher-than-industry gender diversity average, we continually strive to improve our numbers and create opportunities for women.

Gender equality is about much more than numbers. Increasing female representation in male-dominated industries, appointing more women in senior leadership roles, and eliminating the wage gap are only part of the equation. We need to ensure access to opportunities and provide role models to inspire and mentors to influence women from a young age. We participate in events like the Hour of Code to provide young women in our community with the opportunity to learn about the exciting field of computer science and plant the seed of a future in technology. We foster employee mentorship and career development by sending delegates to the annual Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing conference. These women are innovators and thought leaders who make meaningful contributions to our success at OpenText. What they bring back from the conference helps us shape the future.

Introducing Computer Science to Young Women in our Community with the Hour of Code

Accelerating progress for women in the workforce and in the community will require individuals, organizations, and society as a whole to demand change. We must act boldly with a sense of urgency and purpose. We must challenge the status quo. This will require a fundamental shift of societal norms, corporate culture, and even personal principles. Change of this magnitude can be difficult, nevertheless, we must persist. If we come together—in all our diverse glory—and raise our voices, we can affect tremendous change. But we must unite. We must speak up. And we must #BeBoldForChange.

To learn more about how OpenText is committed to working together to eliminate the obstacles and biases that often prevent women from realizing their limitless potential, visit our International Women’s Day page.

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Mark J. Barrenechea

Mark J. Barrenechea joined OpenText as President and Chief Executive Officer in January 2012, and also serves as a member of the Board of Directors. In January 2016, Mark took on the role of Chief Technology Officer and was appointed Vice Chair in September 2017.

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