Press for Progress

Today, as the world celebrates and reflects on the achievements of women, OpenText continues the important conversation to promote and support women in technology with…

Mark J. Barrenechea profile picture
Mark J. Barrenechea

March 7, 20185 minute read

Today, as the world celebrates and reflects on the achievements of women, OpenText continues the important conversation to promote and support women in technology with our participation in International Women’s Day 2018. We maintain the unequivocal belief that gender equality is critical to the success of OpenText, the technology industry, and that it contributes to a fair and productive society.

Press for Progress” is this year’s theme for International Women’s Day, which encourages companies around the world to achieve gender equality. OpenText agrees.

What does gender equality mean? To us at OpenText, it means gender parity. The world’s gender ratio is 50:50; we need to strive for this ratio in technology and other industries. This refers not just to numbers of employees, but also to equal pay for the same work and same performance.

Gender equality is the right thing to do. It is essential to all industries because, without it, innovation is not complete. We would lack the talents, experiences, and perspectives derived from men and women working in equal share.

The OpenText workforce is comprised of 29 percent women and 71 percent men. The top technology companies have an average representation of 18 percent women. Although OpenText is in the top percentile for gender representation, we are not satisfied. Further, our policy and practice is to pay equally for the same role and same performance.

We challenge ourselves and the technology industry to take real steps to achieve gender equality. To help get us there, we have laid out beliefs that we follow to hold ourselves accountable and create real change:

  1. We need to encourage our kids to learn technology early and promote the value of continuous education, curiosity, and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs.
  2. We must take advantage of digitalization and analytics tools to dismantle some of the traditional barriers to women’s representation, such as life events that include raising children or family care.
  3. We must increase the pace and priority for achieving gender equality as an integral part of the corporate agenda.
  4. We must establish visible gender equality programs to create dialogue, remove biases, and facilitate practical changes. At OpenText, we’re seeing an impact with programs such as town halls, Grace Hopper delegations, regional IWD celebrations, internal sponsorship and mentorship initiatives, and a speaker series.

By focusing on these beliefs, we have already begun to create positive change. At OpenText, women’s representation is at 40 percent for our operations in Canada, 42 percent in China, and 45 percent in the Philippines.

In 2015, we launched the Women in Technology (WIT) Program. The program is designed to define a higher standard for workplace diversity through progressive education, leadership opportunities, and engaging programs.

Grace Hopper Delegates, 2017

Hour of Code, Waterloo 2017

To date, the program has involved:

  • Signing the Catalyst Accord: A pledge to accelerate the advancement of women in business in Canada.
  • Becoming a Gold Sponsor of the Grace Hopper Celebration (GHC) of Women in Computing, investing in our top female talent by sending our third delegation of leaders to the largest women’s technical conference in the world.
  • Participating in the Grace Hopper event in Bangalore, a satellite event, attended by ten delegates from our team in India.
  • Hosting approximately 400 children at Hour of Code events around the world as part of an initiative that aims to encourage more students to enter STEM fields.
  • Celebrating innovation and digital leadership in the Women in Technology (WIT) Speaker Series, featuring keynotes by trailblazers.

Introducing the Women in Technology Summit

Building on the success of our WIT Program Speaker Series, I am pleased to announce a full-day Women in Technology Summit on Thursday, July 12 at OpenText Enterprise World 2018.

This event builds on the success of last year’s sold-out Women in Technology Luncheon at Enterprise World. It will take place from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Thursday, July 12, 2018 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The summit will bring together prominent leaders who are breaking down barriers and driving equality in business and society. To kick the day off, I will sit down with Megan Smith, former CTO for the United States, for a fireside chat about how to build an inclusive and high-impact workforce. Keynotes and panels will explore topics like mitigating unconscious bias with AI and how to impact the STEM pipeline.

Gender equality is not only right; it is the smart path to take. In a study last year, PwC estimated that closing the wage gap could result in growth of $105 billion in GDP in Canada. A recent report from McKinsey showed that achieving gender parity could add $28 trillion or 26 percent to annual global GDP in 2025. OpenText agrees.

“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”
– Gloria Steinem

As Canada’s largest software company, we are in a unique position to Press for Progress.  To learn more, read our press release. Or join our conversations at the OpenText Women in Technology Summit, Enterprise World 2018, Enfuse, or an OpenText iTour stop near you.

Mark J. Barrenechea and the OpenText Leadership Team

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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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