In March, we celebrate International Women’s History Month, a month that honors the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women throughout history. While this is definitely a month of celebration, it is also a month to reflect on the numerous inequalities that still persist today.
As a technology company, we are aware of the lack of gender diversity in the STEM world. In fact, in the US, women make up 47% of the entire workforce, but only represent 34% of the workforce at the top five largest technology companies. More specifically, women only make up 14% of software engineering jobs and 25% of computer science jobs. Equally, new data released by two private studies and by the US Labor Department highlights that women are leaving the workforce in record numbers since the pandemic started.
While these statistics can be discouraging, at Collibra, we believe in driving change. As a result, we are partnering with our leaders to ensure we are delivering equitable and meaningful experiences for our community of women. To celebrate this historic month, in partnership with Women of Collibra, we have developed a month-long celebratory program to amplify women’s contributions and raise awareness about gender inequality. We invite women and allies to celebrate with us.
What’s the history behind International Women’s Month?
Since the early 1900s, women and allies around the world have celebrated International Women’s Day (IWD), but the first milestone in the US was much earlier in 1848. After being barred from speaking at an anti-slavery convention, Americans Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott congregated a few hundred women at the first American Women’s Rights Convention in New York. They demanded civil, social, political and religious rights for women.
By 1908 the continuous oppression and inequality spurred women to become more vocal and active in campaigning for change. That year, 15,000 women marched through New York City demanding shorter hours, better pay and voting rights.
Two years later, in 1910, women gathered for a second International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. Clara Zetkin, the leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for the Social Democratic Party in Germany, suggested the idea of an International Women’s Day. She proposed that every year, in every country, there should be a celebration on the same day to honor the achievements of women and advocate for equality. Finally in 1975, Clara Zetkin’s vision became a reality when the United Nations celebrated IWD for the first time.
Collibra invites you to #ChooseToChallenge today and everyday
Set by the International Women’s Day foundation, this year’s theme is #ChoosetoChallenge, because a ‘challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change’. In line with this theme, we have prepared activities throughout the month to celebrate the advancements in gender equality and bring awareness to the inequalities we still need to challenge. Activities include:
- A hosted movie party and moderated discussion workshops on the film Hidden Figures to explore intersectional bias. Hidden Figures is the story of three female African-American mathematicians working at NASA during the early years of the space program
- To raise awareness, we have created Women of Collibra branded zoom backgrounds so Collibrians and customers can show their support for gender equality
- For educational purposes, we are promoting women’s history through our internal communications channels. In this remote-oriented world, we are also including women’s history in our March virtual trivia game
- To close the program, we are hosting facilitated coaching sessions to promote female empowerment because we believe in investing in our women as well as developing the environments that set women up for success
To celebrate, we are also hosting an International Women’s [Data] Day event for our community of data citizens. This event on March 8 will feature a panel discussion with women data leaders from Cardinal Health, TELUS, MFS Investment Management, Voya Financial and more on their careers, driving the success of their enterprise data programs and accelerating their organization’s path to Data Intelligence. Following the event will be opportunities for networking and professional development hosted by the Data Citizens Community.
There’s still a long way to go for gender parity, over 99.5 years to be exact. And that was before the pandemic setbacks that saw women account for 54% of job losses (even though women only make up 34% of the global workforce). The pandemic also widened the care burden and increased domestic violence rates. Further setbacks were seen around the globe, for example in Poland, with direct attacks to women’s rights through anti abortion laws.
But despite these setbacks, there are also many things to celebrate. In 2020, women were recognized for leading some of the world’s strongest COVID-19 response plans, Indigenous women were elected to government positions around the world and Kamala Harris became the first woman of color to be elected Vice president in the US. Read about some other recent wins for gender equality here.
So let’s embody this positivity and come together this month to celebrate at Collibra. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day. We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. From challenge comes change, so let’s all #ChooseToChallenge.
Thank you to Women of Collibra
Collibra sends a thank you to the Women of Collibra Leadership Team for designing and leading this impactful program. Thank you to Laura Case, Teresa Rojas, Livia Leal Wegenast, Lucy Whitty. Kelsey Janetski, Rocio S Martel, Tara Mavrovitis and Jim Cushman. We look forward to a month of community, insight and meaningful discussion.
To create a winning culture, we are being inclusive by design and applying the inclusion lens to our everyday actions and decisions. We are on a journey and invite you to join us. If you are excited by the opportunity to make data meaningful and are looking to join a company where you can bring your whole self to work then join Collibra.