This week, we celebrated International Women’s Day, a day dedicated to promoting gender parity. This is an important subject for me both on a personal and on a professional level, not just on International Women’s day, but every day.
On a personal level, I look at my daughter and want her future path to be built on opportunity and, with that, equality. On a professional level, I want the same for myself but also for the rest of my team. In my early career, I was championed by male superiors who encouraged me to go after what I wanted. Having made it this far in my career in high-tech, I have the hindsight to see where things went right in empowering me to pursue the career I wanted. I am happy to say that my colleagues at SailPoint agree with me on the importance of embracing more women in technology, and especially, in identity. We can all take action in the following ways to create a culture that nurtures progress.
Our CEO, Mark McClain, speaks often about the Four I’s, our core values at SailPoint. One of those values is centered on individuals and the value that each person brings to the table at SailPoint. Since our company culture is built so strongly around our core values, it should come as no surprise that we have some wonderful and smart women in leadership roles at SailPoint. From our VP of Human Resources, Abby Payne, to our head of customer success and support Meredith Blanchar, Dalia Havens on our engineering team, and Carrie Fruge on our sales team. We have a wealth of talent among the females on our team at SailPoint (for the sake of brevity, I have only mentioned a few of our talented women on the team, but there are many more). Men and women in leadership positons have a unique opportunity to build diverse teams like this.
One way we have worked hard to harness the power of women in technology, outside of SailPoint’s four walls, is through our Women in Identity event during Navigate in Austin each year. Opening the floor to women unearths wisdom that many of us do not realize we need until we hear it. Last year, we focused on a variety of topics discussed among our female customers, partners, and friends in the room, including what their path to technology looked like, advice for women interested in growing their career in IT, and challenges faced or overcome. It was one of the most inspiring nights in my career and I am very much looking forward to hosting our Women in Identity again at Navigate coming up in May 2018.
Building up our communities by empowering the next generation of female leaders will have exponential cultural and economic impact. As a company, we support the notion that women and young girls should feel empowered about moving into a high-tech career path. We do this primarily through our work with a local organization, Girlstart. This Austin-based organization is committed to empowering and inspiring girls to go after an education that focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math). Their belief is that more girls with more ideas will create solutions to more problems that benefit us all. The work this organization does is impressive and inspiring and they are making a difference every day. If you are local to Austin, I would urge you to check them out.
The only way to see true gender equality is to fix the systemic issue of female participation. Women are taking their seat at the table in not only STEM, but politics, the arts, corporations, non-profits and more. International Women’s Day has stimulated conversation globally in both celebrating women’s accomplishments and championing them to charge forward. How are you #pressingforprogress?