Today, Wednesday 8 March, is International Women’s Day – a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The annual day of celebration also marks a call for action for accelerating gender parity, with this year’s central theme calling on the masses to #BeBoldForChange.
The #BeBoldForChange campaign theme is a battle cry, calling on everyone to help forge a better working world – a more gender inclusive world. We are a long way off from bidding farewell to the gender gap – 2186(!) according to the WEF – but today can be an important catalyst for change and push us closer to gender parity.
International Women’s Day calls on everyone to take action and be leaders in their own spheres to accelerate change. Offering my support to the cause and rallying female leaders in the tech world, I am using my sphere of influence to bring you some of the women in tech who are driving change and diversity in tech. From what International Women’s Day means to them, to why workplace diversity is so important, here’s hoping that this article encourages you, man or woman, to #BeBoldForChange.
Women in Tech: Claire Vyvyan, Senior Vice President and General Manager UK&I, Dell EMC
EB: What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
CV: For me, it’s the one day which brings into focus the work we do all year round as an organisation, promoting diversity and inclusion across the business. It gives us an opportunity to profile the outstanding contributions of women at Dell EMC, as well as those in the broader community, and reminds us of how far we have come in the UK. However, it also highlights the work that still needs to be done for our daughters and our grand-daughters, to ensure true equality of opportunity for all.
EB: This year the slogan is #BeBoldForChange – what would you like to see change for women in tech?
CV: We are surrounded by technology and in this new digital world, technology is critical to the future success of individuals and businesses alike. It’s therefore paramount that we encourage more women into this industry. As one of the largest technology innovators on the planet, we aim to develop services and products that will be applicable to the whole community. Innovation and development in this industry needs a balanced representation across the whole population – 50 percent of which is female. We need to encourage more women to get involved in tech across the board, whether that is in a technology company or working in a tech role in other sectors. It will be important to provide flexible working opportunities and for companies to promote and drive their diversity and inclusion agendas. This will showcase an environment where there are opportunities available for women and other minority groups to flourish.
EB: How can the industry kick-start change for women in tech?
CV: In many ways the technology industry is a great place for women (and men) to work, as they offer some of the very best flexible work policies. However, I believe it’s important for the tech industry to convey the following:
- The role of technology in transformation of the workforce and workplace to make it better for all
- The criticality of technology in shaping businesses and public services over the next 10 years and the opportunity to be hugely creative and make an impact on the world
EB: Why is a more inclusive and diverse world and workplace so important?
CV: In a world where the population is steadily aging, for businesses to succeed and flourish (much of which will be driven by digital transformation) companies need to attract talent. The talent pool will inevitably get smaller over time as the age profile of the population shifts, and the demand for technology skills will increase. An inclusive and diverse agenda will be critical in ensuring the correct talent is sought after, enabling businesses to grow and develop in a challenging landscape.
EB: What’s your advice or message for women on International Women’s day?
CV: Life is short. Get out of bed every day, do your absolute best as an individual, and try to make a difference to those around you. Commitment and passion for what you do matter, and don’t let perceived barriers get in the way of making the biggest contribution you can make.
IWD serves as an annual reminder for Lynn Collier, Hitachi Data Systems COO
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