As a woman who has worked many decades in male-dominated environments, I’ve had my share of hurtful experiences. In a previous role at a different company, I remember when my male peers gathered around the conference room table to eat, while two female support staff and I sat on the sidelines with no food because we might be needed to get coffee or copies. I remember overhearing the conversations about not wanting to hire women because ‘they might get pregnant.’ Where it was assumed that we couldn’t be in a powerful decision making position because we would be too hormonal and emotional. Opportunities presented to women were limited, traditional and dead end. And to speak up meant being blackballed, alienated or fired.
Fast forward to today. Thank goodness we are in such a different time and place, where such overt displays of intolerance are no longer acceptable. Yet there is much more to be done. While I feel lucky to be with a company where people are judged on the innovation of their ideas, their commitment to the work, and their dedication to each other and our customers, I know our own diversity and inclusion journey is far from over.