Every March, we celebrate women who have inspired us by their passion and contributions to American history. From champions for civil rights and gender equality to the dreamers and doers in STEM, politics, or the arts, Women’s History Month (including a global day of recognition, International Women’s Day) spreads the message of encouragement and empowerment.
One of my favorite parts of my role at Salesforce is the amazing opportunity to work with our trailblazing partners, a number of whom are women. I asked these trailblazing partners to share what Women’s Month means to them and how they celebrate — both professionally and personally.
Jen Steinmann, Chief Transformation Officer, Deloitte
Maya Angelou once said, “If you’re always trying to be normal you will never know how amazing you can be.”
During Women’s History Month, my first thought goes to my wonderful grandmothers who were each pioneers in their own way. There is a poem that my father hung on the wall in our kitchen as I was growing up. It was “Invictus” by William Ernest Henley. It was my grandma Libby’s favorite poem and served as a constant reminder of family, tradition, and history to me.
I now keep the poem on my laptop (guess that’s the new kitchen wall). These many years later, it also serves as a call to action: “I am a master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul.”
Aniqa Tariq, VP of Emerging Markets, Bluewolf
Events like Women’s Month should bring awareness, celebration, promote diversity and inclusion, and create social community.
I’ve made it a point to reach out to my network and mentees and have mini “celebrations” throughout the month as a small forum to continue the conversation. This could be taking folks out to lunch or watching the very inspiring documentary on Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg and having an organic discussion post-movie.
My message to women in any format — large or small — is this: To be an authentic leader in business, remember to know yourself, trust yourself, believe in yourself, and be brave!
Trisha Price, EVP Product Development and Engineering, nCino
At nCino, we celebrate women all year long by hiring smart, ambitious women and giving them the tools they need to be successful, grow their careers, and create an innovative product that is transforming the financial services industry. For me, Women’s History Month isn’t about looking back but looking forward, building on the progress that’s been made, and paving the way for the next generation of leaders and innovators, both inside and outside of work.
Stephanie Gerst, Senior Solution Engineer, V2
I believe Women’s History Month is a time to remember the women throughout history and the present who have bettered society in ways both great and small. It’s a time to reflect on how far we have come in gaining recognition for our contributions and how much further there is to go.
It is a reminder that while women are still facing discrimination — that we must continue to stand our ground and fight for equality for our gender and for others whom history has ignored — we have a sisterhood of role models to learn from as we strive to make sure women are recognized every day, not just the days between the 1 and 31st of March.
Ashley Allen, CEO and Founder, ITequality
As a lesbian mom of 3 girls, our family has 5 women! We celebrate International Women’s Day with a cake and really do take time to reflect on being a woman today versus 50 years ago versus 100 years ago. We have talked with our girls about women’s suffrage and we read with the kids from a book titled “Rebel Girls” which highlights incredible women throughout history.
As a trailblazing partner, I encourage women on my team to grow their careers. I pay extra attention to make sure the women on my team are not treated differently. So often women are the ones who do extra dishes around the office or clear plates after a team lunch. I make sure these tasks are split evenly. Women on my team sometimes work at home because children have schedules that make 9 to 5 impossible and I understand and respect that. These women are amazing and do an incredible job — working at home or working with kids running around does not subtract from their abilities. I let them know that I understand how hard it is to be a mom and work and that I support them with anything they might need.
Dina Rulli, VP of People Operations, Classy
As a woman in leadership, I believe that I need to always be an advocate and blaze trails for all women. But this Women’s History Month has been particularly important to me because I’m realizing that the access and opportunity I can provide to females is a personal responsibility. A few specific things I’m doing to give access and pave the way are mentoring new and aspiring female leaders, which has been incredibly rewarding as I’m getting to learn from them, too. I’ve also been working to increase internal budgets to bring in coaches to help Classy’s Women’s Community in areas like personal advocation and career development.
All in all, this month has been inspiring and a great reminder of all that women can accomplish, and most importantly, how I can personally ensure I am putting my female network on a platform for acknowledgment and opportunity.
How did you celebrate Women’s History Month? Tweet @partnerforce and let us know.