Daring to dream and taking risks toward growing our careers can be, at times, an unnerving prospect for many of us. When considering a new assignment, expanding upon a role or venturing into a different professional arena altogether, there are any number of factors that can either strengthen our resolve or leave us feeling hesitant to make a change.
As the global pandemic has altered the workplace as we know it, we’re seeing disproportionate negative effects on women. This is true especially of mothers and women of color. For underrepresented groups, challenges to career progression can feel daunting, particularly when not starting from a place of equity compared with their colleagues.
According to a McKinsey & Company Report, Women in the Workplace 2020, the pandemic has intensified challenges that women had already faced pre-pandemic. Where even two years ago, the movement toward gender parity in corporate America, although slow, was heading in the right direction, we’re now seeing that:
Bottom line? Women’s professional progress has taken a blow, exacerbated by the pandemic, and the financial, mental and emotional toll is high.
With this knowledge, we can move beyond these current circumstances. What’s required is an intentionality in establishing corporate cultures where all employees can thrive – and this includes modeling behaviors from the top.
With a renewed focus and Executive-level commitment, we can create workplaces that:
These are just some of the changes we can make to open the space for women and underrepresented groups to work toward their dreams, to feel bold enough to take risks with the understanding that they are supported to do so. Only then can they truly consider the idea that the potential rewards of taking a leap of faith may be greater than the perceived risks.
We’ve sustained a tremendous amount of change and faced challenges in these past 18+ months that required companies to become more resilient than ever before. As we face a return to the workplace, continuing to be nimble is vital.
At NetApp, we have evaluated how our offices and workspaces need to evolve and adapt to meet changing expectations, allowing us to work as one, global team. Key to this is having a work environment that supports our culture, encourages efficiency and effectiveness – leading to increased productivity and phenomenal employee experiences.
Let’s continue to challenge norms and be brave in asking ourselves the hard questions.
Let’s embrace and understand the new ways in which we can work together and recognize the value flexible working arrangements can bring, specifically to women and underserved populations.
Let’s prioritize our employee experiences. Having a motivated and energized workforce made up of employees that are happy, inspired and empowered to do their best work is, ultimately, what leads to successful customer experiences.
Let’s expand the pool of opportunity that facilitates greater inclusivity and carve paths for all to dare to dream.
Dare to be a catalyst for change and celebrate women technologists. Don’t miss the opportunity to engage with NetApp’s 200+ employees attending this year’s virtual Grace Hopper Celebration.