An equal world is an enabled world. Our individual actions, conversations and mindsets have an impact on how the world around is shaped. This is the message behind this year’s International Women’s Day with its theme #EachforEqual.

As I look around the tech sector, there are achievements we can celebrate:

  • We have more women in technology than ever before; long gone are the days when I was the only woman in the room
  • Initiatives like the 30% Club, that hit its goal of ensuring the boards of FTSTE100 companies be at least 30% female, and which is on track to achieve the same on the S&P (women now make up 28.6% of S&P 100 directors)
  • Community-led economic development initiatives like Women in Cloud which is taking action to help women entrepreneurs create $1 billion in economic access and opportunity by 2030

Yet, there is much left to achieve and many questions left to answer:

  • 56% per cent of women in tech leave mid-career; do we understand why or what efforts can we take to retain them?
  • Pay parity remains unbalanced; how are we empowering women to own this conversation proactively with their employers?
  • The number of women in tech is rising but still remains low; how are we building awareness earlier in the career selection process?

In the spirit of leaning in and supporting International Women’s Day Each for Equal campaign, this blog is my celebration of the motivators, influencers and supporters that I’m proud to know and work with:

The Figurehead: Gavriella Schuster was named CRN Channel Influencer of the Year and is a founding sponsor of Women in Cloud initiative. For me, she embodies the impact women can have in promoting allyship, creating economic programs and demonstrating the key fundamentals of leadership. The wider Microsoft Partner team including David WillisGretchen O’Hara and Sherlaender Phillips, also invest countless hours and resources mentoring, guiding and influencing conversations on sustainability, collective action and social good.

The Friend: Allyships are key to short and long-term success. Mentors can provide feedback, motivation and help focus actions. My rapport with Bill SkinnerAudiocodes is key to ripping up old revenue models and innovating to modernize voice. My allyship with Adam Cole SIPPIO led to creating a new, viable business by mutually deciding to leave the past behind. My long-term relationship with Michael Gorriaran gifted me with wisdom and guidance when I decided to enter the world of entrepreneurship.

The FoundationI’ve spoken before about the positive impact technology can have on empowering women, but technology isn’t just a female enabler but a human one. With new collaboration tools I’m more present – as a colleague, mother, friend, ally and leaderI’m proud to be developing a solution, VoiceInTeamsto give voice and listen capabilities to everybody in the workplace, regardless of role or location to connect openly.

The Future:  My daughter wants to pursue a technology career. She’s involved in STEM, presents on Blockchain and attends cybersecurity and coding classes. At nearly 16 I’m starting to see unintentional bias creep into her world. She is amongst only a handful of girls pursuing a technology career in a school of 2,700 students and passion projects she’s involved in are often marketed only at boys. Her experiences are my motivation for involvement in initiatives like Launch Lake Norman as a way to engage and promote technology opportunities for young students.

Throughout 2020, invest to celebrate the women you love, raise up the women you work with, spend time with the young girls you are raising and take action to be a positive influence and ally to Celebrate women’s achievement. Raise awareness against bias. Take action for equality.

Dawn-Marie Elder is COO, SIPPIO. Voice in Teams is a SIPPIO product.

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