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International Women’s Day 2021: #ChooseToChallenge

Adriana Bokel Herde & Jeff Taylor, Log in to subscribe to the Blog

We encourage you to join us in celebrating International Women’s Day on March 8th. International Women’s Day celebrations began in many countries starting in 1911. In 1987, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia extended the celebration throughout the month of March with Women’s History Month. These markers remind us of the importance of acknowledging the social, political, and economic progress of women, honoring the vast contributions, cultures, and achievements of women everywhere, and give us an opportunity to envision the future through a contemporary lens.


The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #ChooseToChallenge. While there have been great advances, we recognize that gender equity in the workplace remains imperfect, and each one of us can choose the way we help to make our workplaces and the world more inclusive.

For example, at Pega, we’re helping change the way Pega lives and breathes gender equality by empowering women to grow, achieve, and exceed their personal and professional goals. We advocate for investment in career development actions so women can achieve their ultimate potential. We help showcase successful women in leadership as exemplars. And we permeate allyship throughout Pega. We understand that to get to where we want to go takes the combined effort of everyone – and in the tech industry, especially, men who are inspired by initiatives such as “HeForShe” and commit to be role models and advocates for the equal treatment of women everywhere, at all times.

We’re proud of the steps Pega has taken to challenge our own status quo – reviewing our guidelines and adapting processes and training. For example, we regularly review compensation for gender parity, actively foster an inclusive and diverse workplace, and offer an extended parental leave policy. And our dynamic Women@Pega employee resource group provides opportunities for networking, discussion, and development though engaging workshops and events. We also work outside of our office walls to effect change, partnering with organizations that help reskill and retrain women and others who are switching careers or reentering the workforce, and supporting programs like Girls in Tech, which are preparing young women for STEM careers.

But we know there is still work to do and new challenges to address. Such as the barriers to gender equity that are materializing in direct response to the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic – challenges that have disproportionately placed burdens on women. Research shows an intensification of a number of challenges women already face – they are more likely than men to shoulder increased parental and caregiver responsibilities, have heightened feelings of needing to “always be on,” and are more concerned about being perceived as less committed due to family responsibilities. These pressures are creating tough choices for women, and in some cases, are leading women to consider stepping back from a career track or even leaving the workforce entirely.

As both team leaders and parents of daughters, we understand that in the workplace, as in society, we need to develop and incorporate solutions to address these added challenges and pave the way for a more equitable tomorrow. Together, we can collaborate to build on our past successes and push forward with purpose and direction so the barriers we break today will be celebrated as history tomorrow.

Join us! We’re on a mission to connect, engage, and empower people. Visit Careers at Pega for a full listing of available opportunities around the globe, and follow us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Glassdoor to learn more about #LifeAtPega.


Industry: Cross-Industry

About the Author

Adriana Bokel Herde, Pega’s chief people officer, is an innovative leader dedicated to changing the way the world experiences human resources.

Jeff Taylor, Pega’s senior vice president of strategy and go-to-market operations, helps businesses transform by innovating on company strategies, developing new go-to-market approaches, and motivating key cross-functional teams.

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