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International Women’s Day 2022: #BreaktheBias

Guy Pacitti, Log in to subscribe to the Blog

Every day, we strive to build an unconditionally inclusive culture and welcome differing opinions on how to solve problems and innovate. On International Women’s Day (IWD), we not only honor the incredible dedication and contributions of women within our teams across the globe, but also commemorate the social, economic, and cultural successes of women everywhere who’ve pushed through barriers to achieve their ambitions. This is also THE ideal time to raise collective awareness of the obstacles that women experience in achieving gender equality. We must not only inspire women to pursue their dreams, but we also need to alter the lens through which decisions are made to ensure equality of opportunity.

We intentionally pursue equality in the workplace because inclusion and diversity are an organization’s greatest strengths.

At Pega, more than 40% of all women employees are active members of Women@Pega, our women’s employee resource group (ERG). This is a vibrant, dynamic community focused on the recruitment, career advancement, social impacts, and allyship efforts that support the broader community of women. Membership includes representation that spans 16 countries across the globe and nearly 60 members of the group are male allies. Why is it important for men to be fully engaged? Because achieving a truly inclusive work environment should not be the burden of the diverse.

“International Women’s Day is not only a cause for celebration, but a chance to reflect on the progress our ERG has made towards empowering women at Pega to grow, achieve, and exceed their personal and professional goals.”

Vanessa Shayan & Helen Anatogu Women@Pega Co-Chairs

Large-scale organizational change necessitates large numbers of people. For that very reason, we created and launched the Pega Advanced Ally program, which is a six-module, six-month learning experience that includes both digital and experiential learning experiences designed to inspire participants to understand, empathize, and take informed action in support of others.

Our commitment to gender equality doesn’t end at our doors.

Pega is proud to invest in non-profit organizations that share our mission of broadening the pipeline of future technologists from underserved backgrounds. We have more than ten partnerships with global and local nonprofit organizations working to close the gender gap in technology including Girls in Tech and Girls Who Code. Additionally, the Pega Scholars’ Program is a global scholarship for diverse (including gender-diverse) students pursuing a degree in technology or computer science. We’re committed to being a responsible, global corporate citizen and an active contributor in the communities where our employees, partners, and clients live and work by helping to grow the next generation of diverse technologists.

  • This year’s IWD theme is #BreakTheBias, which is the perfect challenge to activate a conversation in the workplace about what can happen when bias influences decisions. Reports show that, on average, for every dollar men make in technology jobs, women make only 82 cents, and women from underrepresented communities earn even less.
  • Women are twice as likely as men to leave a career in technology, and that gap is widening during the pandemic.
  • Women are 21% less likely than men to be promoted to the role of manager.

And the list goes on. While I’d like to think most of us are well-intentioned, we’re not free from bias in our communications, engagement, and decision-making. 85%* of us see ourselves as less biased than everyone else. Therefore, the very first step in breaking the bias is to let go of the idea that we don’t have bias and then usher in the possibility that we do. And then stay keenly focused on our own perspectives in order to alter our behaviors, decisions, and how we see the world. Together, as a united front, all of us can #BreakTheBias.

Take a closer look at gender equality in the workplace by visiting these resources:

 

 

* Pronin E, Lin DY, Ross L (2002) The bias blind spot: Perceptions of bias in self versus others. Personality Soc. Psych. Bull. 28: 369-381.

About the Author

As Pega’s Global Inclusion and Diversity Leader, Guy Pacitti is a change agent for diversity and inclusion.