Happy International Women’s Day! Each year, the world comes together on March 8th to celebrate the accomplishments of women and raise awareness of gender bias. This year’s theme is #ChooseToChallenge, highlighting everyone’s individual responsibility to challenge and call out gender inequality to create a more inclusive world.
This is an especially important year for these discussions, as women have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Four times as many women as men left the labor force last year. Women are also overrepresented in some of the industries that were hit the hardest by the pandemic.
Bugcrowd CEO, Ashish Gupta, encourages everyone to celebrate and take action. “Today we celebrate International Women’s Day. I am grateful to so many amazing women who have helped me understand the meaning of life. While we celebrate International Women’s Day and honor the women who have motivated us, let’s Choose to Act and challenge the status quo, challenge systemic inequality, and pave the way for a more equal world.”
Bugcrowd’s SHE Employee Resource Group
At Bugcrowd specifically, we leverage an employee resource group called “SHE.” SHE stands for Sharing Her Empowerment. The mission of SHE is:
We, the members of SHE, are planting a seed
We believe that 20% just isn’t good enough
We believe we can all do better
We will use our voices collectively to initiate change, grow our careers, and elevate each other
We stand by each other and our mission to make this a better place to work for everyone
In this mission statement, “20%” refers to the fact that women make up 20% of all roles in cybersecurity. One of the goals of SHE is to increase this and recruit more women into the industry.
We talked to Aarti Gadhia, SHE founder and Bugcrowd Account Executive, to learn more about her experience. “My journey has been like a ‘safari’ of experiences. Many industry leaders believed that women don’t put their hand up or speak up and that was believed to be the reason why there aren’t enough women in leadership. I raised my hand several times earlier in my career, but faced a lot of rejection. I finally decided to create my own opportunity at a conference. This went from a grassroots effort to a larger event titled ‘Women Who Inspire.’ It was through this initiative that I learned about the power of a collective voice and founded SHE with a few women. We now have a committee of leaders and sponsors who are volunteering their time to help us with our mission.”
SHE also works to:
- Create mentorship programs and opportunities within Bugcrowd
- Provide educational events such as firesides with inspirational speakers
- Host open forums and information sharing sessions so we can teach each other
- Help members build allies and network
- Keep the conversation going through regular meetings and Slack channels
“I personally joined SHE to help promote women’s empowerment in the workplace. Like many others, I have been affected by imposter syndrome and have felt discrimination in past work places due to my gender. SHE’s vision is to empower and lift one another to achieve our goals and be the best versions of ourselves we can be. That is something I think we should all strive for,” said Megan McCloskey, Account Executive and SHE leader at Bugcrowd.
Tips to Celebrate International Women’s Day
Perhaps due to the pandemic, you can’t celebrate International Women’s Day like you usually would, in an office surrounded by colleagues or even going out to lunch with other women, but there are still many ways to recognize this important day.
You can find ideas of how to get involved on the International Women’s Day website. Here, you can learn how to participate in their 2021 social media campaign by using the hashtags #ChooseToChallenge and #IWD2021.
If social media isn’t your thing, there are still a lot of ways to get involved. Here are a few ideas:
- Advocate for gender equality in your workplace
- Support a women-owned business
- Call or text a woman in your life and recognize them for their work and contributions
- Donate to a charity that supports women
- Read a book or watch a movie that celebrates women
Bugcrowd wouldn’t be where it is today without the hard work of so many women. Today is especially exciting, as we’re welcoming another incredible woman to our team, Sammie Walker, who is starting as Bugcrowd’s new Chief Marketing Officer.
Ending with a few wise words from SHE founder Aarti Gadhia, “Gender diversity should not be a woman’s problem to solve, or an HR issue to handle – nor a legislation to be implemented, or a movement to occur. It should be everybody’s problem to solve!”