“Women in technology” and “designing inclusive technology” were two topics in the spotlight at the recent Equality Lounge, hosted at CES 2021 by The Female Quotient, a female-owned organization that strives to advance equality in the workplace through the power of collaboration. As the official equality partner of CES, The Female Quotient hosted a multi-day digital event, with sessions from this year’s agenda ranging from “Women, Want to Advance in the Workplace? Play Poker” to “Speeding Up Inclusivity: Which Initiatives are Working and Why.”
Here are five high-impact quotes from the event.
Driving unity internally and externally
“It’s important to be transparent, call a thing a thing, and act quickly and decisively. I think that’s something most leaders are comfortable with when it comes to driving sales, revenue, controls, and those kinds of things. But when it comes to people and culture, or social issues, often there’s a bit more hesitation that emerges – on how forward, how loud, how bold should we be, how quickly should we react to certain things. We’re in a moment now where quick and decisive action is receiving positive reinforcement. Inertia has gotten us to where we are. If we start to embrace this momentum […..] change comes.”
– Nikki Darden, head of global marketing, Citi.
Finding opportunities to discuss equality in remote work settings
“There’s been a lot of discussion over the last year, and increasing in intensity over the last six months. People are entering into the discussion that weren’t part of it previously. This way of working, this environment, has enabled opportunities to do this. Entire cohorts across North America [are] discussing this, and people [are] coming clean with some of what they’ve faced in terms of their challenges. And people [are] hearing it, and really listening maybe for the first time, and thinking about how they behave.”
– Sharon Marcil, Senior Partner & Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group
Building for everyone demands everyone is represented on staff
“I think a lot about technology working for everyone. First, from a cultural standpoint, we rely a lot on technology that’s built in Silicon Valley and has to work for everyone – in South Africa, Finland, wherever. Secondly, we take technology that’s built largely by men. Google, I think, was the first of the big companies to divulge our gender balance. [….] Our mission is to take information and organize it, make it accessible and useful for everyone. And that piece is so important. There’s cultural diversity and just the representation of the people in the people who build the products. If we want to build products that work for everyone, they need to be built by everyone – and the industry and business as a whole has a lot to do.”
– Matt Brittin, President EMEA Business and Operations, Google
Finding the human side of technology by asking your customers
Brooks Running partnered with their creative agency Huge to develop a 20th-anniversary campaign that highlighted the human stories behind the success of its iconic shoe, the Adrenaline GTS.
“The responses that we got from this campaign were a powerful moment. It really blew us away. The real life runner stories that we started to get were parroting back and highlighting the research that we’ve always seen about what this shoe can allow people to achieve. We heard stories of people running through their grief, people achieving these great triumphs in these shoes, family traditions born out of running together [….] It was clear this shoe means a lot of things to a lot of people.”
– Sarah Holcombe, Associate Creative Director, Huge
Reimagining your work to become a next-gen-ready workplace
“Being values driven – that to me is the big, headlights-flashing shiny thing about next gen. The activism. How values, ethics, morals, social activism all really come into play with Gen Z and everything they do. [It includes] consumerism, the products they buy, the brands they support and interact with, and to the workplace. We’ll see young women not want to go work for some of these well-known brands and companies because they don’t align with their values.”
– Anna Blue, Chief Next Gen Officer, The Female Quotient