This Women’s History Month, everyone is invited to choose to challenge gender bias and inequality, committing to celebrating and supporting women. In answer to the call, the Women@VMware Power of Difference (POD) group and VMinclusion planned a wide range of Women’s History Month celebrations at VMware. Opportunities abound to learn about, support and propel the company’s 2030 Agenda: building a future that is accessible, unbiased and inclusive for all.
Here’s how seven VMware leaders choose to challenge gender inequities and help accelerate awareness and change.
1. Amy Fliegelman Olli Supports Televerde Foundation
Amy Fliegelman Olli, executive vice president and general counsel, said:
“I choose to challenge bias and stereotype by acting on the board of directors of Televerde Foundation. This company hires incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women, empowers them to find their voice and purpose, and provides support and stability as they transition back to society. For women who are or have been incarcerated, the obstacles to re-engaging in the workforce, achieving independence and reaching their full potential are extraordinary.
“As the first in my family to go to college, I recognize how fortunate I was to have people in my life who supported my dreams. I would like to have a similar impact. I believe that by supporting one another’s goals and dreams, and respecting and valuing every individual, together we can build a more just and equitable world.”
2. Carol Carpenter Sponsors Women@VMware
Carol Carpenter, chief marketing officer, said:
“I’m fortunate to have had women mentors in my life who have given me advice and guidance throughout my career. I value their smart and sensible perspective and their willingness to choose to challenge the status quo. And that’s why I am thrilled to be one of the executive sponsors of the Women@VMware POD group, so I may be able to pass some of my own experience on to other women eagerly plotting their careers.”
3. Joan Stone Advocates for Equitable Representation
Joan Stone, chief communications officer, said:
“Working as a communicator has shown me time and again how challenging it can be for many—and particularly for women—to find their voice and a clear space where they can be heard. I am passionate about helping young women and girls understand the power of their opinions. I choose to challenge by advocating for equitable representation of opinions, ideas and experiences in everything we do. At the very core, this is about listening carefully and respectfully to all. I am encouraged to be part of a company that values diversity of thought and works to recognize listening as a critical part of making change happen.”
4. Kathy Chou Leads WWSSO to Exceed DEI Goals
Kathy Chou, senior vice president of worldwide sales strategy and operations (WWSSO), said:
“Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) is something I passionately embrace and think about in everything I do in my role at VMware. I feel fortunate to work for a company that makes DEI a priority, and I’m proud of the fact that WWSSO continually exceeds the goals that we set in terms of hiring and promoting diverse talent. Women’s History Month is a great time to remember that everyone brings a unique voice and perspective and ensuring all those voices are heard leads to better decisions, a smarter workforce and a more powerful organization.”
5. Paula Hodgins Embraces Ambition
Paula Hodgins, senior vice president of worldwide global accounts and telco, said:
“As I watched my mother raise three children—and work full-time as a teacher while getting her university degree at night—I learned a valuable lesson about the importance of women embracing ambition. My mother was ambitious for her family, because she wanted to provide us with a good life. She was ambitious for herself because she wanted to achieve more.
“So often, the concept of ‘ambition’ is perceived negatively when it is associated with women, but I learned through watching her to embrace my ambition. My ambition has been a big source of fuel when others didn’t believe in me or see my potential. Be ambitious and dream big. You never know what you can accomplish.”
6. Sandy Hogan Honors Women Who Change the World
Sandy Hogan, senior vice president of worldwide commercial and partner sales, said:
“For me, International Women’s Day is much more than a day. It’s weeks, months and years. It’s generations of women who broke down barriers to gender equality. It’s recognizing the amazing accomplishments of the women who came before us. It’s recognizing the women from diverse experiences, who every day are changing the world with their courage and kindness. I look to these women—my family, friends, colleagues and women from all walks of life—and am inspired to act, to shape an inclusive world. This day is a unique opportunity to renew that commitment and honor them with the power of our collective voices.”
7. Betsy Sutter Commits to Gender Equality in the Workplace
Betsy Sutter, executive vice president and chief people officer, said:
“The pandemic has allowed us to think about designing a radically diverse workforce. This is one where all women feel included, and they have full permission to make decisions that are right for them. This workforce of the future is better equipped to be creative and solve complex problems. I am committed to achieving gender equality in the workplace by making inclusion a competitive advantage for our company.”
How Do You #ChooseToChallenge?
When did you dare to challenge the status quo? Share your story or the story of someone you admire with a selfie of your hand up high.