Celebrating International Women’s Day with Practical Ways to Level the Playing Field
A few weeks ago, we hosted a high-energy women’s leadership breakfast during our annual Sales Kickoff in San Francisco. Conference attendees came together to connect with colleagues and engage in inspiring conversations with a panel of women leaders from Silicon Valley companies including LeanIn.org, SalesforceIQ, Index Ventures, Code2040, Zoox, and Permira.
The discussion was energizing, thought-provoking and served as a good reminder of how important it is for companies to focus on ensuring gender diversity at the leadership table. I am happy to say that today, we have the largest team of women in sales and marketing positions in our company history. This event underscored the possibilities on the horizon, and I was struck by how important it is to foster and grow this talent pool across all departments — engineering, operations, finance and beyond. I left feeling proud, and also keenly aware that we continue to have room to improve.
My friends know that I am a committed sports fan so to use that vernacular: we need to build a stronger bench. Women are incredibly valuable players, and we have a responsibility to continually invest in and prepare them for higher leadership opportunities – especially in fields that are dominated by men in many other companies.
At Genesys, we recognize that a diverse workforce is a critical component of our success. We strive to be a company that embraces diversity and inclusion for all. That extends beyond gender to include nationality, ethnicity, age, orientation, and more. It’s not only the right thing to do, but it makes sound commercial sense too. We know that diverse teams create better business outcomes. This is backed up by McKinsey’s latest report, Delivering through Diversity. The report says that companies in the top 25 percentile for gender diversity in their executive teams, were 21 percent more likely to experience above-average profits.
It is time to raise our game. We’re doing just that by introducing our own version of the National Football League’s Rooney Rule. At Genesys, that means all open positions at the vice president level and above are filled from a final candidate pool that is diverse and includes minority candidates. This forces hiring managers to consider a wider range of candidates with a breadth of skills they might not have otherwise considered.
To all our partners, employees and friends, I hope we can join together to truly embrace diversity and to advance the role of women, both in the workplace and in society. As a husband and father, I want to create a world where the workplace is welcoming to all, where differences are embraced, and everyone is recognized for their talent and contributions.
Happy International Women’s Day!