In honor of International Women’s Day, we hosted our quarterly Women of Webroot meeting this afternoon at our World Headquarters in Broomfield. Women of Webroot brings together women from all parts of our business to celebrate wins and provide support for issues women in tech may face.
Although there are more women in technology-related positions now than in previous years, the tech industry is still largely male dominated. This divide underscores the importance of a sense of workplace community and support, as well as a place where your voice will always be heard.
Empowering others to speak up.
Attendees shared different stories of inappropriate or uncomfortable situations they’ve faced in the workplace and their strategies for addressing them. The truth is that speaking up about inappropriate comments or behavior can be just as uncomfortable as experiencing them in the first place.
Here are some of the approaches we heard today.
- The straightforward approach: “It’s not okay for you to speak to me that way.”
- Taking a moment to step away from the situation before responding
- Scheduling time with someone individually to address the comment
- Giving someone perspective on what they’ve said by saying it back to them
- Focusing on the facts
- Encouraging and empowering others to speak up as well
- Asking direct questions to get to the heart of the matter, and give yourself time to collect your thoughts
Own your voice.
All in all, some great suggestions came out of our time together. Hearing how my teammates have been successful in addressing challenging situations was inspiring. The important thing is to find your voice and find the approach that is most comfortable for you. Although these can be awkward conversations to have, it is only by raising our voices, drawing attention, and being heard that we can build awareness within our teams, our networks, and ourselves. To achieve and maintain an open culture, we each have to take an active role. We are fortunate to have such a strong internal network that we can turn to for strength, and look forward to its continued growth.