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Celebrating International Women’s Day: What it means to us

Here’s a bittersweet fact: Currently, there is a record-breaking number of women CEOs of Fortune 500 companies. But this record-breaking number amounts to only 8.1% of these companies having women CEOs. 

“Only 8.1% of Fortune 500 CEOs are women.”

Fortune, 2021.

These stats are echoed throughout several levels of leadership and industries. The STEM field, in particular, has one of the largest gender gaps, with women only making up 28% of the workforce. 

“Women in STEM represent less than 30% of the industry at large.”

American Association of University Women, 2020.

International Women’s Day (IWD) is a day to recognize gender inequity and highlight the need to address this problem. 

At Method, we want to:

  • Show gratitude to the women who make us who we are as a company. 
  • Recognize the trailblazing women who continue to break the glass ceiling. 
  • Appreciate the women who have a huge impact on our everyday lives. 

What International Women’s Day means to Methoders

The first International Women’s Day happened in March 1911, when a million people rallied in support of women’s rights in Europe. The day gradually gained traction and grew to be an important day in many parts of the world.

Today, IWD is a global celebration. It recognizes the social, economic, political, and cultural achievements of women while acknowledging that there’s more progress to be made.

At the same time, IWD is a personal day for many people and means something different for everyone. Here’s what IWD means to several Methoders. 

A day for inclusivity

“For me, International Women’s Day is about celebrating the accomplishments of women across borders and industries. IWD is about an intersectional approach to inclusion and progress for womxn no matter their race, sexuality, or religion. It’s a day that is especially important for those in STEM to recognize as, without gender equity, global innovation remains stagnant.”

Eilis McCann, Manager of SEO and Content Marketing

Recognizing the experiences of the women in our lives

“A friend in university once told me that in high school, a guy in her computer science class told her that she’d “never be a good developer.” She took the comment in stride and used it to fuel her throughout her degree, not to prove to him that she could do it, but to prove to herself that comments like that wouldn’t stop her from achieving anything she’d want to.

I want to foster an environment where women aren’t fueled by a need to prove anything but simply follow their passions. That being said, my friend crushed her degree and is now a well-established developer!”

Khamil Alhade, Product Manager

Nearly 60% of women — women from all racial backgrounds — experienced unwanted comments or jokes about their gender.

Lever, 2021

Having the support to do it all

“For working moms like me, IWD means recognizing that women in the workplace often juggle supporting their families and accomplishing their professional goals. Raising kids requires a lot from women, especially in recent years, where we’ve gone through multiple lockdowns and have been informed of school closures with little notice. 

Having an employer like Method be flexible, understanding, and supportive of the life of a working mom has allowed me to put my family first — something that is very important to me.”

Julia Poon, Digital Marketing Manager

Knowing that the sky’s the limit

“Growing up in South America, women often have their paths laid out for them from the time they’re born. Many women there barely finish high school before getting married off to a suitor. I always questioned this custom until my hero, my aunt, showed me that it’s ok for women to follow their own path. 

Today, my aunt is the proud owner of her own business, and I work for a company where I feel respected by my peers. So for me, IWD should be a time for women to celebrate themselves and one another, as well as work together to help others pave their own paths.”

Saudia Allie, Manager of HR, Finance, and Operations

Acknowledging the women who cleared the way

“My mom has naturally always been a very influential person in my life, and I’m very proud of her accomplishments. She earned her engineering degree from Polytechnique in Montreal, the school where 24 women were shot in 1989 simply because they were women studying engineering. 

IWD helps me remember those victims and their potential contributions to society that were lost. I acknowledge that if my mom had started/finished her degree a few years later, she might have been one of those victims. She has shared with me some stories of the difficulties she endured throughout her career, and I try to think about what might have been different if her path hadn’t been so difficult.”

Phil Cote, Product Manager

Clearing the path for the next generation

“As a dad to three girls, IWD is special. It’s a day that celebrates the achievements of women across the different areas of our lives. 

I’m grateful for the women that have fought for the equality and recognition that women everywhere deserve. I’m thankful that my daughters are growing up in a world that sees the potential they hold and the impact they will have as they grow up. Their interests, hobbies, and career choices are not limited or defined by their gender.

I’m also reminded that the work is not done. I have a role to play in championing this cause, and it’s something I don’t take lightly.”

Dan Van Meer, Director of Marketing

The takeaway: Go beyond International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day is a reminder of the issues women face in the workforce and every other aspect of their lives and what we need to do to address them. It’s a chance to reflect on the achievements of the women around you and re-evaluate how you support them daily — not just yearly.

At Method, we have several amazing women whose contributions play a huge role in our success, and who we continue to learn from them every day. 

Learn about one expectant mother’s journey navigating the job market in this blog!

Image credit: via Pexels

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