By Amanda Jardine
“Choose to challenge.” That’s the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day, which took place March 8 as part of the Women’s History Month.
It’s about making our collective voices heard. It’s about never backing down and never staying quiet. And it’s about highlighting the multitude of irreplaceable contributions that women have made to the channel and the tech industry as a whole.
We do this by putting words into action, taking our shared experiences and lessons learned to implement meaningful, ongoing change.
As a global unified communications provider rooted in diversity and inclusion, RingCentral is doing its part by highlighting the thousands of passionate, dedicated women who make the company a leader in organizational culture.
This year, those efforts took several forms.
To kick off the month, RingCentral partnered with I Weigh, a community allyship program that challenges individuals to find value in their characteristics and accomplishments rather than their physical weight.
By sharing personal motivators and the traits that make us who we are, we can forge connections in impactful ways not often afforded by our current remote office setting. And those connections can only lead to greater empathy and understanding, which leads to comradery and shared activism.
RingCentral’s IWD2021 initiatives continued with the Ringside interview series, sharing prominent women’s wisdom from across the company and industry. Here a just a few of those perspectives, in their own words:
“There is a much smaller pool of women in tech, so we need to actively support them so they can reach senior positions. It’s not good enough to say there are no females to hire.“ – Emily Georgiadis, RingCentral Legal Director, Atos Partnership
“If you feel like you are being held back because of your gender, call it out. We all have different personal requirements – be really honest when you interview. Dig into policies and HR.” – Collette Easton, Chief Revenue Officer at Yard, a performance marketing agency.
“Many women want to feel they have the skills, competencies, and experience to cover 100% of any new job role, and that can sometimes hold us back from making that leap. Instead, we need to embrace that fear of failure.” – Louise Newbury-Smith, RingCentral Regional Vice President, Enterprise Sales
Finally, for its keynote event of International Women’s Day—celebrated over a whole week—RingCentral hosted the SaaSy Women Leadership Panel on March 10. As one of RingCentral’s fastest-growing employee resource groups, SaaSy Women is built on the philosophy that everyone should be comfortable bringing their best and authentic selves to work. Through events, education, mentorship, communication, and advocacy, SaaSy Women strives to build an environment where everyone can thrive.
The SaaSy Women Leadership Panel brought together leading women from across the company — many of whom, like me, are proud ACW members — including AVP of SMB Expansion Jenny Dingus, Chief People Officer Gunjan Aggarwal, Senior Vice President of Mass Market Faiza Hughell, AVP of Partner Programs Wendy Harmon, and Vice President of Digital Learning and Enablement Sheevaun Thatcher. This all-star lineup demonstrated how when women are put in positions of leadership, everyone thrives.
Women’s History Month runs the length of March, but gender equality is a goal that has no stopping point. It must be lived each day.
And it’s only by choosing to do so, by challenging us all to speak up and call out inequity when we see it, will we move forward.
About the Author
Amanda Jardine has been in the technology channel for more than 15 years in marketing and programs roles. She has a proven track record of building and overseeing teams of dedicated professionals to support the growth and success of several world-class partner programs. Currently the Partner Programs Development Manager at RingCentral, Jardine is responsible for implementing and growing various partner program initiatives to engage the partner community. Previous to RingCentral, she had responsibility for channel marketing teams at CenturyLink (now Lumen) and Level 3 before joining RingCentral in 2018. Jardine is a proud Canadian and has a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Western University in London, Ontario. When not at work, she enjoys equestrian activities, adding to her champagne collection and cultivating backyard chickens.