March is Women’s History Month, a month dedicated to celebrating achievements made by women both past and present. While it’s important to celebrate the successes and huge strides towards equality made by women over time, this month also provides the opportunity to shine a light on the work ahead of us to reach a gender-equal world.
With women opting out of the workforce quicker today than their male colleagues due to burnout (McKinsey), it’s crucial that we are able to foster a gender-equitable workplace. In this article, Amy Cappellanti-Wolf, Chief Human Resources Officer, shares her career experience as a female executive and discusses our organization’s journey towards creating an inclusive workplace where all Cohesians can thrive — professionally and personally — and celebrate Women’s History Month.
My journey in understanding the importance of inclusion began with my first professional job working in HR, after graduate school. At the time, I remember always being the only woman in the room. In order to be successful, I felt I had to take on and ‘mimic’ a lot of the male energy that surrounded me. From experiencing the need to be over-prepared to asking the right questions, or taking on the projects that no one else wanted to do — I felt I had to outperform in order to be on the same playing field as my male counterparts. I had to fit into the norms of the team, rather than feel valued for my unique contributions as a female leader.
When I became a mom, my confidence took a hit because I had to balance both a hectic job and learn how to be a good parent. When I returned to work after maternity leave, I struggled with the pressure to choose between being a great executive and being a great mom, while trying to be perfect at both. I soon realized, there are days when I was a better parent and days when I was a better leader. I gave myself some grace and decided that I would do my best to juggle my priorities. I also shifted my mindset from seeking that elusive ‘perfect work-life balance’ to having confidence in who I am as a role model for my daughters. It was with this personal shift, along with support from my boss and mentors, that I learned how to prioritize my time, both at work and home. And, it was then that my career really began to accelerate.
It is with this awareness and empathy that I found for myself, that I hope to inspire in others. Having the ability to understand our unconscious biases — and overcome them — are crucial stepping stones to being able to give everyone equitable opportunities to be successful. At Cohesity, we are working to create a place where everyone feels they have the ability to really make a difference and contribute, regardless of gender, skin color, or sexual orientation. It’s about celebrating differences while finding the similarities that make us work better and stronger together.
Building a balanced, inclusive workforce that is free of bias is something that I am extremely passionate about. It’s not just an initiative or a project tied to an end date. It’s a strategic journey that includes all employees and leaders. At Cohesity, we’ve just started this journey and I’m excited to share our progress to date and where we’re headed:
As we evolve, we are establishing DE&I goals and success metrics to propel our culture of high-performance, learning, development, and belonging; where everyone is seen, heard, celebrated, and empowered to bring our authentic selves to work and thrive. We believe there is enormous strength in building a diverse workforce and are committed to fostering a more equitable and inclusive community within Cohesity and across our partners, customers, and stakeholders.