March 1st marked the beginning of Women’s History Month and this year’s theme of International Women’s Day is #EmbraceEquity. The theme is meant to encourage conversation on why equality must come by way of equity and is set to highlight that not everyone has the same starting point and the push for equity will help to balance the scale. When we come together to embrace equity, we are forging together to ensure that all underrepresented groups are afforded the same opportunities.
It is in this spirit that Partnerize brings women in leadership forward to share their stories, perspectives, insights, and opinions so that together, we can acknowledge and celebrate differences. Without any further ado, let’s hear from some dynamic women leaders on the Partnerize team: Jennifer Kilmartin, Vice President Information Security & Compliance, Jessica Henig, Senior Director, Partnerships, and Miranda Pokoy, Senior Vice President, People Success.
What is one thing that you wish people knew about women in the workplace?
As a woman, I’d just like to say that we’re not looking for positive discrimination. We’re looking for a level playing field. So, we just want to be taken seriously based on our career, history, knowledge, and our ability.
What other women in your life have inspired you?
A woman in my life that has inspired me has to be my mom. I know it is a bit of a cliche but she’s shown me how to be a strong independent woman with a career. We lost my dad to cancer when I was eight years old and my mom brought me and my sister up on our own whilst holding down and progressing in her career at the same time. And I do think that she truly is an inspiration.
What strategies can work well to promote inclusion in the workplace?
In my experience creating an inclusive culture starts with promoting a workplace that is full of respect and inclusivity and that those are woven into the company D. N. A. Our leaders need to lead the way by fostering this type of environment and ensuring that their employees follow suit. What I found more recently to be instrumental in creating an inclusive workplace, is creating a safe space for our employees to have dialogue about the challenges that face not only women in the workforce but also other people from underrepresented groups.
It’s important to find ways to celebrate and embrace our differences. What makes each individual unique and figure out how to leverage them to make the workplace better.
What advice would you give to other women considering a career in the partnership category?
If you think you can do it, you can get there and more than likely you will get there. But I also think it comes down to the people in your life that are also telling you good job, great work, you can do it, go get it.
I think you need that network of people that build your faith and your confidence in yourself, it’s not just like a bottom-up and who is around you, it’s also people above you. So you need people that are kind of pulling you up into these roles and guiding you on how to get there, too. I think the biggest thing for me is just confidence and believing in yourself.
Want to hear even more from the women of Partnerize? Check out our Women of Partnership Interview Series right here.