Back Applying the Principles of Unified Observability to Empower Women in the Workplace
Sumi Shukla, Vice President Global Partner & EMEA Marketing, at Riverbed Technology
A click today is everything. And regardless of location or time, that gesture comes with an expectation – of a flawless digital experience. These experiences are the heartbeat of the digital-first world we live and work in.
At Riverbed, we drive transformation for businesses worldwide so they can deliver those experiences, cutting their costs and carbon footprint in the process. We do this using unified observability: tools that measure and analyze what’s going on within an organization’s current architecture, so they can make whatever adjustments are needed going forward and automate processes for optimum efficiency.
We feel passionate about taking this approach when empowering women in tech, too. By examining the state of the world, the industry, and Riverbed itself – deeply, with an open mind and a willingness to make change – we can start improving outcomes for women in the workplace.
Analyzing the architecture
We pride ourselves on looking at our customers’ IT suites at a granular level, according to their unique stage, setups and needs. It’s an interesting parallel when reflecting on how Riverbed also views diversity, and specifically women in the workplace.
Sumi Shukla, our Vice President Global Partner & EMEA Marketing, explains, “When thinking about how we can make the tech world, and our own work environment, more welcoming to women, we could consider the entire stage and life journey of women – how they choose a career, and what shapes the path they take throughout that career and even before.”
“For example, it could be that if you’re a daughter of a working mother, you may be more likely to enter the workforce yourself. So, it would make sense that if you have female adults in your sphere of influence as a child, who are potentially in tech leadership positions, you may be inspired and aspire to aim for those goals as well.”
It’s as important to us that we analyze what working in tech looks like for parents and those with care responsibilities. Typically, research shows, these duties have fallen upon women; in fact, in the UK, one in 10 women in their 30s – more than 450,000 women – is out of the labor market because of caring responsibilities, compared to just one in 100 men in their 30s.
So, it’s critical we find ways of balancing the field and allowing men to step into these roles – again, demonstrating equity and equality to future generations, and allowing female employees to thrive without their current burdens. It’s also vital for organizations to see and value the mentorship female colleagues can provide each other – inspiring, motivating and encouraging their peers to confidently strive for their ambitions and goals.
Moreover, we’ve thought about work for women experiencing the menopause. Usually affecting women in their 40s and 50s, but often happening earlier, the menopause can lead to symptoms that make it more difficult to carry out usual tasks. These can include mental health symptoms – like low mood, anxiety, and problems with memory or concentration – and physical symptoms – like hot flushes, headaches and migraines, heart palpitations, and body aches. These are all very real and important physiological conditions many women experience. It’s not discussed openly yet, and employers still have a way to go to truly recognize its impact.
Finally, we’ve looked at what retirement looks like for female employees, so they can gain the closure and compensation they deserve after a long and fulfilling career in tech.
Making the change
Our IT solutions don’t simply plug gaps – they pinpoint when, where, and how frequently issues occur, and remedy them without needing to be told or waiting for things to go seriously wrong. We’re equally as thorough and proactive in our processes and policies that champion women in our workplace, by considering environments from childhood to retirement.
We’ve been delighted to go into local schools and speak to pupils about what a career in tech could look like, inspiring girls to improve their IT skills and follow that path.
When women are ready to enter the workplace, or considering a career change, we do all we can to boost the volume of female candidates applying to join us. Recently, our global HR teams ran a webinar series encouraging women into sales roles – which have traditionally been favored by men. Additionally, we showcase and celebrate female leaders across all our regions; are a certified Equal Opportunity Employer; and have hired a D&I lead to ensure we’re recruiting inclusively.
Once women onboard with us, they’re invited to join Power of She: an employee-led community and network of female employees within Riverbed. Power of She empowers women to share their lived experiences, giving them a voice and using their unique perspectives to drive improvement within the business. Members primarily collaborate on Slack, and often volunteer to mentor others.
Plus, we’re proud to foster a culture of flexibility – where both women and men are trusted to do their jobs from wherever they need, when it suits them, so they can take care of business and their families. We give generous paid time off to create a healthy work-life balance, have a paid parental leave program that allows mothers and fathers to share the load, and provide equal learning and development opportunities for all employees.
And we offer comprehensive healthcare plans – ideal for women facing the menopause – and generous pension and retirement plans, so nobody needs to worry about what happens after they stop working.
Automating the process
Much like we automate IT processes for our customers, we’ve created a space where diversity and inclusion are second nature. Our male employees are allies, dedicated to developing an environment where women are heard and advocated for, and our female employees are emboldened to support each other.
We hope that as time goes on, it becomes a given throughout the world of tech that women are given the opportunities and confidence they deserve. Our unique, unified approach is certainly making that happen at Riverbed.
To learn more about us and what we do, visit www.riverbed.com today.