“Embrace the difference” – advised Corinna Werkle, General Manager, Reebok.
At the Empow(HER) conference last week, over and above the discussions on inclusion, women leadership, work-life balance and “oh it’s still a man’s world!”, what emerged was a compelling need for companies to acknowledge gender differences in order to build an environment that is truly performance based and gender inclusive, while eliminating artificial barriers and subconscious biases faced by women.
What an honor to share the stage with these amazing ladies and what an incredible day organized by Boston Business Women (BBW). It was packed with a stimulating exchange of ideas and an inspirational sharing of success stories, barriers broken, lessons learned, most importantly, what measures companies can take towards achieving a well-balanced work place.
As we listened to stories of success from accomplished women from Reebok, Moo, Fidelity, LogMeIn, America Well and others (and the amazingly inspirational Colletty’s Cookies), it was evident that companies are eager to build truly inclusive work environments and keep their workforce energized. In a panel discussion with women leaders from Wayfair, it was heartening to hear that the company has implemented several measures to nurture a high performance environment and the technology team is 50% women.
On and off the stage, women leaders talked about mentoring, training, advocacy, systems and much more – the insecurities surrounding re-orgs, mergers and executive changes…the top-to-bottom alignment required to drive hyper-growth initiatives…the impact of automation and most importantly, the challenge in staying tuned-in to employee business sentiments.
Eventually, it does boil down to the company culture. While talking about building an inspirational company culture Carol Fulp from the Partnership, Inc. summed it beautifully when she said –“Can you be yourself?”