* Today’s post is provided by guest blogger, Natasha, a Senior Manager in Protiviti’s Metro D.C. office *
Aspiring to achieve the idealistic view of “perfection” is a battle we often fight both in our professional and personal life. Participating in open dialogues is a proven method for helping to find impactful solutions and guidance to work through these challenges.
GET IT, which is short for Gender Equality in Technology and IT, is an emerging community within Protiviti led by women and men in technical fields across our firm. The initiative is focused on building gender equality through empowering dialogue, particularly to discuss challenges and provide resources, best practices and mentorship. As part of our commitment to nurturing A Global, Collaborative, and Diverse Workplace, GET IT creates a structure that supports our team in bravely, collaboratively, and compassionately engaging in relevant discussions and it opens the doors for our people to identify new mentors and colleagues who also want to be a part of something greater. GET IT is a truly unique and competitive advantage for Protiviti – one which will establish Protiviti as a leader in advancing opportunities for women in technology.
There are two main ways that GET IT will serve our people:
- Empowering individuals to have open dialogue about challenges and opportunities around gender equality in technology and IT.
- Encourage our people to continuously develop through meaningful learning and collaboration opportunities.
With the launch of GET IT, we had the opportunity to host an insightful webinar in which we heard from several Protiviti leaders in response to a TED Talk by Reshma Saujani, CEO of Girls Who Code, which was the basis for the panel’s discussion. One of the concepts that Saujani focused on was the idea of how growth occurs in situations we may find to be initially uncomfortable and the ones where we are vulnerable. GET IT Panelist Shaheen Dil, a Managing Director of Data and Analytics in New York, also spoke to this topic, mentioning how she’s experienced women struggling with the concept of perfection and how that can result in women being afraid to speak up, despite having thoughtful contributions to offer. Women can tend to provide no response, rather than an idea that may be helpful, purely because they don’t want to be perceived as ‘failing’. Aric, a Managing Director in Atlanta, talked about how we can combat these thoughts as we “teach [women] to reset, accept, and move forward. Constantly encourage others to move forward through those challenges.” The truth is, these sentiments can be held by anyone and they are commonly held by women in technology. This particularly hit a cord with me in some of my recent experiences.
During the launch, Managing Director, Tony, from San Francisco talked about bravery. “If you don’t acknowledge the act of bravery you’ve taken, it’ll be harder to take the bigger leaps.” This is an important point which was echoed by Associate Director, Katie, from Kansas City who encouraged us to “tell your GET IT Champions about your challenges with being brave,” she noted, “and tell us what you want to learn to be successful.” Earlier this year, I was offered the opportunity to participate as a panelist for a webinar hosted by ISACA She Leads Tech & RSA. As the youngest panelist and someone who was relatively new to Protiviti, I was nervous! I was fortunate enough to have senior leaders who helped to prep me. After planning and doing dry runs with those mentors, I was able to confidently perform. I felt supported by my Protiviti colleagues. Strong mentorship and diligence made that experience truly memorable for me. I’m excited for GET IT to continue to build around that support, so that all my colleagues can have a positive experience.
Innovation is a key focus area for Protiviti and something we’ve continued to challenge and empower our firm to do. The GET IT community helps elicit pride in our diversity and also aims to evoke a sense of bravery and creativity that will further our ability to be innovative. GET IT will provide a community to help work through the conditioning that may have come from society, the nature of being in a male-dominated field, and other sources that are inhibiting women from reaching their full potential. Instead of feeling defeated with current standards or isolated in thinking that no one understands, GET IT is a forum for conversation, to offer some methods of working through challenges, and to bring issues to light to promote awareness and ultimately to provide solutions.
Let’s GET IT.