I’ve always believed that working hard and keeping a positive attitude is the way to become successful in the business world. I learned very quickly in my career that I had two strikes against me – being a woman and being black – both of which can create roadblocks.
With International Women’s Day on the horizon, I’ve been thinking about what the AspenTech Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF) means to me. Most importantly, it means I have a network of professionals to work with who support me in navigating my career. The WLF helps to bring awareness to the many challenges women and others face in the corporate world and shines a light on the strengths that diversity, and diversity of thought can provide. When a team is made up of a varied group of individuals, its thinking becomes naturally diverse. This enhances the group’s ability to empathize and communicate with an array of stakeholders and audiences.
I had never heard of International Women’s Day (IWD) before joining the AspenTech Women’s Leadership Forum and have since discovered that it’s a powerful platform to increase awareness to the business benefits of a diverse workforce that includes ample representation by women at the highest levels. This year’s International Women’s Day theme, Each for Equal, reflects this, stating clearly that “an equal world is an enabled world.” According to a recent study by McKinsey, “since 2015, senior leader and manager commitment to gender diversity has increased, and employee commitment—especially among men—has risen significantly.”
The value of a diverse workforce is reflected not only in the theme for IWD 2020, but also in the level of engagement from women around the world. You can learn more about the International Women’s Day organization here.
At AspenTech, we are proud that our Women’s Leadership Forum is a global team, with satellite groups in Houston, TX, Reading, UK, Mexico City, China and most recently, Russia and the Middle East. We know from first-hand experience what diversity of thought in action can do. I think the worldwide team would agree that we each benefit both personally and professionally by being a part of this group. One of our 2020 initiatives is networking with other corporate women’s groups, and we have already met with groups from MassTLC, Vistaprint, MITRE, Women Who Code and others. If you are interested in connecting with us, please email me and let me know!
Here are some photos from the March 6 celebration at our Bedford headquarters and our offices worldwide. We are lucky to have so much support within our company and want to take this opportunity to thank all of our supporters here. We’ve got more work to do, and we can’t wait!