Wnet Celebrates Equality Day
How Do You Measure Equality?
By Linda Perry, Wnet Founder
When I got my first job in a bank right out of college in the early 70s I was a teller. Lots of other college graduates were also tellers and women. I am not sure when I noticed there were no women branch managers. Slowly, women moved up to the branch job. Good, I thought, why not? We didn’t have a name for it, but we could see it. Was it unconscious or conscious bias, unfair hiring practices, no qualified women, tradition?
A few years later when I was leading and in charge of the sales training of loan officers, I noticed they were all men. Were women not qualified? What would customers do if they had to talk to a women loan officer? My path in the bank was via operations, sales and product management as it was open to women. Thankfully all the jobs are open to women now.
Jump to 2005, when a group of women created Wnet. As Founders we were established in our careers and successful. However, there was no focus on women’s careers in our industry. We decided to try to build an organization that could help other women find their paths, meet career goals, and be successful. We didn’t talk about equality. We wanted Wnet to be able to bring together women from our industry to network, teach each other, learn from each other, and mentor one another. Today we have about 2,600 women from all disciplines who come together with a common goal of supporting each other, building leadership skills and listening to and learning from those who have conquered the C suite, created and built their own companies, struggled with work/life balance and so much more.
Once a small group of like-minded women, we are now advocates for diversity and equality. We pioneered new and broader roles for women through our programs and with the support of a lot of companies who trusted us and invested in Wnet and still do.
So, how do we measure equality on Women’s Equality Day? Does your company advocate for women in non- traditional roles? Do we have equal pay for equal work? Is the creation of Diversity and Inclusion Officers the way to guarantee equality for all?
Join us at wnetonline.org and see how we can help you.