Get WIT It!

Equality between man and woman concept with beam scales and sign
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TIBCO is proud to recognize and celebrate Women’s Equality Day this Saturday, August 26. Why August 26? Because that is the date of the annual observance of the passing of the 19th Amendment in 1920 giving women the right to vote. Women’s Equality Day was introduced to Congress in 1971 by Bella Abzug, a social activist and leader of the women’s movement. It was passed and first celebrated in 1972. Every US president since has published the same proclamation in its honor.

This focus on gender equality and diversity has become even more prevalent recently, across sectors, industries, and geographies. Men play a critical role in this evolution as well and are necessary to the successful advancement of women. A global campaign spearheaded by the United Nations, HeForShe, solicits men’s support in the fight for gender equality. A spokeswoman for HeForShe, Emma Watson, brought awareness to this issue in her viral speech at the UN Headquarters in 2014, where openly invited men’s participation, emphasizing that “gender equality is your issue too.”

This past April, TIBCO introduced a new global gender diversity initiative, Women Igniting TIBCO (WIT), aimed at connecting, developing, and empowering TIBCO women, candidates, and others through networking events, conferences, mentoring, and various learning programs. While some of the sponsorships are technology focused, WIT is inclusive of all women as well as men.

WIT’s quickly growing number of partners and sponsors includes App Camp for Girls, Women Who Code, and the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing—that’s just the start. TIBCO participated in the first global 50/50 Day on May 10, hosting screening and discussion events in many locations around the world, and plans to join in next year’s global cross-industry event as well. A monthly WIT speaker series, introduced in June, highlights internal and external speakers, from high-powered TIBCO saleswomen to a nine-year-old girl showcasing a coding board game she created and shares with companies, schools, and nonprofit organizations.

A unique and key hallmark of WIT is its extensive and enthusiastic support from executives, including men. For example, the WIT speaker series stemmed from an idea by Mark Palmer, SVP of TIBCO Analytics, who proposed a round table with top-performing women employees. Our CEO Murray Rode, an avid proponent of diversity and advancement of underrepresented groups, introduced both WIT and 50/50 Day. In a recent all-employee email, Rode reaffirmed TIBCO’s commitment to diversity initiatives, emphasizing that “it makes us a stronger company and a better place to work, and makes for a better society in general.” He also announced a new company-wide awareness and training campaign focused on unconscious bias, including how to recognize, counter, and address it.

It’s an exciting time to be at TIBCO. Join us as we celebrate Women’s Equality Day, acknowledging how far we’ve come and how much further there is to go.