If you’re not familiar with International Women’s Day (IWD), it’s a global celebration of “the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women” and a call to action to accelerate gender parity. The original IWD in 1911 was supported by more than a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. Today, IWD belongs to all groups collectively everywhere. This year’s campaign theme is #BalanceforBetter, reminding everyone that “A balanced world is a better world.”
At SAP Litmos, we have tons of positive energy to contribute to this celebration and are thrilled to be a voice in the worldwide conversation. Notably, our SAP Litmos Melbourne Office [pictured] got to start the celebrations several hours earlier than those of us in the US!
Across the globe, we’re a company strengthened by empowered women at all levels and across functions. We’re equally strengthened by a remarkable group of outspoken female customers, who are making tremendous impacts on their organizations, as well as on the learning and development (L&D) space at large.
In preparation for today, we asked these customers to share their thoughts on IWD and the importance of having strong women in L&D. The results were nothing short of inspiring! Rather than attempting to paraphrase, we will let their beautiful words speak for themselves.
Insights on International Women’s Day from SAP Litmos Customers:
“Most everyone is aware that Girl Scouts helps girls become strong, confident leaders who make the world a better place. But it’s less obvious that Girl Scouts develops accomplished, capable adults, too. When our volunteers offer their time, they take an often unintentional path to their own growth. I’m proud to be a part of developing tools for women and men to become strong, effective leaders who serve their community in such a powerful way.”
Sandy Sultz, Adult Learning Manager, Girl Scouts of San Diego
“The International Women’s Day theme for 2019 ‘Think equal, build smart, innovate for change’ could not be more relevant to the L&D field. Women are natural born leaders that bring critical L&D skills to their organizations that are more important than ever. Our high capacity for empathizing with others builds relationships. We are resilient when faced with change. We recognize people’s potential and help them grow. We are passionate long-life learners. I channel that passion and those skills to transform my organization’s L&D culture, to advance equality and diversity, intelligence and innovation at an individual and organizational level.”
Miriam Calvo-Gil, Production Information Systems Manager, Proponent
“Although women have made great strides in L&D over the last 15 years, there is more work to be done around women of color in senior leadership roles. Most tech leaders are working hard to address this problem. They realize to keep pace with a globally diverse workforce and customer base, they must address the challenges of growing skill sets, as well as providing continuous learning opportunities across a landscape of varying needs and learning styles. Women, particularly women of color, are in a unique position to help. First, they represent the dynamic, multi-cultural demographic of their workforce and customers. But what’s even more special is their unique understanding of the subtleties of global education, varying ideologies and specific cultural learning needs. This insight provides a strategic advantage to organizations that must remain competitive in a fast-changing global market where cultural awareness and understanding advances business and opens worldwide opportunities.”
Denise Corrales, Director, Education and Development, Adaptive Insights
"Unlike comic-book superheroes, nonprofit professionals rarely don a cape and emerge from a phone booth to come to the aid of a damsel in distress or a town on the brink of destruction. They stay mainly behind the scenes and do what needs to be done to keep the money flowing from donors and other funding sources to the programs and people who are out there in the trenches. Learning and Development professionals undoubtedly play a similar role of those hidden heroes; impacting the growth and career development of individuals when no one is looking; and more so among the nonprofit sector where professional development funding is scarce. I am grateful for the for-profit sector and L&D professionals who donate their time and resources to make my efforts worthwhile. Without them, there is no Learning & Development in my world."
Victoria Torres, Director of Organizational Development, OneOC
“In my 15 years of working in the learning, enablement and training industry, I have been fortunate to work with a group of talented women colleagues and leaders who are equally passionate about designing, developing and delivering creative, digital learning and research solutions for organizations. They are innovative thinkers and excel in creating robust, effective and engaging learning solutions. As training professionals and leaders, one of the key skills we require is Empathy. Empathizing with learners, while recognizing and developing their potential is crucial and women are naturals at that. Moreover, women are great collaborators and are very thorough in needs analysis, which is at the core of any training and development program.”
Vineeta Magoo, Senior Training and Development Program Manager, Sabre
“As a woman we can bring so much to the business table. We think differently and have a unique set of natural skills, which are fundamental in today’s world where coaching and mentoring of our people is crucial to an organisation’s success. As women we need to be brave, we need to believe in ourselves and see that our contribution is important. More importantly, we need to encourage other women in the business world to see these qualities for themselves, with the view one day to achieving equal representation around the board room table. It all starts with finding a role model who inspires you and nurturing female talent through learning and development opportunities.”
Rachel Begbie, Learning, Development & Well-Being Director, Corinthia Hotels Limited
“As a lifelong member of the Girl Scouts, I believe in supporting those who so generously volunteer their time to build girls of courage, confidence, and character who make the world a better place. I love providing opportunities, both online and offline, for our leaders to gain knowledge and skills that can help them more effectively serve the Girl Scouts in their communities. Our organization has a strongly supported volunteer base. By offering more content and training online, we better accommodate volunteers in maximizing their time so that they don’t have to decide between work, family, life, and volunteering. I’m privileged to be a part of a Volunteer Engagement team who strive to make it easier for volunteers to do what they do for girls. Our dedicated staff works to empower great leaders, who endeavor to grow tomorrow’s strong women. Working to shape the future is the very best profession to be in!”
Lori Beverage, Volunteer Learning Technologies Manager, Girl Scouts Eastern Massachusetts
“It continues to be important for women to be in tech roles within their industries. I think by adding diversity to these positions we open ourselves to new ways of thinking. We also enable others within our organization to see that tech roles are not just for men. Strong women in influential tech roles open up the industry to normally male dominated positions for our younger female colleagues. They will begin to understand that these roles are ones that they are able to be productive in and can, thus, bring a new dimension and course of thought to the industry. The best decisions are made when they are fully vetted and represent a broad community base. By integrating women into tech roles, the industry will continue to grow and be more representative of the tech population.”
Laura Beth Matson, Director HRIS, GEC Packaging Technologies
On behalf of the SAP Litmos team, we extend a huge thank you to these incredible women for sharing their words of wisdom with us, so that we could share them with you. We hope you enjoy the celebrations and get some time to reflect on the important meaning of this day!