7 ways SADA is celebrating #IWD2021

SADA Says | Cloud Computing Blog

By Orkideh Shahidi | Senior VP, People Operations

Happy International Women’s Day 2021 (#IWD2021)! SADA is proud to join the fight for gender equality, so in honor of #IWD2021, and to recognize the impressive achievements of women in tech, we’re celebrating all month long. We’ve always made a point to honor women on this special day, but after an emotionally taxing year like 2020, and in the spirit of our core tenet, “together, we’re all in,” we felt like it was particularly important to boldly stand together in 2021. 

We’re making an extra special effort to acknowledge the impact that women have on our greater community and to highlight how the women of SADA are empowering people to transform their work, their business, and the world. Here are just a few of the things we’ve got planned over the course of the next few weeks to show our appreciation:

1. Spotlighting SADA’s women in tech

We’re excited for a very special session of our Cloud N Clear podcast that features a few incredible women of SADA leading in technical roles. Hosted by our dynamic CMO Narine Galstian, the episode delves into the journey of being a woman in tech. The episode features:

These women are not only inspiring to other women, but they have taken on leadership roles to enable customer development and success. They bring a whole new meaning to culture at SADA. Be sure to check out the podcast to hear about their inspiring journeys, challenges and innovative projects they’ve worked on. They also share insights and advice for the next generation of women coming into this space and give their take on the latest trends in cloud.

Listen to the episode now.

2. Participating in #ChoosetoChallenge

The International Women’s Day campaign theme for 2021 is #ChoosetoChallenge. As the IWD organization explains, “A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change. So let’s all choose to challenge.” Participants in this challenge are showing their commitment to recognizing and calling out gender inequality and bias. At SADA, we’re giving our team the opportunity to raise their hands high to show they’re all in. The challenge starts today, March 8th, and will continue throughout the month. 

Here’s how the challenge works:

  1. Strike the #ChooseToChallenge pose with your hand high to show your commitment to choose to challenge.
  2. Share a story of how a woman in your life has inspired, supported and encouraged you personally or professionally. 

We’ll be sharing our photos and stories internally and highlighting them during our Town Hall at the end of the month. We’re Looking forward to hearing the impactful ways that women have made a difference in the lives of our team. 

In line with #ChoosetoChallenge, we have added a special “hand up” badge on our internal social network so employees can easily acknowledge a female colleague who has helped, mentored or supported them. 

3. Hosting inspirational female-led sessions

Our team will be treated to a few inspirational sessions led by the women of SADA. Our CMO, Narine Galstian, will be facilitating an #IAmRemarkable event, a Google initiative empowering women and other underrepresented groups to celebrate their achievements in the workplace and beyond. The program encourages women to speak openly about their accomplishments, thereby breaking modesty norms and glass ceilings.

Our very own Leilani Alvarez, Executive Assistant, will be hosting a special presentation about women’s empowerment through a financial lens. The basics of managing money may be gender neutral, but women still face unique challenges when it comes to personal finance. We’re looking forward to discussing and overcoming the myths and stereotypes surrounding women and money. 

4. Encouraging women to invest in themselves 

We have compiled several professional and personal development options for the women of SADA to participate in. From workshops to conferences to book recommendations, we’re encouraging female employees to explore opportunities that are designed to empower women, create allyship and practice self advocacy. Some of these suggested opportunities include:

  • The Forem’s Level Up: Core career advancement program (April 12 – May 7, 2021): This career advancement program is designed to help women practice self-advocacy and build their personal brand. The 4-week program focuses on teaching you how to raise your visibility, maximize your opportunities, and open new doors to accelerate your career. 
  • Women in Tech(k)now Day (March 8, 2021): Tech(k)now Day is a twice-yearly conference that showcases women in tech (cis, trans, non-binary) and their craft through a variety of talks, workshops, and panel discussions. This year, the virtual conference is FREE to attend.
  • USC’s Women’s Conference: Thrive Together (March 5-6, 2021): USC will be hosting their first ever virtual Women’s Conference. Focusing on a wide range of timely and thought-provoking subjects, from the groundbreaking advances women have made in politics, medicine and business, to the importance of making a positive social impact, the two-day program will feature several dynamic speakers, including USC President Carol L. Folt. 
  • Google’s International Women’s Day with Students (March 15-16, 2021): Know a business or tech student interested in pursuing a career in tech? This two-day series will feature speakers, workshops and the opportunity to connect with fellow students from across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. The goal is to create spaces where women who are at the start of their careers can find community, inspiration and empowerment. 
  • Your Fearless Reading List: This inspiration-filled reading list will help you tap into your inner strength and transform the world around you.

5. Raising funds to help end human trafficking

The world has seen great progress towards gender equality, but we realize that there’s still a lot of work left to do and changes to be made. Today, 40.3 million people are living in modern slavery, and 71% are women and girls. To be a part of the change, we’re partnering up with Nomi Network to raise money to empower women and girls. Nomi Network is an anti-human trafficking non-profit whose vision is a world without slavery where every woman can know her full potential. Their mission is to end human trafficking by empowering women and girls to break cycles of slavery in their families and communities. SADA’s donations will provide women who are survivors or at risk of human trafficking with the resources, support and skills they need to transform their lives and the lives of their families.

6. Supporting female-owned businesses

To support female-owned businesses, SADA is proud to partner with Packed with Purpose and The Balanced Company, two certified woman-owned companies. Packed with Purpose offers thoughtfully curated gifts with products handpicked from Purposeful Purveyors—organizations that produce high-quality products that create a societal impact. The Balanced Company offers a variety of carefully curated box options, from healthy snacks to pantry essentials to products dedicated to self-care. All SADA employees will receive a special gift box from these businesses consisting of handpicked products of the highest quality from brands that uplift communities, transform lives and preserve the environment.

7. Fighting for gender equality beyond International Women’s Day

At SADA, with a female co-founder, we’ve had the encouragement and opportunity to expand our policies and communications to cater to a more diverse audience. We’ve brought two female board members to the table who have shattered glass ceilings and set the bar high in their respective fields. Our People Operations Team has made necessary changes to have gender-neutral job descriptions, invest into diversity and inclusion training workshops through “She Geeks Out” and participate in and sponsor various events that cater to a more diverse audience. Diversity and inclusion are critical components of our thriving organizational culture, and we’ll continue to implement strategies and practices that support an inclusive, diverse and supportive environment for our employees.


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