#EmbraceEquity. This is the 2023 International Women’s Day theme and a long-standing part of Hitachi Solution’s value system. Celebrating our individual differences, knowing that it is our collective characteristics and strengths that contribute to a collaborative and accepting environment that is second to none. A ‘one size does not fit all’ approach that lends itself to real understanding, illuminating unique pathways to true business problem-solving for our customers.
It is the ‘intent to understand’ part that is of particular and universal importance. In business and human interaction, it’s important to recognize the achievements, impact, and instrumental role women have played throughout history. And International Women’s Day is an opportunity to come together on a global scale to further understand, educate, and drive forward the effort to create and solidify gender equality.
Hitachi Solutions takes this even one step further.
“Diversity and equality aren’t just important because it is the right and fair way to operate – it isn’t diversity for the sake of diversity. We TRULY believe it makes us a better company, it’s not just a metric we are trying to hit,” explains Leah Quartano, vice president of our insurance and healthcare sales division.
So how does Hitachi Solutions support, inspire, and contribute to an equitable workplace that then carries over and helps us serve our customers?
Our people and community initiatives are centered around equality and equity in tandem. Our employee resource groups, mentorship program, and career development initiatives are designed to create a support network where employees feel valued and heard. Konsei Women is just one of the employee-led resource groups we have at Hitachi Solutions.
Vice President and General Manager of Marketing Marcel Narish points out, “We are a people-first company. We invest in the individual. We actively listen. We give voice to our employees and offer opportunities for connection, mentorship, and career growth that in turn incite passion for the work we are doing that lead to delighted customers.”
This year Hitachi Solutions is encouraging our employees to join in celebrating International Women’s Day by ‘getting their hug on.’
Lisa Mitchell, vice president of human resources, tells us, “Each year, we try to come up with an activity incorporating the current International Women’s Day theme that creates a sense of unity. Because #EmbraceEquity and the self-hug are the 2023 focus, Hitachi Solutions created branded assets for our employees to use in posting their own personal versions of the #EmbraceEquity pose on LinkedIn and other social media channels, should they want to participate and bring about awareness in this way.”
International Women’s Day (IWD) was first officially observed in 1911 but the fight for equal rights began long before that and still continues today. When you think about the impact women have had on the world, it is no wonder that IWD spurred national designations in the U.S. President Jimmy Carter declared the week of March 8th National Women’s History Week in 1978, eventually leading President Ronald Reagan to expand on it in 1987 and proclaim the month of March National Women’s History Month. What remains constant is the common thread and premise. Each is woven from the same cloth:
- A celebration of strength, resilience, and perseverance in the name of fairness and unity
- A reflection of women’s suffrage, achievement, and adversity overcome through sacrifice by the known, but mostly unknown, women who came before us
- A continued commitment to strive forward for true parity — an attitude that when adopted, benefits not only women but humans as a whole
Here are a few interesting and astonishing historical facts that highlight women (and a few things that might prompt a smile or a shake of the noggin).
Did you know:
- The two highest IQ scores ever recorded through standardized testing belong to women.
- Women couldn’t apply for or obtain credit cards on their own until 1974.
- The first person to survive the trip over Niagara Falls in a wooden barrel was a woman. Annie Edson Taylor — on her 63rd birthday in October of 1901 — went over the falls in a pickle barrel.
- The first initial known female physician lived in ancient Egypt around 2700 B.C.E.
- In 1903, Mary Anderson was granted a patent for the windshield wiper. It would become standard equipment on cars by 1916.
- To imitate men, who started donning high heels in the 1600s as a sign of masculinity and status, women began to wear those high-heeled stilettos and the like as well.
- It was a woman who developed most of the interface elements for the Apple Macintosh. Susan Kare has since left Apple but helped develop the bulk of those little icons early Mac users clicked on every day.
- Women fought for 72 years for the right to vote. But even with the passing of the 19th amendment in 1920, it didn’t give all women the right to vote. It wasn’t until 1965, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law, that women of every color were allowed to cast their ballots.
- Accounting for more than 50%, women now outnumber men in the college-educated labor force.
- The first professional female baseball player, Virne Beatrice Mitchell — “Jackie” to those who knew her — struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig.
- Sponsored by the United Nations, IWD is an official holiday in 28 countries around the globe. Though IWD isn’t recognized as an official holiday in the U.S. or Canada, it has been proposed in the United States.
When women are engaged it leads to better problem-solving, wider industry knowledge, improved talent acquisition, retention, and broader perspective. Creating an environment that is diverse, open-minded, and communicative is how Hitachi Solutions reaches its full potential and leads the way for our valued customers to reach theirs.