Celebrating Gender Diversity and Equality at Loftware
by Mari Waldron, on July 21, 2021
Loftware recently launched the Loftware Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN). The network’s purpose is to promote diversity and equal opportunities for all, help women develop and maximize their potential at work and help challenge biases and stereotypes of women in business. All genders have been welcome at our events, which have attracted audiences of more than 100.
Diversity starts at the top.
It’s often said that instilling diversity and equality in a company’s culture has to start at the top. Bob O’Connor, CEO at Loftware, supports the initiative wholeheartedly: “I’ve been surrounded by women my whole life, and have had the pleasure to encourage their growth both professionally and personally,” Bob says. He then highlighted an interesting statistic: there are 112 women employed at Loftware, all of whom, Bob points out, play a critical role in our success. He also talks about what true equality means in a corporate setting. “Most importantly, I think we [men] have to play our role in your success, which means equal opportunity, equal interaction from a meeting perspective, equal pay and benefits – equality across the board.” Bob sees the WIN initiative as a jumping-off point, laying the groundwork for the future, rather than the culmination of the equality work that the company has accomplished.
The Women’s Inclusion Network has organized two really insightful panel discussions since its inception: the first one focusing on gender equality, with Vita Cassese, a member of Loftware’s Board of Directors and a C-level veteran of the pharmaceutical industry and Nina Pejič, Researcher at the University of Ljubljana and Co-founder of the Gender Equality Research Institute as speakers. Being aware of one’s own, perhaps unconscious biases and being collaborative rather than combative when confronting gender issues are good words to summarize the hour-long conversation: We need to work together, across genders, to make change happen.
The second panel discussion focused on diversity with Chief Judge of the Milwaukee Municipal Court Derek Mosley and Nejc Jaka Sekula, Head of Diversity & Inclusion at Novartis Technical Operations & Global Quality as our experts. They gave us a view of how big global and local organizations make diversity and inclusion a reality: it boils down to being aware of unconscious biases once again.
Diversity and inclusion matter and they make a difference to a company’s success too: according to a 2018 Boston Consulting Group study, companies with diverse management teams produce 19% more “innovation revenue” (i.e. revenue due to new products and services) than those with below-average leadership diversity. It also translates to higher employee retention and productivity, among other benefits.