A Guest Post by Axon's Brandy Shaffer, the Product Manager for Axon Signal Sidearm and UAS. She also leads our Diversity & Inclusion committee.
Today is International Women's Day, a celebration of the achievements of women all over the globe. We are in a unique spot this year because there is strong global momentum towards gender equality. Yet, we're still too far from where we need to be. The World Economic Forum's Global Gender Gap 2017 report showed that gender parity across the world continues to widen and will now take over two centuries to achieve. Two centuries.
(Image courtesy of World Economic Forum, Global Gender Gap Report 2017)
We must all agree that 200 years is an unacceptable scale to achieve equality, and the only way we can expedite the timeline is to push our society's progress each year. This sentiment falls right in line with this year's International Women's Day campaign: #PressForProgress. We may not see change overnight, but positive steps in the right direction can get us closer to accomplishing our goal of gender parity.
In 2017, an estimated 3.5 to 5.5 million people in at least 58 countries took to the streets to march for gender equality. Iceland introduced legislation requiring companies to prove pay equality. We also saw the first female-led superhero film since Elektra smash entertainment records. A record number of women are running for office, women in Saudi Arabia are now allowed to acquire a drivers license, and movements like the #MeToo campaign gave a voice to over 1.7 million people in 85 countries who spoke out against sexual harassment and assault.
These are impressive feats and they all have something in common: They have ushered in change among large groups of people. The key to progressing as a society is to recognize that we all have a part to play.
I lead our Diversity & Inclusion committee at Axon, a group of 20 employees around the globe who are constantly researching ways to bridge gender and diversity gaps in the organization. Our team has made the most progress when the whole company— including the executives—joins together to make a change.
Our leadership team approved over a dozen people to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of women in computing last year. We've promoted women all over the organization, added a woman to our board of directors, and improved our university recruitment numbers by over 200% in the past year. There's also been an emphasis on the not-so-little things, such as introducing unbiased wording in our job descriptions and installing nursing rooms in our offices. I couldn't be more proud of the progress that we've made so far, and I am excited to continue the important work of making our company more inclusive.
I'm confident that if we continue to #PressForProgress as a committee, the organization will continue to improve. If organizations #PressForProgress, communities will follow. Ultimately, we may see a shift sooner than the Global Gender Gap report predicts.
Elektra is a trademark of Marvel Characters, Inc., and Grace Hopper Celebration is a service mark of the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology.
Axon and Axon Signal Sidearm are trademarks of Axon Enterprise, Inc., some of which are registered in the US and other countries. For more information, visit www.axon.com/legal. All rights reserved. © 2018 Axon Enterprise, Inc.