Trending / March 8, 2020

GigaWomen Celebrate International Women’s Day 2020

As Chief People Officer of a network security organization, it’s my job to ensure that every member of our wide-ranging community feels just as secure as the customers who rely on our products daily. A big part of this involves creating and maintaining balance for both the men and women who comprise our talented teams.

Balance, in this sense, is about providing the same enriching experiences and opportunities for success regardless of race or gender. So, when I heard about this year’s International Women’s Day theme, Each for Equal, I jumped at the opportunity to get involved. Not only is this a topic that affects all of us daily, it’s also a fitting time to recognize some key members of our GigaWomen community.

What #EachforEqual Means to Us

Recognizing and honoring women is important, but I think sometimes we get our wires crossed about what this really means. Appreciating women in the workplace is about so much more than spotlighting a diverse environment, hosting the occasional luncheon or handing out a well-deserved award.

While these things have value, true equality requires a much larger effort and it calls for an all-hands-on-deck approach. This, of course, also means including our men in the process — because where men and women differ in so many ways, we’re also strikingly similar in those that really count. We all have common goals and ambitions, and when we work together we also share game-changing successes. Our biggest ideas come to life only when we break down the silos of outdated, gender-biased methods and replace them with new ways of thinking and operating.

If I could ask for one thing in honor of IWD 2020, it would be for everyone to remember this very simple fact: we’re all human. And as emotional creatures, we need spaces where we can be completely free to think, play, and collaborate. I’m fortunate in that I can say we’ve worked hard to cultivate this kind of collaborative culture at Gigamon, and one of my favorite things to come of it so far has been our GigaWomen program. 

Figure 1. The author Christel Ventura, Gigamon CEO Paul Hooper and Kandra Vu, Vice President of World Wide Inside Sales and Business Development at Gigamon.

GigaWomen Make a Difference

We all have a responsibility to create a sense of belonging, and GigaWomen has made this possible. We originally coined the term Gigawomen in 2015.  We saw a need to highlight our extraordinary employees who bring their A-game every day, while still laying it down just as hard in their personal lives. It was important to us to include everyone in our community, while specifically spotlighting the achievements of women.

GigaWomen is composed of motivated people who regularly collaborate to empower women, not only at Gigamon, but in the broader community, as well. The program is open to all individuals in the community — not just women — who are interested in the empowerment of women. It is our mission with GigaWomen to bring people together to create a higher value solution. And now, with IWD 2020 here, it seems only fitting to recognize some of the talented, high-achieving women who help make our organization a better place through their persistent work and innovation.

Meet Our GigaWomen

To celebrate IWD 2020, we’re featuring different GigaWomen all throughout March. We’ll be highlighting these important employees directly on our Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook pages, where you can learn about some of their biggest accomplishments, and what Each for Equal means to them.

About Christel Ventura

Christel Ventura is Chief People Officer where she leads the team responsible for staffing world-class teams and nurturing corporate culture. Prior to joining Gigamon in 2015, Christel led Global HR Shared Services at Yahoo! and prior to that was an HR Business Partner at both Intuit and Credence Systems. Christel holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a specialization in business administration from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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