Trending / March 8, 2021

For International Women’s Day #IWD2021, Gigamon Employees Are Taking the #ChooseToChallenge Pledge

This year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) theme, #ChooseToChallenge, is a great opportunity to shine a light on topics that have been in the forefront of our minds, especially over the last year: diversity, equity and inclusion. As we celebrate the 110th IWD, our goal is to continue moving toward gender equality not just in the workplace, but also within our personal communities. After all, who we are at home extends to the way we treat each other everywhere.

When we choose to challenge gender stereotypes, we change the dialogue around what is and isn’t possible for both women and men. Through constructive discourse on gender equality, we can shift mindsets and help create new opportunities for those who may not have otherwise had access to them. As the IWD 2021 campaign states, “We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.” I truly believe this is a group effort, and the responsibility to build a gender-equal world lies with us all.

We’re Just Getting Started

I hear it often: Women have come so far. But the reality is that we’re only just getting started. We still live in a time when less than 50 percent of working-age women are actively in the workforce, and no country has yet achieved gender equality.

According to recent data from the United Nations, in 2020 “only 47 percent of women of working age participated in the labor market, compared to 74 percent of men — a gender gap that has remained relatively constant since 1995. In Southern Asia, Northern Africa and Western Asia, the number is even lower, with less than 30 percent of women participating in the labor market.”

Moreover, last year brought challenges that created additional obstacles for many women, especially working mothers and caretakers. While women in high-risk industries like healthcare were faced with the constant reality of higher infection rates, others had no choice but to figure out how to fully integrate their work with their home life. We witnessed this firsthand at Gigamon, where many women (and men) had to begin juggling home-schooling with their full-time jobs, among other domestic responsibilities. Recognizing that this new balancing act could quickly lead to burnout, we made it a point to provide greater flexibility for those who needed more time to adjust. 

We can see that the ongoing pandemic threatens to slow what progress has been made. But let’s take a look at where we were before all of this; in 2019, women held only 28 percent of managerial positions globally (almost the same proportion as in 1995). Back to the same UN report, “only 18 percent of enterprises surveyed had a female chief executive officer in 2020. Among Fortune 500 corporations only 7.4 percent, or 37 chief executive officers, were women.”

At Gigamon, we always strive to do better, and while we have made progress, with 25 percent of women now in managerial roles, we continue to focus on bringing more women into our organization and providing pathways to growth for our existing GigaWomen.

Defying Stereotypes

When we celebrate women’s achievements during IWD, I’m reminded how fortunate I am to be surrounded by individuals who don’t just embrace inclusion, but actively encourage it every day of the year. Whether it’s through our GigaWomen initiatives, which aim to create opportunities and foster growth for all of the women in our organization, or through our OneGigamon team-building events and exercises, which focus on creating and strengthening connections between our global teams.

I’m grateful to be part of this organization. But let me clear that we don’t always get it right and there are moments when we must defy stereotypes. It’s in how we handle these teachable moments that define who we are and what will happen next. When we see or experience one of these moments, or inadvertently speak or act outside of our beliefs or values, we must #ChooseToChallenge. By doing this, we chart a path to something better.


While writing this, I decided to ask some of my Gigamon colleagues the same question. I asked them if they would not only take the pledge but would share how they will choose to challenge inequality in honor of IWD (and all year long!). This question sparked a dialogue among some of our leaders, resulting in the decision to celebrate the #ChooseToChallenge pledge throughout the month of March.

During the coming weeks we will share thoughts, ideas and insights from several of our GigaWomen and the men who advocate for us all the time. I believe that you’ll see why I’m both humbled and honored to work with these incredibly thoughtful people. And I hope that they will inspire you to #ChooseToChallenge, too.

With this, I invite you to join us in taking the pledge. Head to our LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook pages and share with us how you will #ChooseToChallenge to make our world a more equitable place.  

Featured Webinars
Hear from our experts on the latest trends and best practices to optimize your network visibility and analysis.


People are talking about this in the Gigamon Community.

Share your thoughts today

Back to top