Trending / March 8, 2023

On International Women’s Day #IWD, GigaWomen Look to #EmbraceEquity

The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) is to #EmbraceEquity and spread awareness of the difference between equal opportunity and equitable opportunity — where every woman needs a different and unique set of tools to achieve their full potential in the workforce.

The following mission statement from the IWD collective resonates personally with me: “To shine a spotlight on activity, uplifting, and inspiring women to pursue goals without bias or barrier.” It goes without saying that each person who enters the workforce, enters it with their own set of opportunities and obstacles — but it is our job, as industry leaders, to remove barriers wherever we can and assist in overcoming obstacles we don’t have the power to remove. This is especially true in cybersecurity/tech, where women account for fewer than 30 percent of a highly male-dominated industry.

And while today is IWD, it is every day at Gigamon that we look to uplift women and provide them with the tools necessary to pursue their career ambitions. We know that this is just a starting point, but we at Gigamon are committed to continuing on this trajectory. Specifically, Gigamon recently added two women to its senior leadership: Allison Wales Mausling and Dee Dee Acquista. As a result of their accomplishments, skills, and continued hard work and dedication, Gigamon also promoted Sandhya Sagar, Adeline Goh and Kristi Thiele into senior roles within our organization.

In honor of IWD, we asked these bright and talented women to share their thoughts about what IWD and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) means to them.

Adeline Goh, Vice President of International Growth Markets

To me, #EmbraceEquity means leveling the playing field for everyone to pursue their goals and aspirations and taking their circumstances into consideration. This mission speaks to me, “To forge inclusive work cultures where women’s careers thrive and their achievements are celebrated.”

The leaders of Gigamon have always built a culture of embracing equity. The Gigamon leadership team supports all employees with career aspirations, helping them grow internally and expand their horizons by providing not only equal, but equitable opportunities. I personally benefited from this and am thankful for the exposure and opportunities made available regardless of where I am located geographically, my background, or circumstances.

As a result, I also look at how I can help others around me by providing an environment of understanding for all. We all have lives outside of our careers to balance, but we too have various aspirations at work and at Gigamon. I feel we are encouraged and empowered to fulfill both.

Allison Wales Mausling, Vice President of Sales Operations 

One of my heroes was former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. She said, “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.” This quote is a lighthouse for me when it comes to making business decisions with the Gigamon team. To me, #EmbraceEquity means listening to all voices, not just the dominating ones. Without diversity of opinion, how can we be sure that we have found the right solution?

The Women at Work mission of IWD speaks to me on all levels, as I consistently advocate for equity in pay, opportunity, and experience.

I recently joined the Gigamon leadership team and was thrilled by the opportunity to work alongside such a strong set of female leaders. Even better, these leaders were advocating for the promotion of two other women on the team. My objective for any team I work with is transparency and communication, with a focus on helping each other succeed while each playing to our strengths. I’m looking forward to doing that with the incredible women on the Gigamon team.

Dee Dee Acquista, Vice President of Global Channels and Alliances

#EmbraceEquity means that we, as female leaders, must slow down and take the time to get to know our teams. Understanding who each person is, what their unique circumstances are, and which goals they’re working towards helps leaders define a plan for their team members to achieve success – both inside and outside of the organization.

Kristi Thiele, Vice President of Worldwide Sales Engineering

I am so grateful to work for a company that not only talks about embracing equity, but also demonstrates it with their actions. Having recently been promoted to my current role, I am excited to leverage my experience in helping shape the future of sales engineering on the Gigamon team.

As a woman in a male-dominated industry for over 25 years, I have worked in companies that did not fully embrace equity but maintained the status quo. Today, I have an amazing opportunity to be leading and setting an example for others.

Sandhya Sagar, Chief of Staff

The IWD mission that strongly resonates with me is: “To forge inclusive work cultures where women’s careers thrive and their achievements are celebrated.”

I am very aware of the challenges and insecurities women face in the workplace, and it is our collective responsibility to create work environments where women are supported and encouraged. I am actively involved in mentoring female colleagues and sharing my experiences and lessons learned to provide support and sponsorship where applicable.

Nathan Odell, Director, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

To truly #EmbraceEquity we must evolve our understanding of “fair.” In the world we live in, fair tends to mean, treating everyone the same. This concept completely ignores the different needs, economic disadvantages, systemic biases, and barriers that have prevented so many women from sharing the same or greater success as men.

To create equity is to ensure every women’s individual circumstances and needs are addressed to enable them to thrive in the workplace. This takes a willingness to reflect on areas for growth, and the commitment to consistently expand our thinking and practices to wholly #EmbraceEquity. 

At Gigamon, one of our core beliefs is “Employees First.” To me this tethers us to an essential part of creating an equitable workplace. We listen to the feedback and needs of our employees and take meaningful action to address them. This inclusive belief enables us to always strive for equity.

To learn more about the Gigamon team and its mission of embracing innovation through diversity of thought, visit the career page online here. For more on the Gigamon women helping to shape the future of women in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), follow along on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

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