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Breaking the glass ceiling - inspiring women in the workplace

  • - Written by Fujitsu's Rocio Del Mar Cárdena

    Great strides have been made toward promoting equality in the workplace. Today, more women than ever are in further education, the workplace and are increasingly occupying managerial roles. Yet despite these gains, their representation in top positions in business still lags behind that of men – especially in technology roles.

    They may be ideal candidates for promotion, with relevant qualifications, experience, and can-do attitudes – but some feel they’ve hit the glass ceiling.

    This is the term we use to describe the sometimes-invisible barrier to success that many women – and other marginalised groups – come up against in their careers. But that’s not to say some steps haven’t been made.

    For example, Fujitsu’s Women’s Business Network has helped to improve gender parity across the industry. This year, Fujitsu UK’s 2020 median pay gap reduced 4% to 11.6%, including increasing the proportion of women in higher pay quartiles increasing to 42.7%. .

    Feats like these are nothing short of amazing. But there’s still more to be done if we’re to foster a forward-looking society that removes barriers to success altogether and welcomes diversity and inclusion with open arms.

    RELATED: Fujitsu: Eliminating bias in the recruitment process

    For many women, myself included, standing up and being heard isn’t easy. Fortunately, there are forces trying to bring about change for good. By harnessing these initiatives, combined with our own passion and perseverance, I hope women can continue to be empowered in the workplace – and beyond.

    Be remarkable

    One such initiative is Google’s #IamRemarkable. Since its launch in 2017, it has helped over 140,000 participants in more than 130 countries. I was fortunate enough to be one of these participants at an eye-opening #IamRemarkable workshop in 2019.

    One of my proudest moments was when I became a certified facilitator for #IamRemarkable. After witnessing first-hand the initiative’s dedication to empowering women and other underrepresented groups in the workplace and beyond, I wanted to help people celebrate their achievements in the same way it’d helped me.

    One of the main things that struck me in my sessions was just how inspirational everyone was. But for whatever reason – be it a lack of confidence or a false sense of imposter syndrome – these amazing people were being held back.

    Or at least they were, until the initiative helped them to find satisfaction and self-belief in their achievements to show them exactly what they are: remarkable! By giving women and other underrepresented groups a voice #IamRemarkable has taken a giant stride to empowering people in the workplace.

    RELATED: Women in tech: 'Changing perspective on what a leader is'

    I’ve also been fortunate enough to work for a company that is devoted to tackling a lack of diversity and inclusion in the technology sector.

    This is reflected in our RADAR programme, which encourages ambitious future talent to step forward and accelerate their professional growth and development. By way of improving current skillsets, broadening your horizons within the company and expanding your network of likeminded peers.

    HERoes Women Role Models

    It was through #IAmRemarkable and the RADAR programme that I was recently nominated by my peers as a Future Leader at the HERoes Women Role Model Lists 2020. To be recognised by such an inspirational initiative fills me with no end of joy and enthusiasm for the future.

    Above all, I feel incredibly proud because awards are a recognition of passion and perseverance. If we’re to break through the barriers we speak of, we must be able to take satisfaction in our successes.

    Believing in yourself is easier said than done.

    RELATED: 3EN's Alison Cree: An unexpected journey to setting up a cloud computing company

    I urge everyone to keep on learning, inquiring and investigating – never to stagnate and allow anyone or anything to prevent you from doing so. The best support is always from those who value and motivate you, so you should surround yourself with positivity.

    Visit the Fujitsu blog for more insight about the digital workplace and cloud computing.

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