Reflections on Women’s History Month
The past year has been nothing short of contradictions.
There were many moments of celebration.
I saw Kamala Harris shatter the glass ceiling as she became the first woman and person of color to serve as vice president of the United States.
I felt a rush of pride as Jacinda Arden earned global recognition for her management of the pandemic in New Zealand, joining a long list of women who are fierce defenders of their people.
I applauded Ruth E. Carter – one of our special guest speakers this Women’s History Month– as she continued to make historic wins following her success as the first African American to win an Academy Award in 2019 for “Best Costume Design”.
I stood in absolute awe of our CEO, Melissa Di Donato, for being the first woman to take a multi-billion euro company public on the Deutsche Börse.
Yet, amidst the significant leaps made by women in politics, business and culture – there have been moments of crushing setbacks. We cannot ignore the toll of close to two years of pandemic life on women.
For one, we saw a near-immediate effect on women’s employment. According to a study by McKinsey, one in four women considered leaving the workforce or downshifting their careers.
Low-income women, especially women of color, suffered disproportionately. Laden with minimum wage salaries, many found themselves to be essential workers on the frontlines while they juggled being primary caregivers at home.
As a woman of Chinese descent living in the United States, I continue to reel from the spike in hate crimes against the AAPI community. Data reveals that the majority of hateful incidents during the pandemic have been directed at AAPI women. As a first-time mom to a two-year old girl, this sometimes keeps me up at night.
I share all of these not to sound the death knell. FAR from it. I share them to express the profound dissonance women have experienced over the last year, and to spotlight the silver lining behind it all.
On one hand, we’ve had incredibly significant and celebratory moments. On the other, we’ve endured crushing setbacks. But the truth is: within this uncomfortable tension I have found my statement of hope. It is that we just don’t give up. We continue to rise. We continue to extract critical lessons from our collective experiences – both good and bad – and use them as fuel in our demand for equity and justice.
This Women’s History Month, I salute women everywhere for their grit, strength and resilience.
To celebrate the theme, “break the bias”, we are hosting a series of thought-provoking discussions focused on exactly that – breaking the bias. We have a stellar line-up of guests hosted by women at SUSE – including a fictional writer, an Academy Award winning costume designer, a shark attack survivor, a survivor of childhood trauma, an overcomer of disability… and more.
We’ve intentionally opened each of these sessions to the public – so I invite you to join us, and invite everyone around you to do the same.
Mark your calendars and register by using the links below. The SUSE team and I look forward to welcoming you.
|Date / Time||In Conversation With||Register|
|Friday, March 4
10am PT / 6pm GM
|In Conversation With Fictional Writer Naomi Novik & SUSE’s Lead of COO Initiatives Katerina Arzhayev – #BreakTheBias of Negative Perceptions||Register Now!|
|Wednesday, March 9
5am PT / 1pm GMT
|In Conversation With Academy Award Winning Costume Designer Ruth E Carter & SUSE CEO Melissa Di Donato – #BreakTheBias for Equal Recognition||Register now!|
|Tuesday, March 15
9am PT / 4pm GMT
|In Conversation With Professional Surfer Bethany Hamilton & SUSE CEO Melissa Di Donato – #BreakTheBias of Post-Traumatic Events||Register now!|
|Thursday, March 24
8am PT / 3pm GMT
|In Conversation With SUSE Global Security Solution Director Wayne Maw & SUSE CCO April Moh – #BreakTheBias Surrounding Disabilities||Register now!|
|Tuesday, March 29
9am PT/4pm GMT
|In Conversation With SUSE Service Engagement Manger Amber Washington & SUSE CCO April Moh – #BreakTheBias of Mental Health Stigma||Register now!|
|Thursday, March 31
5am PT / 2pm CET
|In Conversation With Czechitas Founder Dita Přikrylová, SUSE Learning & Development Technical Specialist Leopoldo Macias & SUSE Chief of Staff Claudia Hogan – #BreakTheBias of Women in Technology – How to reach younger generations||Register now!|