We have a gender imbalance at Juniper Networks: Our male to female ratio is 80/20 and our numbers for technical women and senior female leaders are even lower.
We’ve instituted a global sponsorship program (“LEAD”) to advance the next generation of women leaders at Juniper Networks. Our goal is to drive greater development, visibility and growth opportunities for these talented women. We have a very intentional plan that includes development plans, 360 annual assessments, leadership development and coaching, community building, access to thought leaders and regular/direct engagement with our CEO and the extended CEO staff.
Specific opportunities for LEAD participants include an annual 1:1 with our CEO, bi-annual unplugged Q&A sessions with our Diversity Committee, attendance at CEO staff meetings, opportunities to present their work to this group and intimate relationship-building dinners with the extended CEO staff. The program also includes meetings alongside world-class thought leaders such as Charmaine McClarie, Helene Lerner, Sue Bethanis and Denise Brousseau.
Each member of the executive team is sponsoring at least one woman in 2018. Unlike a mentor who focuses on advising, our C-Suite sponsors will give LEAD participants visibility, talk about their accomplishments and promote them for stretch opportunities.
Juniper Networks currently has 20 participants in our LEAD program. Even though the program is nascent, our participants have already benefitted from targeted guidance from their sponsors and several networking events with senior leaders.
Throughout the workplace and the globe, evolving toward a more diverse community requires leaders to be transparent about the challenges, as well as champion efforts for change. That’s why I’m proud to join with others in the CEO Action for Inclusion Pledge and I’m excited about our LEAD sponsorship program’s potential to promote women leaders at Juniper Networks.