Tackling the broad challenges of gender equality is important at Staples and we recognize that there is no single solution. We want to draw specific attention to the challenges, provide a development opportunity, and encourage internal ACTION to elevate awareness.
We launched Women’s Week in 2015 to provide robust programming designed to build internal awareness, highlight and report on key programs and initiatives, develop and engage talent, and spur critical conversations that might lead to increased understanding of ourselves and our culture.
Our 2015 theme was “Shifting the Mindset – Unlocking Potential” which included sessions on motivation and a panel discussion on confidence. To gauge our success, we held a wrap up session to document the group’s key learnings and takeaways.
In 2016, our week’s theme was entitled “Advancing Women…Together!” which focused on women helping women and the key role of men as allies. Our interactive theater was a huge success and eye-opening for many who, for the first time, acknowledged their own biases at play.
This year, our theme was “Activate & Elevate” and we covered diverse topics to help build more understanding of gender equality, build our communication skills and openly discuss issues like intersectionality of race/ethnicity and gender.
Participation in Women’s Week has grown year over year – a 500% increase from year one to year three! Specific actions we will take in 2018 as a result are:
- Rebrand the event to be more inclusive i.e. Gender Equality Week, Gender Diversity Week, and Gender Dynamics Week.
- Make sessions available to ALL interested associates by providing a live broadcast.
- Involve more senior leaders to participate.
We are pleased that overall awareness about gender equality has increased and that associates (male, female, non-binary) feel empowered to have candid conversations about how gender realities, perceptions, stereotypes, and biases affect them personally and professionally.