I’ve been at Fujitsu my entire career. And I have to say, it’s been a real journey.
The pace of change has been so fast. Tech has transformed our daily lives – both at home and at work. Yet despite this, one thing remains the same: technology is primarily male-dominated industry.
Yes, things have improved. And with gender now placed at the top of the public agenda, the needle is shifting faster than ever.
But let’s not kid ourselves. More work needs to be done.
I’m lucky enough to hold an international role at Fujitsu. And as I look across our global teams and reflect on my own career, one thing strikes more than anything else: all of us, no matter what our gender, have a role to play in promoting equality in the workplace.
Back when my role was focused on the UK, I became an apprentice sponsor.
It was a rewarding experience. But I also found giving support wasn’t enough on its own. To really nurture young talent, the whole organisation needs to be on board.
That’s why we set up a number of women collaboration groups. We found this to be a really effective way to provide young women with the support, encouragement, and social network needed to flourish.
And we didn’t just ask women to attend. Women are already aware of the challenges they face. But by inviting male voices, we were really able to broaden our message and ensure we had equality champions of both genders to educate the wider businesses.
And I use the word educate deliberately. Because I think lack of education is a huge challenge in today’s society.
It’s appalling that two-thirds of illiterate adults in the world are women. Worse yet, this number is increasing. In a connected, digital age where resources are more available than ever before, this simply shouldn’t be the case.
I think we need to create an equal world – both inside the workplace, and outside. A world where people are free to be the best version of themselves possible and have the tools they need to be successful.
A few words of advice
Enablement is key. And if there’s one piece of advice I’d give young women to enable them to make an impact in their career, it’s this: ‘don’t be afraid.’
I know it’s easier said than done. People tend to put up a veneer in the workplace and are too nervous to be themselves. But it’s hard to approach problems with efficiency and creativity when you’re not comfortable – so it’s important to never stifle your personality.
I would also say be as ambitious as you can.
Take on work, and always deliver what you commit to. Gain credibility around the company, and build your support network. And don’t forget to enjoy the journey. Happiness is infectious. If you enjoy your work and the people around you, you’ll inevitably forge deeper links that’ll help you get where you want to go.
Ultimately, I think responsibility for promoting equality lies both within the wider organisation, and with business leaders. I feel very proud to have a platform where I can help shape the values of such a large company. But even more rewarding is seeing people step forward to get involved in areas they’re passionate about.
The world faces huge challenges. But by working together and really enabling people to be agents of change, I believe we can create a fairer, more inclusive society – no matter what your gender is.