Challenging your conscience, driving lasting change, paying it forward, cultivating a community of equal opportunity, advocating for yourself and setting an example for our youth. This is how a few Nuance employees interpreted this year’s International Women’s Day theme, Each for Equal.
Meredith Mascolo joined Nuance in 2013 and is the Senior Manager, Communications. A perfect job for her, as she loves words, puns and idioms. She’s also the community manager for our company intranet. Meredith earned a B.M. in music education from Oberlin Conservatory and a M.S. in Administrative Studies, Innovation and Technology from Boston University. She is a classically trained violinist who enjoys playing her 5-string electric at yoga classes and other musical projects. She loves reading, cooking and yoga.
International Women’s Day is a dedicated time to reflect on the progress made in driving equality, and an attention towards what more we can do. Here at Nuance, we’re spotlighting our women employees around the world during the month of March to hear their stories and learn from their experiences. I asked them what this year’s International Women’s Day theme, Each for Equal, means to them – here’s what they said.
Joanna, Senior Director of Product Management, Healthcare
“The increasingly fast pace of change means that to be successful, we can no longer afford to ignore or hold bias towards people for their gender without paying a huge price as humanity. In the face of increasingly global challenges – whether it’s climate change or a new pandemic for instance – we should all be looking for the problems to be solved by the best person for the job. Without equality, without a gender equal world, we will be dismissing people from jobs and potentially missing out on the candidate that might be the one that comes up with a solution, a cure, a vaccine. By viewing all people as equal it allows us to see the full pool of possibilities for staffing up how to solve a challenge in the best way. To do this you must start by challenging your own conscious or unconscious bias.”
Joanne, SVP Customer Success & Business Operations
“I grew up in years post-Title IX, which afforded me the right to participate in activities that were previously for boys only. I was the first and only girl to play tee-ball and little league in my hometown. While Title IX gave me the right to participate, it took male coaches and parents to welcome me to the team, coach me how to play and help me be a valued part of a team. My parents couldn’t do that for me, it took the coaches taking a risk on doing what was right (and legal). The coaches lived “Each for Equal”, and we see that today in the NBA, NHL, NFL and in business with women being selected for historically male roles. What enables this outcome is men and leaders advocating for the right candidate. To me “Each for Equal” carries responsibility for each of us to advocate for those that don’t look like us or have the same experience as us, and be accountable for creating a playing field with the right player in the position regardless of gender or ethnicity. This means taking a risk, getting uncomfortable, demanding diverse candidate slates, holding each other accountable and doing what is right. What the coaches didn’t know then is that I would become an All-Star fastpitch softball player and that I would believe in my bones that being a girl didn’t matter, I could do anything in front of me. It is up to each of us to make a difference.”
Karen, Senior Vice President & GM, Healthcare Diagnostics
“For me, Each for Equal is about progress driving lasting change and always paying it forward for everyone. It’s about being known as a “coach” a “mentor” or a “leader,” not with a with any depictions in front of those leadership traits. It’s also about the relentless daily focus and practice of building and rebuilding trust each and every day – that is what so much of what this month and day is about. This theme also made me reflect on many teachings of Frances Frei from a series of seminars that I had the privilege of being a part of where she discusses the Trust triangle – and that trust is the foundation in which everything we do.“
Melissa, Senior Director, Global Property Management & Real Estate
“The theme of Each for Equal reminds me of an employee I had a few years ago. He expressed concern that with the company’s focus on gender diversity in promotion, he wouldn’t have a path to growth. I explained that diversity initiatives aren’t a teeter-totter with one group at the top and the other at the bottom with the intent of swapping who’s on top and pushing the other folks down. Promoting equality is intent on offering all people equal opportunity to rise to the top. I support Each for Equal by working to check my own biases, striving to use inclusive language, and holding myself and my colleagues and peers accountable for cultivating a community of equal opportunity in every action and decision.”
Karen, Vice President, GM Clinical Quality & Revenue Integrity
“To me, the Each for Equal theme is a focus on ensuring women have an equal opportunity to showcase their skills, experience and insights. For this to happen, women must be encouraged from a young age that they are equal and have a right to do/be anything they want. Also, men, from a young age, must be raised to see women this way, as equals and partners. Together, women and men can ensure that this way of thinking is the status quo. As a Mom of 2 boys, they have watched their Mom be successful at work, as well as home, and balance both aspects of a happy life. Their Dad is supportive of me, and I am supportive of him, and we are true partners in how we tackle most things in life. I see the influence of how they were raised in the girls/women they associate with, as well as the boys/men, and how they interact with them. I work with/mentor girls to foster their confidence and support their goals/ ambitions by being a role model while supplying encouragement and advice.”