Women’s Equality Day: Making Your Voice Heard at Any Table

by Jennifer Tejada August 26, 2019 | 3 min read

Today is Women’s Equality Day in the United States, when we commemorate the passage of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote. While all women are able to vote today, we have more work to do politically, socially, and economically to enhance women’s rights across the board.

I’m proud of the inclusive company culture we are building at PagerDuty, with half of our executive team being women. At the end of the day, it’s not just about the numbers. I recognize the need to continuously improve inclusion for women in technology and at PagerDuty. This is an ongoing journey that requires collaboration across teams and geographies, and an ear to the ground to truly understand the issues women are facing in the workplace today.

Last week, I brought together a small group of women leaders at PagerDuty to better understand their experiences, and a few themes emerged I thought were worth sharing:

  • Carefully consider a company’s culture before you take a new role. In coming to PagerDuty, several team members shared the importance of seeing women in senior leadership positions and joining a culture that truly invests in developing leaders within the company as critical success factors.
  • It’s not just about getting a seat at the table—but making sure you keep your seat at the table. You need to make sure you are continually adding value and earning that seat. Leadership isn’t a membership; it needs to continually be earned. There are many seats at many tables—find one that’s right for you and get started.
  • Advocate for yourself and find other people who can be advocates for you. Don’t wait for someone to step forward to help you—instead, demonstrate to others the value you can bring to the organization. Put your hand up. Solve a problem no one else is solving.
  • Support other women in your community. Many of the women in the room shared that other women in their community had taken the time to share advice—advice about their careers, but also about the issues of balance that are so challenging for women as they progress in their careers. Support one another and help inspire and move all women in your team or organization forward.

Sitting in that room last week, I was so inspired by our PagerDuty women leaders. As a woman CEO, I believe it’s our responsibility to develop and prepare the next generation of industry leaders. We must equip them with foundational leadership skills and knowledge to help us solve the most complex business problems in the world today. I encourage everyone to think about how you can advocate for, support, and positively impact the women around you so that men and women can have an equitable seat and voice at every table.