Igniting Equality Enables Innovation

Christine Cornwell August 24, 2023

On Women’s Equality Day, various events, activities, and discussions are held to raise awareness about the ongoing struggle for gender equality, celebrate the innovative achievements of women, and highlight ways to engage to ensure equal rights and opportunities for all genders.

Inspiring Innovation Spotlights

Women have made significant contributions to the field of technology throughout history, even though their achievements have often been overlooked or underrepresented. Here are a few notable women technology innovators who have had a substantial impact on the tech industry:

Impact On Technology

Ada Lovelace (1815-1852): Often referred to as the world’s first computer programmer, Ada Lovelace wrote the first algorithm for Charles Babbage’s proposed mechanical computer, the Analytical Engine. She recognized that computers could go beyond mere calculations and be used for creative purposes.

Impact On Technology

Grace Hopper (1906-1992): A pioneering computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral, Grace Hopper is credited with developing the first compiler for a computer programming language, COBOL. Her work laid the foundation for modern programming languages and software development.

Impact On Technology

Hedy Lamarr (1914-2000): Apart from being a famous actress, Lamarr was also an inventor. She co-invented a frequency-hopping spread spectrum technology during World War II that later became a key component of modern wireless communication technologies, including Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Impact On Technology

Radia Perlman (1951-present): Known as the “Mother of the Internet,” Radia Perlman is a computer scientist who developed the spanning-tree protocol (STP), a fundamental algorithm that helped to prevent loops in Ethernet networks. Her work greatly contributed to the stability and efficiency of networked systems.

Impact On Technology

Anita Borg (1949-2003): A computer scientist and advocate for women in technology, Anita Borg founded the Institute for Women and Technology (now known as AnitaB.org). She played a vital role in advancing women’s representation and involvement in computing and technology fields.

Impact On Technology

Katherine Johnson (1918-2020): An African American mathematician and physicist, Katherine Johnson’s calculations were critical to the success of the early U.S. space missions, including John Glenn’s orbital flight. Her story was depicted in the movie “Hidden Figures.”

Impact On Technology

Susan Kare (1954-present): An influential graphic designer, Susan Kare created many of the early icons and fonts for Apple’s Macintosh computer. Her work contributed to the visual language of user interfaces and shaped the way we interact with computers.

Impact On Technology

Fei-Fei Li (1976-present): A leading figure in artificial intelligence (AI), Fei-Fei Li has contributed to computer vision and image recognition. She co-founded ImageNet, a large-scale visual database that spurred significant advancements in deep learning and AI research.

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These are just a few examples of the many women who have contributed to technology innovation across various domains. It’s important to recognize and celebrate their achievements to inspire future generations of women in technology.

Before we dive into ways to get engaged, let’s explore Employee Resource Groups (ERGs).

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) are voluntary, employee-led groups within companies that aim to foster a diverse and inclusive workplace. ERGs typically bring together employees who share common characteristics or experiences, such as gender, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, veteran status or disabilities.

These groups can help create a more diverse and inclusive workplace culture, which in turn can lead to improved employee morale, creativity, innovation, and overall business success. As a result, Verint actively supports and encourages the formation and growth of Employee Resource Groups as part of their diversity and inclusion commitment.

Get Engaged 

In celebration of Women’s Equality Day on August 26, 2023, Verint’s Women in Technology and Women’s Inclusion Network (ERG) groups offer some ways to celebrate Women’s Equality Day and how to further support gender equality now for a sustainable tomorrow.

Get the Good Reads 

We recommend these top reads that highlight the importance and impact of historical milestones and give you insights on gender equality and enablement.

  • Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote by Susan Ware
  • Broad Influence: How Women Are Changing the Way America Works by Jay Newton-Small
  • Radical Candor by Kim Scott
  • The Likeability Trap by Alicia Menendez
  • Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most by Bruce Patton, Douglas Stone, and Sheila Heen
  • The Charisma Myth by Olivia Fox Cabane

Promote Empowerment and Mentor

While focusing on the future of our workforce, it’s essential for great leadership and colleagues to support, empower, and listen to the women and men in our workplaces. Nicole Nevulis, Verint, Global Senior Director of Go-to-Market Strategy and elected Verint Women Inclusion Network chair, shares her perspective on the value of mentorship.

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Bring Your Voice Forward

We all have anecdotal stories about supportive male and female leaders who helped us advance in our professions – as well as unsupportive managers/organizations. We need to stand up for ourselves, not get boxed in by outdated gender-based stereotypes and cheer on our allies.

  • Give a shout out to mentors, colleagues and managers that improved and shaped your professional journey!
  • Share your personal success stories on social media under the hashtags #WomensEqualityDay, #WIT, and/or #Verint
  • Recognize and celebrate wins with your leaders, colleagues, and customers

Expand Your Network and Connect

Most likely, you are here now in your career because of your professional connections. What tips can you share—or use yourself—to build your network and gain allies:

  • Be intentional and genuine—be purposeful in expanding your network
  • Identify industry influencers and follow their social media profiles
  • Attend in-person and/or virtual conferences within your industry and business function
  • Ask questions and truly listen to the answer—be an engaging and active listener
  • Join and participate in your company’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Council (DEI) and ERGs

ERGs play a significant role in supporting employees’ equality within the workplace. They provide a space for employees to connect, share experiences, advocate for equality, and collaborate on initiatives that advance individuals’ rights and opportunities within the organization.

I am pleased to work for a company committed to fostering an environment that attracts the best talent, values diversity of experiences and perspectives, and encourages innovation!