Here at Cloudflare, we’re thrilled to celebrate International Women’s Day today! We have tons of events planned throughout the month of March, which is our way of honoring Women’s Empowerment Month. We’ll be making sure we acknowledge women’s achievements, raise awareness about women’s equality, and lobby for accelerated gender parity — Cloudflare style.
We take the International Women’s Day initiatives and its calls to action seriously. Then again, how could we not? The latest 2020 Global Gender Gap Report from the World Economic Forum indicates that it’ll take another 257 years to close the gender gap, if we continue at our current pace of progress. It’s going to take all of us to make a positive impact and accelerate the reality of a gender equal world.
Before we dive further into how we’re planning to celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s Empowerment Month, we’d like to introduce ourselves. We’re Womenflare — Cloudflare’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) for all who identify as and advocate for women (Talea and Angela are the global Womenflare leads and John is the Womenflare executive advocate). We launched Womenflare on International Women’s Day in 2020, and it was one of the last things we did before we closed our offices due to the pandemic. To answer what you may be thinking: yes, it was a very awkward time to introduce a new ERG.
However, while sheltering-in-place we reflected, talked with the women of Cloudflare, and figured out what we wanted to do. And we were still able to partner with other Employee Resource Groups at Cloudflare and focus on discussions of intersectionality and how to be truly inclusive of all those who identify as women. After many thoughtful discussions, we landed on two themes for our overall objectives and guiding principles for everything we do. We want to make sure:
- Women feel supported at Cloudflare, and
- Women feel represented at Cloudflare.
These principles are represented in all the various initiatives we produce throughout the year, including projects to ensure women continue to have effective support channels and resources, a strong community at Cloudflare, and the opportunity to share their thoughts and opinions with leadership. International Women’s Day is not only a global celebration for us, it’s the one-year anniversary of Womenflare at Cloudflare. WOW — we have come a long way over the course of one complicated year.
Kicking off the celebration!
Internally, we’re kicking off the celebrations across our global regions with Kat Hudson, one of the top female magicians in the UK performing close up magic, including on ITV’s Britain’s Got Talent!
Following this, we plan to hear from a number of women leaders at Cloudflare during several internal panels and workshops, as well as fireside chats that all, internal and external, can enjoy on Cloudflare TV. We’re excited to speak with many women at Cloudflare that we admire, including our very own co-founder, President & COO, Michelle Zatlyn and our SVP, Chief Product Officer, Jen Taylor.
We have many other exciting plans for the month:
1. Cloudflare TV: We have many new Cloudflare TV segments scheduled for all to enjoy in March — the #choosetochallenge edition. We’ll be inviting women we respect and admire, both at Cloudflare and from our networks, to chat with us about their journeys and celebrate their accomplishments. Just to name a few segments we’re excited about:
- There will be new episodes of Yes We Can hosted by Cloudflare’s co-founder, President & COO, Michelle Zatlyn. She’s got an amazing lineup including Christina Liu SVP, Chief Accounting Officer at Zendesk and Katherine Regnier, CEO and Founder of Coconut Software.
- Womenflare’s segment Unfiltered will feature new episodes as well. We plan to interview some incredible women. We’ll hear from Louise Story, Chief Product and Technology Officer & Chief News Strategist, WSJ and Alison Taylor, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Jane, as well as many others.
- Keep an eye out for more Women’s Empowerment Month episodes on segments such as Silicon Valley Squares, Founder Focus, Recruiting Corner, and Delivery Management at Cloudflare!
2. Allyship Activities: It’s really important for all of us to promote discussion and foster opportunities around forging a gender equal world. First, we’re hosting our own internal women-focused Ally Skills panel and workshops to teach simple everyday ways to support women.
Second, we’re introducing the Womenflare Challenge. We realize it isn’t always straightforward to navigate allyship without additional guidance and education. To that end, we’ve shared the following:
- Forging a gender equal world is going to take all of us. One way to help is by actively taking ally actions. An ally is a member of a social group that enjoys some privilege and: (1) understands their own privilege and (2) is working to end oppression.
- Examples of acting as an ally to create gender equality for women could include amplifying women's voices, taking part in initiatives or work that strives to achieve gender equality, being an advocate for your women colleagues, speaking up when you witness gender bias, and more! As an ally, you are working to end the oppression of marginalized groups.
- We’ve created the following challenge card to engage our colleagues in allyship and celebrate our women colleagues. We encourage you to take at least one of the actions on the Women's Empowerment Month Challenge Card every week, but remember to be thoughtful with your actions throughout March and beyond! The goal is gender equality.
3. Interactive Activities: In addition to our celebration events, we have a number of fun internal activities planned, like Netflix Parties and a Pub Quiz across our global regions.
4. Hearing Women’s Voices: Lastly, we’re encouraging our women colleagues to present at our weekly All Hands meetings, write for our blog, and contribute their voices — throughout March and beyond.
We hope that you’ll be celebrating International Women’s Day and Women’s Empowerment Month in your own creative ways! Remember to #choosetochallenge this month and join the movement #IWD2021.