Speaker: Jill Schnarr, Chief Social Innovation and Communications Officer
Why is International Women’s Day important to you? How are you celebrating?
Jill Schnarr: International Women's Day is important to me for a number of reasons. Most importantly because it provides a platform really to learn from the powerful actions and the inspiring words of the women who came before us. Because they're the reason we're here where we are today. There is strength in numbers. We absolutely need more women in leadership and we need more women in the pipeline to leadership. And taking this opportunity to recognize the success and efforts of women is such a powerful way to inspire the next generation of female leaders. Personally, I'm incredibly grateful for the women in my life who not only broke barriers to progress in their own careers, but made an effort to lift up others as they rose, giving me opportunities and a voice to grow and thrive. And I plan to spend the day celebrating the incredible women in my life from the talented team of female leaders I get to work with and learn from every day, as well as my mom and my sisters who have all had such an incredible impact on my life.
2022's International Women's Day theme is #BreakTheBias. Can you speak to biases we can work to break in our communities and/or workplaces?
Jill Schnarr: Well, I think the first step we must take in order to break the bias in our communities and our workplaces is to really recognize that it actually exists. Uh you know, I think from the language used in job descriptions, in interviews. To the availability of resources and mentorship and promotion, you know, into both leadership and management levels. Women have traditionally been at a disadvantage. I mean even today male candidates are still twice as likely to be hired than female. 60% of male managers are uncomfortable mentoring one on one with female employees. You know, as a working parent, women with children face penalties, making 11% less than women without children. And meanwhile working fathers see a wage benefit, making 22% more than men without children. You know, I think these are just a few examples without, you know, deliberate or um, you know, an actual focused attention put on this, you know, at every stage of our careers, women are going to face bias and recognizing these challenges is the first step in taking meaningful action to address them. You know, together we can change our language and our actions. We can know that there is bias there and so we can try to take every possible step to ensure that we remove that bias and give women the attention that they deserve. We can raise our voices and together we can make a difference.
What advice would you give to the next generation of women as they begin their careers?
Jill Schnarr: Well, first and foremost, the best advice I would give to the next generation of women is to find your purpose and find your voice. You have to believe in yourself. I always used to not necessarily participate or speak out because I thought I wasn't the expert. I thought I didn't know you know as much as other people in the room and turns out I actually have, you know an important opinion to to give. So you know, if you're going to a meeting participate, speak up, believe in yourself, even though you think you may not know it all. Your perspective and opinion is so important and relevant and companies need to hear it. We want to hear it, you know, so don't be afraid to speak up and add value. And secondly, you know know that you can help solve societal problems and that you have an obligation and an expectation to not only do well in business but to look at leveraging your business to address social issues because governments need our support, people need our support, you know, we've got to find a way for academia, the private sector, the public sector governments, people to all work together so that we can collectively try to address social issues. If more business leaders had this mindset, we could unite public, private, government, all together uh and we could work towards addressing homelessness, food insecurity, unemployment and so many other social issues facing the world. You know, there really is strength in numbers and working together, we can leverage the incredible power of women, we can uplift our voices, we can lift one another up and we can really truly influence and drive action to truly change the world.