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Celebrating Okta's Commitment to #BalanceForBetter on International Women's Day 2019

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Madhavi Bhasin
Director, Diversity and Inclusion

Each year, on March 8, we come together as a global community to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. International Women's Day serves not only as a day of recognition and celebration, but also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity. Because the reality is that progress on gender diversity at work has stalled.

Consider this:

  • For every 100 men promoted to a manager role, 79 women are promoted. The gap in promotion rates to manager is even greater for women of color: for every 100 men promoted to manager, only 60 black women are promoted.

  • Only about 1 in 5 C-suite leaders is a woman, and only 1 in 25 is a woman of color.

  • 55% percent of women in senior leadership, 48% of lesbian women, and 45% of women in technical fields report they’ve been sexually harassed.

  • Only about half of employees think that their company sees gender diversity as a priority and is doing what it takes to make progress—and 20% of employees think their company’s commitment to gender diversity feels like lip service.

To achieve greater gender parity, companies must start transforming their commitment to diversity into concrete, meaningful actions – operating with this work as a business imperative.

At Okta, we are committed in both our intentions and actions to effectively and swiftly address Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) challenges based on gender, race, ethnicity and sexual orientation.

[email protected], our women focused Employee Resource Group, serves as a platform to educate, support and ultimately improve gender diversity at Okta. Moving forward [email protected] is committed to four key areas: 1) expanding the gender diverse pipeline, 2) supporting the next generation of female leadership, 3) creating a network of internal and external allies and 4) fostering a sense of belonging. Okta was honored to have two female leaders, Shellye Archambeau and Becky Saeger, join the Board last year and now has 33% female representation on the Board.  In 2019, Okta hired 32% women and the year end workforce of 1,561 staff had 28% female representation.

For this year's International Women's Day, we seek to reaffirm our commitment to the cause of gender parity, and demonstrate our pledge to take meaningful action to build a diverse and inclusive workplace.  

In keeping with the #BalanceForBetter theme for this year, we asked members of our leadership team how they will celebrate women's achievements this year, while calling for a more gender-balanced world. Here are some responses from Okta's Executive leadership:

  • Patrick McCue, SVP Worldwide Partners: Building a gender-balanced world matters to me because equality for all gives everyone the confidence to contribute and speak up, knowing their input is respected.  

  • Mark Settle, Chief Information Officer: Building a gender-balanced world matters to me because I want my daughter to have a shot at a better paying and more rewarding job than my mother had!

  • Kristina Johnson, Chief People Officer: My role model for #BalanceForBetter is my mom_because she showed me what is meant to be a “working mom” way before it was cool or trendy to be one.  She raised 4 children and worked 60 hour weeks for as long as I can remember. And any woman that works while raising a family is balancing something, all the time….whether it feels like it every day or not.  

  • Charles Race, President, Worldwide Field Operations: 1) Building a gender-balanced world matters to me because  “ …you can’t see with your eyes closed. Being the best in the world means including all of the world not half of it – perfection has no gender.”

  • Krista Anderson-Copperman, Chief Customer Officer: At Okta, we always center around the ‘right thing to do’. I firmly believe that all of our employees have very solid moral compasses so building a gender-balanced world matters to me because it’s the right thing to do…at Okta and everywhere else.

  • Ryan Carlson, Chief Marketing Officer: Building a gender-balanced world matters to me because of the world I want for my daughters.

As a partner in the #balanceforbetter journey, Okta is committed to investing resources this year into diversity and inclusion research, best practices for diversity hiring, nurturing a continuous stream of belonging cues among its workforce and ensuring inclusive norms. We realize the current challenges and are committed to making meaningful change.

Happy International Women's Day! Let's strive for better balance together. 

Interested? We're hiring

 
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Madhavi Bhasin
Director, Diversity and Inclusion

Madhavi is a change leader with over 10 years of experience in successfully managing global programs focused on social impact, capacity building and sustainable change. She is passionate about designing approaches for collective impact through social change projects. Currently she is leading Okta’s diversity and inclusion efforts.

Prior to joining Okta, Madhavi led a global technology entrepreneurship program for young girls (ages 10-18) at Technovation. Outside her fun work life, Madhavi loves to meditate and listen to imaginary tales from her preschooler.

 
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