From ensuring equal opportunities for all, to undergoing biannual pay equity reviews, and creating a sense of belonging for everyone, here’s what these organisations are doing.

As part of our series of 22 stories under the overarching theme of #ChooseToChallenge, the team at Human Resources Online has asked more than 60 HR leaders about their organisation's call-to-action in shaping a workforce that celebrates gender equity.

In this 11th part of our series, HR leaders from Criteo, Docupace, General Assembly, Okta, REDHILL, and WWT, tell us more.


Denis Collin, Chief People Officer, Criteo

Ensuring equal opportunities is a core focus for Criteo, and we aim to create a global workplace that is Open, Together, and Impactful.

Improving our culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and safeguarding the belonging of every one of our employees, starts with ensuring equal access to all opportunities across our organisation.

To keep ourselves accountable, we’ve launched several global initiatives, including the global Diversity Dashboard in 2020, for each department to monitor our workforce distribution by gender and by age, and generate targets for diversity recruitment, promotions, and training.

Internally, our Women@Criteo community also works to support, as well as facilitate training, networking, and mentorship amongst female employees worldwide.

Beyond our organisation, we are committed to raising awareness in the Tech sector on the issue of gender, supporting women in the STEM fields and building a worldwide community of R&D Tech women engineers.


Christina Cavalli, Head of Human Resources at Docupace

Unlocking a culture that celebrates equality and diversity isn’t easy, but it IS essential for businesses and communities to thrive.

My first attempt to celebrate International Women’s Day companywide resulted in an awkward virtual happy hour. But I didn’t give up. That was four years ago and we have a more diverse workforce than ever before and all the top-down support we need.

My call-to-action each year is simple: think about the women in your life those who you work with, those you admire, value, appreciate and love and take the time to start a conversation recognising them.

It’s a simple challenge to celebrate diversity but we all know recognition is often the first step.


Catie Brand, VP People & HR, General Assembly

Our mission is to empower people to pursue work that they love, regardless of who they are, where they come from or how they identify.

Creating an equitable environment for all genders takes work and buy-in from all levels and is about creating a culture of inclusivity.

Three commitments we’ve made as a company to reinforce this culture include:

  1. Supporting parental leave and flexible return to work option for both parents
  2. Undergoing biannual pay equity reviews
  3. Maintaining equal gender representation across the organisation.

This work is an ongoing commitment we re-evaluate and build on regularly.


Kristina Johnson, Chief People Officer at Okta

Bringing together a diverse community with a broad range of perspectives fuels innovation and collective growth. Identity is at the core of everything we do at Okta: it’s not just the space we operate in or the products we’ve built, it extends into how we hire our employees, engage our teams, structure our company, and support our community.

We strive to create a sense of belonging, to give everyone the confidence and security to actively participate – because ultimately, our differences make us stronger.

Over the next 12 months, we will be focused on ensuring processes for equal opportunity, enhancing a sense of acceptance, and creating inclusion goals and accountability metrics. Initiatives that nurture an inclusive culture are incredibly important. As HR leaders, we should call on our employees, partners and customers to join us in creating an inclusive workplace that inspires and empowers all women to grow their careers.


Niharica Sand, HR Director, REDHILL

Everyone deserves to be treated with fairness and respect without discrimination.

Women continue to face many challenges in the workplace, with gender pay gap still persisting as a global issue. There are still unconscious biases to this day that affect salary discussions.

One policy that we have implemented at REDHILL is asking potential candidates the salary they expect and deserve, instead of what their current salary is.

Employers should consider that there are many factors that affect someone’s last drawn salary, such as the industry they worked in, their personal situations and the company's financial standing.

Most recruiters ask for the ‘last drawn’ pay and then offer an increment based on that. Women, especially those who have taken maternity and childcare breaks, are adversely affected by this. By checking expected pay and offering a sum that’s been determined as fair based on the candidate’s expectation and aptitude, can effectively help reduce the pay gap.


Ang Sze Pheng, HR Director for APJ, WWT

The workforce in STEM industry has remained predominantly male and I think this gender imbalance demonstrates where gender stereotyping still exists.

We are lucky to be employing high calibre female engineers and professionals within WWT and I consciously strive to create greater awareness and profile them both internally and externally so people can recognise that irrespective of gender, we have individuals who display continued high performance driven by intellect, commitment and capability to achieve results for the company.

In my view, tackling gender stereotyping begins at a very young age and it takes a generation or more to change the mindset.

As a mother of two girls, it is of paramount importance to me that they grow up believing in their own capabilities and feel empowered to achieve whatever they may set their sights on. I see this as my responsibility to help them succeed as best they can and also embrace the core belief that gender and diversity is a positive aspect of the varied world in which we live and work.


First row, L-R: Denis Collin, Christina Cavalli, and Catie Brand. Second row, L-R: Kristina Johnson, Niharica Sand, and Ang Sze Pheng.

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