“I would venture to guess that Anon,
who wrote so many poems without signing them,
was often a woman.” – Virginia Woolf
Welcome to International Women’s Day 2022! Here at Cloudflare, we are happy to celebrate it with you! Our celebration is not only this blog post, but many events prepared for the month of March: our way of honoring Women’s History Month by showcasing women’s empowerment. We want to celebrate the achievements, ideas, passion and work that women bring to the world. We want to advocate for equality and to achieve gender parity. And we want to highlight the brilliant work that our women colleagues do every day. Welcome!
This is a time of celebration but also one to reflect on the current state. The global gender gap is not expected to close for another 136 years. This gap has also worsened due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has negatively impacted the lives of women and girls by deepening pre-existing inequalities. Improving this state is a collective effort—we all need to get involved!
Who are we? Womenflare!
First, let’s introduce ourselves. We are Womenflare—Cloudflare’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) for all who identify as and advocate for women. We’re an employee-led group that is here to empower, represent, and support.
Our purpose is not only to celebrate women’s achievements but also to shed a light on inequalities. That is why for International Women’s Day 2022, we’re joining in focusing on the theme of #BreakTheBias throughout our month of events and activities:
We can break the bias in our communities.
We can break the bias in our workplaces.
We can break the bias in our schools, colleges, and universities.
Together, we can all break the bias –
on International Women’s Day (IWD) and beyond
What are some of our internal activities for this month?
Celebrating International Women’s Day
Internally, we are kicking off our celebration on March 8. We will be joined by several women from North Coast hip hop improv comedy group. We hope this fun and freestyle event will encourage participants to think about unconscious biases, breaking them down, and how they can get more involved in empowering the women around them.
Intersectionality and Allyship at Cloudflare
Following our kick-off celebrations, we’re hosting open discussions about intersectionality and allyship alongside some of our fellow Employee Resource Groups including Afroflare, Asianflare, Flarability, and Nativeflare. It’s important to us to include other ERGs in these conversations since the goal of empowerment, representation, and support is shared among us and can’t be done alone. And we want to play closer attention to the layers that form a person’s social identity, creating compounding experiences of discrimination. “All inequality is not created equal,” says Kimberlé Crenshaw, the law professor who coined “intersectional feminism” term in 1989. Understanding the way different inequalities play a role in a person’s life means understanding the history, systematic discrimination, and the non-uniformity of it.
Internal Leadership Panel
Last year, we brought together an internal panel of women leaders at Cloudflare to share their journeys and lessons learned. It was extremely well received, so we decided to build upon its success by inviting another group of internal women leaders to discuss their experiences and insights with us. Some important takeaways from these panel discussions have been the realization that most backgrounds and journeys are vastly different, paths to success are often rocky but rewarding, and perseverance, tenacity, and an open mind, often rule the day. What better way to learn from others and encourage more women to lead!
What can we all do?
Allyship is integral to systemic change. An ally is someone who recognizes unearned privileges in their lives and takes responsibility to end patterns of injustice. At Cloudflare, we’re working hard to build more diverse and equitable teams, as well as create and maintain an environment that is inclusive and welcoming. There are many actions you can take as an ally; some include:
- Educating yourself: listen to the experiences of your women colleagues and work with them to understand their perspectives.
- Amplifying women’s opinions and advocating for them: speak up for others and champion them when they need support and encouragement.
- Taking action in the workplace: if you see inequality or discrimination happening, reach out to discuss further and understand what can be done.
- Advocating for diversity: talk with your peers and leaders about the ways you can get involved with improving diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s Empowerment Month in your own creative ways! And all throughout the year, remember to empower women and to recognize them in such a way that their work is no longer anonymous. Join the #IWD2022 movement — #BreakTheBias this month and beyond!