A year ago, Hosna Sedghi met a ServiceNow employee at the Grace Hopper conference in Florida. Their chance meeting was a turning point for Hosna. They stayed in touch, with the employee promising to keep an eye out for Engineering program manager positions. In February, Hosna received an offer.
“[She] pushed for me to get a job at ServiceNow. I really liked how she made me feel that I belong here and how she was an advocate for other women.”
Sr. Staff Software Engineer Meg Sharkey, an engineer for 25 years, appreciates the opportunity that Grace Hopper offers to recruit women early in their technology careers. “It’s always exciting to see so many more young women coming out of Computer Science programs. When I graduated that wasn’t the case, but it is changing, and I’m excited to be part of the Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DIBs) work with recruiting.”
Cathy Isaacs, a Technical Support Manager, Integration, believes a commitment to DIBs across the company is key.
“DIBs is so near to my heart for the fact that everyone should feel like they belong and that they're included. I think we have to work hard to make sure that all of our employees are doing that on a daily basis, whether you're listening and learning, you're growing, or just giving employees a voice to be heard.”
ServiceNow is focused on increasing diversity and ensuring equity of opportunity. The company is building a fair system of opportunity and treatment for everyone in the company. The 2020 ServiceNow Diversity Report shows that women make up 29 percent of the company’s workforce, and the percentage of women in leadership has grown from 20.5 percent in 2017 to 28.2 percent in 2019.
In the US, where ServiceNow has pay data by gender, race, and ethnicity, the company has achieved pay parity for women and under-represented groups. Globally, where pay data is available by gender, ServiceNow is within one penny of pay equity for women around the world.
In her role as co-chair of Women at Now, Kristen Knepper Bahbahani, who leads ServiceNow’s NextGen program, draws on a lifetime of experience including starting her own diversity and inclusion firm focused on women. She wants to co-create a belonging group that provides career and leadership development.
"When I was growing up, we had the Barbie doll with a tag that said, ‘math is hard.’ It is so encouraging that women are moving forward with their dreams in fields where we've traditionally been marginalized and left out altogether.”
Asha Allen, a data analyst in IT transparency who has been with ServiceNow for just over a year, was unsure about joining Women at Now because at her previous company, she “never felt welcome” and didn’t take part.
“When I joined [Women at Now], it was just amazing. In our sessions and discussions, we share all the best things in the world. They help women grow, understand, learn, and explore.”
For Hosna, the reason to be part of Women at Now is simple: “To be inspired and inspire others.”
In her previous companies, Hosna experienced discrimination that has encouraged her to speak out.
“Being a woman -- and an immigrant woman -- in the tech industry comes with its own challenges. Every time I am assigned to a new project, I feel I need to work much harder to prove that I am ‘good enough’ and ‘fully capable’ of doing my job. Not having a commonly heard name and accent is part of my identity and sometimes I feel like being who I am creates prejudice against me.”
Meg has seen that “Engineering culture can be less welcoming for women sometimes.” At ServiceNow, for the first time, she was hired by a woman, and is on a diverse team with “no ego involved” and a commitment to a common goal.
“What I really love about working here is you’re human first,” Kristen says. “And then comes your work and your employment in that order. It's very focused on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. If I can't meet the basic needs of showing up authentically, being supported emotionally, being engaged in an intellectual manner, and utilizing my skill set to the best of their abilities then I'm not going to be the best at my job and I feel like my boss and my team really understand that.”
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