To celebrate Women’s History Month, we asked Nikki Krishnamurthy, our Chief People Officer, to share how the #powerofvisibility has helped her career and advice on how we can all empower and help amplify the visibility of women.
March is always a time of reflection for me – we get to celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month (in the U.S.)! This year, Women at Uber has created their own theme, Making Moves, Moving Culture – the Power of Visibility, to commemorate both moments. I wanted to take a moment to share how the #powerofvisibility has helped my own career, and share some tips for how we can all share in the power of visibility going forward.
Helping to create visibility for women isn’t something I thought about years ago when I started my career. See I started my career in Financial Services, which at that time was pretty male dominated. I thought I had to just figure it all out on my own. About 7 years into my career, my manager (a woman) took me on a 2 ½ hour walk and taught me “Corporate America”. Not the things you learn in meetings or training courses, but about how things really worked, how to navigate, how to influence, how to stand up for things (even when the whole room is against you, usually all male at that time) and many other lessons. She created clarity and visibility for me. She was my advocate, my sponsor.
From that experience, I realized the power of helping each other. This crash course didn’t stop all the things I still had to deal with, from being mansplained, to weighing career setbacks when I decided to take time off to become a Mom, to then going back to work (and working a lot) and having other women on school playgrounds say to me “Oh, so Simran does have a Mom”, to people thinking I got jobs or promotions because I was a woman. Unfortunately, many of our women colleagues have experienced some of these things and others. But after my manager took me on that walk, I always knew I wasn’t alone. We are here, we can and do help each other. I’ve had men managers/colleagues (including Dara!) help me since then in similar ways. Giving me challenges I never thought I could do, but they took chances on me, offering me jobs I didn’t see for myself (among them a Product Manager role and a Regional Brokerage Sales Manager role – talk about male dominated ), because they saw things in me I didn’t see in myself. They’ve coached me through challenges, believed in me, etc., etc. I know that without the support and advocacy of family, friends, and colleagues through the years, my story wouldn’t be the same. I am so thankful for all that people have done to help me. Our community, our culture at Uber is what can continue to help all of us. Create visibility, give help, challenge, coach. Build with Heart, One Uber, Go Get It!
With gratitude for so many who have helped me along my journey, I look for ways to pay it forward. Here are a few small, but impactful ways we can all join in to empower and help amplify the #powerofvisibility for women:
Be a sponsor
It’s important to help the next generation of leaders and help uplift them to their full potential. Throw out their name when starting to think about a new project, or a new problem that needs to be solved. Challenge when you see the same names always getting chosen, mix it up.
Lend a hand
Strong women lift each other up! If you see a woman – friend, colleague, family member or stranger – in need of help, give a hand if you can. Be it extra feedback on work impact or connecting a woman with someone in your network who can provide mentorship or support.
Support women-owned businesses
You can give women economic support by putting your money where your heart is. If you ever make it to Seattle, I have some great recommendations of women-owned restaurants that I frequent on Uber Eats.
Uber continues to move the needle forward in terms of cultivating a more inclusive environment—addressing pay equity, offering new benefits, and increasing flexibility. And yet, we know we have more to do in areas like increasing the percentage of women leaders and extending our expectations and values to our external network. Every day we can all show up and make a difference through our words, actions, and the way we support women in being visible — regardless of our diverse backgrounds, locations or roles —#OneUber.
I’m ever so grateful for the women that have paved the way to where we all are today, and to those that are making moves and moving culture.