By Liza Winship, Strategy & Planning Lead
Each year, Uber celebrates International Women’s Day (IWD), joining the March 8th global celebration of the achievements and contributions of women, both past and present. This March, Uber is commemorating IWD through a series of virtual events that celebrate the careers and accomplishments of female leaders both internal and external to Uber. These events also highlight this year’s IWD theme, #choosetochallenge, a call to create a more inclusive world by challenging gender bias and inequality.
In partnership with our Black at Uber and Parents at Uber ERGs, Women at Uber kicked off the first event of the series with a panel of several top female leaders at Uber: Therese Lim, Director, Product Management, Tammy Albarran, Deputy General Counsel, Arundhati Singh, Sr Director, Product Management, and Dianna Jones, Director, Counsel. The panel was hosted by Andrew Macdonald, SVP, Mobility & Business Operations, ally, and the executive sponsor of Women at Uber ERG.
As a woman navigating a career at Uber for the past 7 years and a member of the Women at Uber board, I was thrilled at the opportunity to hear from these 4 diverse and uniquely accomplished women. As I reflected on what I had heard from the panel, 5 key themes stood out from their personal stories and insights on navigating their careers and advocating for a more equitable and diverse workplace.
Make the leap
As you navigate your career, it is critical that you challenge yourself and leave what is comfortable behind.
“Don’t be afraid to fail. We learn more about ourselves and how resilient we are when we truly stretch ourselves.”– Tammy Albarran, Deputy General Counsel
Advocate for yourself (even when it’s hard)
As several of the panelists pointed out, women are judged more harshly for behaviors that are often applauded in men. Ultimately, this can make advocating for yourself or negotiating as a woman in the workplace incredibly difficult and daunting.
“If I could go back to my earlier career, I would tell myself you have to stand up for yourself. Talk to friends and peers – there is a lot of data and information out there – the more informed you are the more you can advocate for yourself.”– Therese Lim, Director, Product Management
Seek out a support network
Don’t be afraid to share with them how you are feeling, even if that means asking for space. Having a network to lean on can help you show up for yourself.
“Being a member of the Black community, it was very difficult to go through 2020. I think a lot of Black professionals always bore the burden of what was happening [police brutality] silently…the way Uber leadership and the world seemed to step up was very comforting, but it was difficult to navigate. Speak up and be open and honest about what you are feeling, and let other people see that and figure out ways they can help.”Dianna Jones, Director, Counsel
Women don’t have to face challenges in the workplace alone.
“As you build your network and your credibility with your team, how can you educate them to be aware of when are people being cut off, when are not all the voices being heard in a room, when are ideas being misattributed? If you can educate allies that are willing to help with those issues, you don’t have to bear the burden of pointing them out on your own. Enlisting others who are willing to step up and interject lightens your own burden, so you can focus on advocating for yourself in other areas.”Arundhati Singh, Sr Director, Product Management
Equality is everyone’s job
When we don’t see the data we’d like when it comes to D&I and equality, it’s incumbent on all of us to understand how we might be contributing to the deficiency. Ask yourself, how are you impacting progress?
“On my own journey, senior women at Uber have challenged me to fix inequality in my own organization, to hire more women, to promote more women, to mentor emerging female leaders. And to expect the same of my team, and to make sure that my team expects the same of their team. That’s how you get it internalized down the organization and across the organization.”Andrew Macdonald, SVP, Mobility & Business Operations