Thursday, March 8th is International Women’s Day. This is a global day celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender parity.
In celebration of the day, and in recognition of the work we are doing to be a more inclusive workplace and the exceptional women helping to lead the charge, we reached out to some of our female leaders to share their perspective.
Executive Vice President, Chief of Operations
I’m so proud to be part of a company I can truly say values the experiences, thoughts, backgrounds, and cultures that each of us bring into the workplace every day. Our diversity helps us better solve problems, come up with new ideas, help our customers, and build better teams. This is one of our core values—Promote Inclusion and Teamwork.
As a member of the Senior Executive Team (where I am one of three women), I am pleased to see that we are making progress toward advancing our representation of women throughout Iron Mountain, especially in leadership positions. I am also proud to say that we have been very transparent with our intentions to both advance women in senior roles, and to maintain pay parity for our women – which is something not many of our peer companies can say. BUT we have a ways to go to achieve our goal of having a minimum of 30% of our senior roles filled by women by 2020 (and we can’t stop there) from about 24% today. We are supported by many – our global leadership of talented men and women, our Employee Resource Groups, our development and training teams, our Inclusion & Diversity team, and of course each other. Wherever I go around the world, I see so many talented women who are making a difference at Iron Mountain, and taking the initiative to help advance our culture of inclusion. In recognition of International Women’s day, Iet’s celebrate all of our women at Iron Mountain!
Vice President, Sales Canada
As a child of immigrants I was surrounded by people who cared for each other and were not afraid of hard work. These childhood experiences gave me the confidence to believe in myself—allowing me to shine academically and pursue a great education. I studied Electrical Engineering and, as the first female graduate in the degree program, I was offered tremendous opportunities in my career.
Despite my academic and career accomplishments I often came across folks who used gender to point to my success. I even had professors who accused me of pursuing a “Mrs. Degree.”
While a woman on a management team with more than 20 years of experience comes with a lot of tales, the secret to my success is hard work and believing in myself—even when others did not! I have learned that the strongest teams are the ones with diverse perspectives and where everyone is allowed to bring their own talents to support their goals. I hope that on this International Women’s Day you can believe in yourself—which I can say first hand is sometimes easier said than done!
Senior Vice President, Investor Relations and Corporate Communications
Boston, MA and Golden, CO
Everyone understands the basic concept of investment diversification as a prudent practice. And there is increasing evidence that gender diversity in investment management also matters, as teams that include diverse perspectives have demonstrated better risk/return profiles. Yet we don’t see this reflected in the composition of women among professional money managers. We need to start the process early by building aptitude for women in math, educating them on related career possibilities and providing the structure, flexibility and development opportunities that support careers for women in finance and investment management.
This report offers tips for increasing awareness of the benefits of gender diversity in investment management. https://www.cfainstitute.org/learning/future/Documents/gender_diversity_report.pdf
Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary
International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the advancements we’ve made, and to recommit ourselves to the work we still have towards promoting gender equality. With a footprint in 53 countries and six continents, Iron Mountain has a huge opportunity to continue to accelerate this change —both in our business and in the communities where we live and work. I am proud to be part of an organization that is committed to this endeavor, and reflecting on my career and the many thoughtful and wonderful people who mentored and coached me, I remain personally committed to be a voice for progress.
Vice President, Product Management and Innovation
The percentage of women pursuing Computer Science degrees has actually gone down since the 1980s, yet the demand for top technical talent continues to rise. Throughout my career, it’s been critical for me to see and be part of a community of visible, strong women leaders as well as mentor the community of future women leaders.
Senior Vice President and General Manager – Western Europe
For Iron Mountain to be successful we need to be able to leverage diversity of leadership, to improve the quality of decision making, to provide inspiration for the next generation of leaders and to reflect the customers we serve. To this aim I’m delighted to support our Women in Leadership Programme which we are kicking off in Western Europe this summer.
Senior Vice President Real Estate Development and Corporate Development
Throughout my career I have been fortunate to have strong mentors—and have worked for incredibly supportive organizations that invest in bringing female talent to positions of leadership. I know firsthand that when companies see the value of inclusion and diversity everyone wins. Despite these experiences, I know that all women are not afforded these opportunities. This is why International Women’s Day is so important—we must continue to evolve and to support one another until everyone has the opportunity to reach their full potential and achieve their full personal and professional aspirations.
Senior Vice President, HRBP Developed Markets, Reward & Talent
In the 70’s my mum was forced to leave work when she got pregnant. In the 80’s and 90’s I had to live with numerous inappropriate comments from male colleagues and managers (not at IM I hasten to add). Now, I believe we’re having the right conversations about capabilities, and creating the right flexible environments that will allow women to succeed to the highest levels in organizations. We might not be where we want to be, but at least we’re not where we used to be! We’ve come a long way. Let’s keep pressing on.
Inclusion and diversity is critically important to Iron Mountain. We aim to value the differences each person brings, and to create a fair and level playing field where everyone can reach their full potential. It’s only by bringing everyone together under a common Mission and Vision that we will succeed.
Managing Director, Thought Leadership
I was both fascinated and disturbed by a discussion I heard this past weekend on National Public Radio. The presenter’s done research on women in the workplace and has come to the conclusion that while we’re equally as intelligent and talented as men (that’s a given!), we’re less willing to take chances for fear of failure. One statistic she cited struck home: men apply for new positions if they meet 60% of the posted requirements while women won’t make a move for less than 100% competency. There are plenty of reasons why this is the case, but my “take away” is don’t let any more opportunities pass us by for fear of being other than perfect. On this day of celebrating women around the globe, let’s make a commitment to #dare to stretch!