Reflecting on the power of our Mercury women
April 13, 2021
Although Women’s History Month is over, the commitment to challenging gender stereotypes and creating an inclusive workplace culture for all continues to accelerate at Mercury.
Throughout March, Mercury focused a lens on several initiatives for advancing the roles of women in business, including our own International Women’s Day (IWD) celebration, our involvement in the annual Simmons Leadership Conference, and a unique sponsorship of a predominantly female Capstone team at Brigham Young University (BYU) school of engineering.
Mercury’s internal IWD virtual event, hosted by the newly formed Women at Mercury group and led by our vice president of Human Resources, Stephanie Moody, featured a panel of women and men across the company who shared their personal stories of triumph and challenges, advice for juggling career and homelife, and how COVID has impacted the fight for equality in the workplace.
Our chief human resources officer, Emma Woodthorpe, opened the day with a renewed oath to continue creating a culture where access and opportunity exists for all. “We’ll continue challenging ourselves to make sure we don’t have glass ceilings and striving to create a culture where women can thrive and grow.”
Standout discussions included Kim Allen, an account management director at Mercury’s UK and France locations, who spoke about frequent work-related travel throughout her career leading people to call her a “bad mother” for leaving her children behind. “You’d never hear someone ask a man, ‘who is taking care of your children while you travel?’”
Nelly Umeh, a program manager in Andover, MA, has spent her entire career in the defense industry and knows what it feels like to be “the only one of something” in a space. She discussed “othering” and the marginalization of certain groups, unfairly categorizing and judging based on gender and racial stereotypes. “You’ll always have people who will ‘other’ you,” she said. “But we need to find the bits of community who support you.” She also pointed out that COVID has actually helped build a more inclusive work culture with so many people now working from home and sharing their authentic selves, not just the persona in the office. “COVID has really freed us to look at each other from all sides and we need to embrace that, both men and women.”
Other highlights included the perspectives of men at Mercury who discussed the challenges they have seen their spouses experience as women balancing careers and families, prompting them to become visible supporters of women in the workplace. They encouraged other men in the audience to do their part and make a conscience effort every day to impact inclusivity.
Simmons Leadership Conference
As a gold corporate sponsor, several Mercury women attended the Simmons Leadership Conference, the preeminent women’s leadership forum. Mercury CMO Stephanie Georges was a featured speaker on a business panel about this year’s theme, “leading with resilience and authenticity.” At the conference, Stephanie was joined by two other women business leaders to talk about what it means to be authentic in the workplace. Our CMO summed it up by saying, “I believe that at the core of authenticity, you need to know who you are, know what you love to do; and stay true to yourself.” These three core principles, she says, also apply to companies—know who you are as a company, what it is that you do best (what makes you stand out from the competition) and, most importantly, a brand must be true to itself to achieve success. Leading up to the event, Stephanie and SVP Dr. Amela Wilson shared more of their thoughts on empowering female leadership at Mercury in an impactful Q&A blog.
We were also inspired this month to have a discussion with three other women leaders at Mercury who discussed their experiences and shared insights as they work to cultivate hope, build confidence and raise optimism for other women in business. Watch as they tell their personal stories on the MercuryNOW vodcast.
Supporting Women in STEM
Mercury’s dedication to closing the gender gap for women in technical roles is brought to life through our sponsorship of a predominantly female Brigham Young University (BYU) Capstone team. Watch and listen to another MercuryNOW vodcast that discusses this important topic and how we can all work together to advance the roles of women in STEM through innovative programs such as this.
As we end a month of celebrating women’s achievements, we’re excited to begin a new month committed to taking an active role in supporting women in the workplace. We’ve come a long way in the last five years, but we must continue to #ChooseToChallenge ourselves and work to drive positive change.