As part of my series on ALLIES, today we are going to talk about the I in ALLIES, Include

Inclusion is about creating a culture where everyone feels like they belong.  They feel safe to share their perspective and valued for what they say and do. 

How do you ensure you are being inclusive?  Look around your team, organization and the meetings you are in and take mental note of whether everyone who should be represented is present.  When you walk into a meeting, a team, or a group, seek out those not sharing their ideas and work to include them in the conversation. Look around the room and encourage everyone to contribute. When someone does speak up, demonstrate that their opinion matters.

Go out of your way to invite female colleagues in informal meetings that happen over lunch or drinks where they may not feel comfortable inviting themselves.

I would like to introduce you to two people who will share their story with you about the impact of these actions.  My esteemed colleague, Glynis Bryan, who is the CFO for Insight. She is known for delivering results and for her commitment to driving customer and partner satisfaction.   Glynis is also the winner of the 2021 Women in Cloud Allyship award herself but today, Glynis will share her story of allyship and how it has made a difference in her experience and confidence in building her career.

I would also like to introduce you to her ally, Ken Lamneck who is the former Chief Executive Officer for Insight.  

Both of these individuals have led impressive businesses and hold executive roles.  But we are going to play Monday morning quarterback and take you back to a time in their history when they were just connecting and the road that was paved by Ken’s intention to become an ally for Glynis.

Interview with Joyce Mullen, CEO and Glynis Bryan, CFO from Insight on DEI

I had the pleasure to interview two leading women through the Ally of Her programming with the Women’s Business Collaborative.  This is an depth interview with Joyce Mullen, CEO and Glynis Bryan, CFO of Computer Hardware, Software, Technology Solutions | Insight  a leading provider of computer hardware, software, cloud solutions and IT services to business, government, education and healthcare clients, sharing the secrets to their success in building a more inclusive organization.  Insight is widely recognized as an organization that focuses on DEI.

LinkedIn Top Voices in Gender Equity

LinkedIN Top Voices
LinkedIN Top Voices

When I left Microsoft a few months ago to turn my focus and my energy on the issue of driving for gender equity, particularly in high tech, to pave the way for other women to succeed and try to break down the headwinds that hold so many great women from receiving the recognition and support they deserve, I was hoping that I could fuel momentum. I am incredibly grateful and duly impressed by the many women I have connected with and discovered who are also driving for the same change – lending their voices, energy and sweat equity to this incredibly important issue.

I am even more humbled and honored to be considered an influencer among some of the most esteemed women in this space. Thank you http(99+) LinkedIn Top Voices in Gender Equity: The 15 creators to follow | LinkedIn  for drawing attention to this important topic and continuing to fuel the momentum on the movement for gender equity.

Like so many women, there have been moments when I felt like I did not belong. So many meetings where I was the only woman in the room and I would speak up only to be ignored and have my ideas repeated by another man several minutes later and have it hailed as a brilliant contribution. This has happened so many times to me that I have developed my own strategies for building allies prior to there being a name for this role. I discovered the value that allies can provide and how meaningful it is for a man to recognize when I have been interrupted or when my idea was miscredited in a way that did not “rescue me” for I did not need that, but instead empowered me by interrupting the flow and making space for me to step into it. I am so grateful for the many allies that I have enlisted throughout my career and it is what has fueled my passion to document my experiences and the actions these individuals took as my allies.

2022 is the year we #breakthebias and #becomeallies to disrupt the status quo, take action and make change. Congratulations to the incredibly impactful women recognized for their contributions. On this #IWD2022, let’s build the movement and drive the change!