Launched in 2018, the Equality Impact Awards honor the contributions and leadership of women and allies that are changing historically, and often notoriously, unequal industries.
The awards are given to both women and allies in tech, retail and publishing who are breaking glass ceilings, fighting for equal pay, championing diversity and inclusion and ensuring that the workplace is better for themselves and those who come after them.
Today, we honor one of our 2019 winners, Caitlin Malone, VP, Group Director, Insights & Analytics at Initiative. Caitlin answered 5 questions about the state of equality in the industry. Take a look!
1. If you could tell 16-year-old you one thing, what would it be?
I think John Mellencamp said it best…”Hold onto sixteen as long as you can, changes come around real soon, make us women and men.”
2. What was your dream job when you were just starting your career? How has that dream evolved?
Interestingly enough, I actually went into college as a Math major. When I made the shift and was accepted into the Business School at UW Madison, I became set on being a buyer at a big department store, combining my love for marketing/data and fashion. Interesting story behind that, but due to a technology glitch, that didn’t work out and I’m glad I started on the research/big data side as it led me to where I am today.
3. What does gender equality mean to you?
Abolishing the use of phrases, like “If I were a man…” or “That’s a double standard” in the workplace; our future generations shouldn’t even know what this means.
4. Who is one person in your industry who has inspired you in your fight for equality? How have they done so?
Not to be specifically named, but someone (a female bada**) at my past company personally stood up and demanded better maternity and paternity leave in a company-wide, Employee Resource Group meeting and in less than a year, policy was changed for the better. She personally is the reason that thousands of employees now have this benefit (and right) – it only takes one person, and she showed me it was actually possible. Coming from a results-driven mentality, she really demonstrated that change was possible, and further, that we are responsible for driving that change and speaking up until we are heard.
5. What’s one concrete next step that others can take to promote equality (of any sort) in the workplace?
If you see something, say something – it works for all situations. Stand up for what’s right and don’t be afraid to stand up for others, who may not have the same confidence to do so. Also, be a mentor. Not because they reach out to you, but because you see something in them and can help them succeed. Pay it forward and “raise her (or him) up.”