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, Michelle Cutter, SVP of Digital and eCommerce at Theory. Michelle 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’m so proud of you! You’ve taken risks, worked hard and pushed yourself to reach beyond what you thought was possible….and you haven’t seen anything yet!
2. What was your dream job when you were just starting your career? How has that dream evolved?
I honestly didn’t know what my dream job was when I was just starting out. I hadn’t been exposed to different types of businesses, as both of my parents were teachers, but knew that I liked being around creative and thoughtful people, I wanted to solve problems, and I wanted to make a positive impact. This is all still true today.
3. What does gender equality mean to you?
Gender equality to me means that a person is evaluated based on their performance, and paid based on that performance regardless of their gender. We still have a long way to go here.
4. Who is one person in your industry who has inspired you in your fight for equality? How have they done so?
It is my mother who has inspired me to fight for equality. She was a pioneer in fighting for and winning equal pay for women high school sports officials in the 1970’s under Title IX. Under very difficult circumstances, she persevered and paved the way for the next generation.
5. What’s one concrete next step that others can take to promote equality (of any sort) in the workplace?
As managers, we have the obligation to make sure that equality is maintained within our teams. Reviewing salaries, promotions, bonuses all through the lens of equality, is a concrete way to demonstrate your commitment.