Alana Rush, Co-Lead of EquALLity, Wunderkind’s Gender Employee Resource Group, sat down with us to discuss what equality means at Wunderkind, why the company launched the Equality Impact Awards and who has inspired her recently. Read her answers below!
1. Can you tell me a little bit about EquALLity and its role at Wunderkind?
The mission of EquALLity is to make Wunderkind the best place to work for people of any gender. We do a lot of work to champion women at Wunderkind and to educate people about what the gender spectrum means.
We focus a lot on the fact that everyone has a gender story and identity. We want to help integrate that into the workplace so that people feel comfortable and empowered when they come to work here.
2. Why did you decide to be the EquALLity ERG lead?
I’ve spent most of my career working in male-dominated fields, and it’s always been really important to me to both mentor and support younger women as they’re coming up in their careers and also to really champion the idea that both men and women need to be involved in the fight for gender parity and equality.
From the beginning, EquALLity has been an effort focused on gender equality, not just women’s rights, which I think is an important distinction. And with that, there was a lot of support and interest both from Wunderkind’s leadership and the employee base. Co-leading EquALLity seemed like a great way to help move the needle in a positive way in that regard.
3. What are the Equality Impact Awards, and why did Wunderkind launch them last year?
In the #metoo era, there’s room in the tech landscape for every company to focus on and improve diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Wunderkind is committed to doing our part to not only create a company where people of any gender can thrive, but to build a more inclusive community in tech, publishing and retail.
The Equality Impact Awards were launched in 2018 by EquALLity as part of our ongoing efforts to support gender equality. We launched the awards to coincide with Women’s Equality Day on August 26th. We’re also rolled out a company-wide equal pay pledge inspired in part by the White House Equal Pay Pledge and the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles.
The awards are given to women 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 the women who come after them.
4. Why are the Equality Impact Awards important?
Gender equality is a very complex and big issue, and individuals play a very important role in it, as do companies. I think that with initiatives like the Equality Impact Awards, Wunderkind as a company can build a platform that allows us to highlight other people who are championing these efforts elsewhere in the field.
We work across over 400 retail and publishing clients so we are exposed to a lot of the people who are making major change in this regard. The Equality Impact Awards allow us to tell their stories, which I think is really important, especially in industries where the work that a lot of these people are doing really is an uphill battle.
We hope it will inspire other people to start doing these kinds of initiatives as well.
5. Who is one woman in tech, retail or publishing who has inspired you recently? Why?
One of the Equality Impact Award winners last year was Emily Culp, the CEO at Cover FX Skincare Inc. I first met her when she was at Keds, where she was spearheading women’s equality through a campaign that Keds was running called Ladies First. It highlighted women in sports who had broken through barriers and how Keds had supported them.
Emily is someone who professional has always fought for women, but also personally, she brings both strength and vulnerability to the forefront. She’s not afraid to talk about the challenges of being a driven, career-focused woman and the difficulties that can come along with that.
I respect how she’s brought her personality into a really successful career and also through her work has helped build pathways for women.
Do you know a woman in tech, retail or publishing who is breaking glass ceilings, fighting for equal pay and championing diversity and inclusion? Nominate them for an Equality Impact Award today!