Providing women tools and skills to achieve their professional goals.
More than ever, the world needs more women engagement off to society with the aim to eliminate gender inequality, but this is not possible without the help of the companies, which play an important role in this paradigm shift.
I met some weeks ago to Delenda Nasfi, AMS Partner Lifecycle Ops Manager, and Policy & Contract Lifecycle Management Global Operations at Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) in Mexico. She is Women´s Network Mexico Chair Lead, an amazing program developed by the HPE Guadalajara with the aim of achieving gender equality.
But who is behind this program? Delenda is a people leader. She manages a team in charge of the on boarding of new partners in all the America region, providing contracts with HPE and also any updates or changes to existing contracts, Delenda is from France, she has a degree in International trade from a French university and a master degree in Business Administration from Bayona, France. She has an International trade certification from the Universidad Católica Argentina in Buenos Aires. She started her career in the fragrances and cosmetics industry in Paris, in exportations to Latin America. Then she decided to come to Guadalajara and started to work in Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) first as an individual contributor, then a supervisor, and now as a manager.
I had the opportunity to talk to her about this initiative that is changing the lives of many women in HPE, my hope is that Welum´s readers get inspired and take actions in their companies as well, all actions count in order to make a world more equitable.
"We develop initiatives that make HPE Guadalajara an even more inclusive and diverse place to work"
Delenda ,where the idea of Women´s network México came from?
The Employee Resource Group Women´s Network was created to empower women and provide them the tools and skills to achieve their professional goals. Since its creation in 2014, a team of volunteers has been dedicating their efforts in achieving gender equality.
Can you mention the impact of the program qualitatively and quantitatively for HPE as business?
Since 2014, 400 women participated in our Women Talent Development Program. This program is developed locally by our volunteers. During 8 months 100 women develop their knowledge on gender, improve their soft skills through conferences, workshops, leadership panels and virtual material. Thanks to the surveys during the program we are able to measure exactly the impact it has: 97% of the participants consider participating in the program had a positive impact in both their professional and personal life.
92% of them have an action plan ready based on what they´ve learned during the program. 94% of them are now more prepared to face any gender issue.
Based on the feedback we receive, the biggest impacts are: improved networking and communication skills, increased self-confidence, increased awareness on gender issues and more balanced work life.
Who and how many make up the team?
Currently we are 42 volunteers from all organizations within Hewlett Packard Enterprise, both individual contributors and people leaders. We are glad to also have men as part of the team, who are interested in understand women´s needs and be gender advocates. Together we develop initiatives that make HPE Guadalajara an even more inclusive and diverse place to work.
The content of the program is divided in 3 modules : Understanding gender, knowing yourself and influencing others, what were the criteria for choosing this content?
After each of the 4 generations of the Women Talent Development program we make sure to get feedback from the participants regarding the content to update it and improve it based on the employees´ needs and interests. Based on the feedback we receive, we define the most important topics to be covered and then work on developing the content and invite experts to provide their input. We consider that before providing women the tools and knowledge to develop their soft skills it´s important to define and understand the gender issues women are facing in the world, in Mexico and in the IT industry in particular. Once we are aware of these issues, we become able to address them, speak up and lift each other up!
Who teaches them are external consultants or HP staff?
In previous generations we had both internal HP staff and external consultants as speakers. Last generation we decided to have only external consultants, from local universities, to take advantage of the experts Guadalajara offers especially on gender topics.
In the case of the participants, what has been their experience? how have their lives changed?
According to the feedback we are receiving being part of the Talent Development Program has been beneficial for both the personal and professional lives.Here´s some quotes from participants:
“The impact that WN had on my career was substantial. The skills I developed allowed me to expand my willingness to serve as well the knowledge I needed to obtain in order to become an important member of my team. This led me to pursue a great career opportunity in Marketing, where I am now. I also learned about being involved in a committee and seek greatness through servicing others and prepare for future generations.”
“Women´s Network program it was a great chance that helped me to identify which are my skills and how I can develop them,[…] That made me realize that how important is to work together as a community and have sisterhood.”
“I absolutely recommend this program. […] I think we are very fortunate to have this program locally, because not all sites have something similar. Having these safe spaces where women can gather, share their stories and experiences, learn negotiating and leadership skills will help to have a more diverse workforce and have more female leaders at the company.”
“I definitely gained confidence, this helped me in several aspects of my life like networking, career move and raising my voice.”
I was checking you have other initiatives LEAN IN CIRCLES, HEFORSHE, tell us more about it.
The Women Talent Development Program is not the only initiative the team has been developing locally, we have:
"Based on the feedback we receive, the biggest impacts are: improved networking and communication skills, increased self-confidence, increased awareness on gender issues and more balanced work life"
Lean In Circles
Circles are a place for sharing ideas, gaining skills, seeking advice, and showing solidarity. Most of all, they’re a place where we help each other become our very best selves.”
After including these circles successfully in our Talent Development Program, this year we are bringing them to the next level, opening them to all HPE Guadalajara employees, both men and women.
HeForShe is an official UN Women program created to eliminate stereotypes and discrimination for women and diversity and make people leaders become advocates on Gender equality. After several years of empowering women, we realized gender equality could not be achieved without having men on board! That´s why, in HPE GDL, 23 men people leaders took the first step, participating in the HeForShe BarberShop Toolbox pilot, to become advocates on Gender equality. The objective of this pilot is to create a local commitment to close the Gender Gap and bring awareness on gender equality and diversity.
People leaders are doing the following:
Create a local commitment to close the Gap.
Become advocate of gender equality which means 'Dedicate time and personal power to help underrepresented people succeed and address systemic problems around diversity and Inclusion. By creating an environment of trust where leaders become actively engaged on closing the gap, understand the importance of their power to provide a better place to work and the challenges that others can face. More than 300 people attended the kickoff of this pilot, GDL being the first HPE site to develop it. We are very proud to be the first HPE site launching this initiative and that there´s already a plan to replicate it in other countries in Latin America.
Networking with local universities
Last September some of the volunteers gave a speech in TecMilenio about "Empowering women in an more equal economy".
This year, we are planning on inviting students from Top Local universities to visit our site and provide an amazing experience on how is the work environment in HPE. We will have employees share experiences with them on how the company has helped them achieve their personal and professional goals.
The objective of our "Women Leadership Program" is to impact career growth supporting the improvement of leadership skills, networking and impacting our community for 40 selected graduates from previous Talent Development Program Generations.
Volunteering activities with local association.
Because we believe in being a force for good, last year we organized a visit the rest house Sagrada Familia A.C last September 20th, were 55 elder women reside. The women of the house enjoyed a Kermesse with Mexican Theme and participated in the different workshops and activities offered by the volunteers, such as board games, dance and embroider workshops. Additionally, first need articles were donated, as well as special armchairs.
Local initiatives from HPE Guadalajara can be copied in other HPE sites, and maybe from other companies and this fact can impact positively more and more women and men from all over the world, the result: a fair and equitable society.