Women’s Equality Day: ‘Important Work … Remains to Be Done'

Women’s struggle for recognition, let alone equality, in the ICT industry is tough. Still, we persist.

Buffy Naylor, Senior Managing Editor

August 26, 2021

11 Slides

Today is Women’s Equality Day. Never heard of it? Not surprising. Here’s some background.

It was created by Joint Resolution on Aug. 26, 1973. Under the Resolution, “the President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation in commemoration of that day in 1920 on which the women of American were first guaranteed the right to vote.”

It took more than 130 years for American women to be given the right to vote. And even then, it was only white women who were guaranteed the vote. Although many Black women were suffragettes, women of color — African American, Asian American, Hispanic American and Native American — had to wait another 45 years. The Voting Rights Act, passed on Aug. 6, 1965, took aim at the voter suppression that had kept them from the polls.

And today, 48 years after the creation of Women’s Day in Equality, women are still working as hard for true equal rights as their suffragette ancestors did for the vote.

In issuing this year’s proclamation, President Biden began by saying, “Today, we celebrate Women’s Equality Day, a reminder not only of the progress women have won through the years, but of the important work that remains to be done.” Amen to that.

Important Work to Be Done in ICT

The ICT industry — and by extension, its channels — has historically been the domain of white males. Women’s contributions to and accomplishments in the tech industry went unheralded and were even suppressed.


YouTube’s Erin Teague

Erin Teague is director of product management for YouTube. She had some advice for women when dealing with sexism in the industry. “Recognize and embrace your uniqueness,” she said. “I don’t think the ratios are going to change anytime soon. But, I don’t think that has to be a disadvantage. Being a Black woman, being a woman in general, on a team of all men means that you are going to have a unique voice. It’s important to embrace that.”


Nike’s Shaherose Charania

Shaherose Charania, now head of investments at Nike Valiant Labs, co-founded Women 2.0 in 2006. The company focuses on gender, diversity and inclusion in tech, and Charania is a firm believer in the power of women helping women.

“Women no longer have an ‘if I can’ mindset. Now it’s more about ‘how I can’ — be in tech, start something in tech, fund something in tech. That shift is exciting! And it happened because we created a network where we show, daily, that women are innovating.”


Project Include’s Ellen Pao

In that spirit, scroll through the gallery above to learn about just a few of the women whose accomplishments have helped blaze a trail for equality in tech. As Ellen Pao, former Reddit CEO and now CEO of nonprofit Project Include, noted, “If we do not share our stories and shine a light on inequities, things will not change.”



Want to contact the author directly about this story? Have ideas for a follow-up article? Email Buffy Naylor or connect with her on LinkedIn.

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About the Author(s)

Buffy Naylor

Senior Managing Editor, Channel Futures

Buffy Naylor is senior managing editor of Channel Futures. Prior to joining Informa (then VIRGO) in 2008, she was an award-winning copywriter and editor, then senior manager of corporate communications for an international leisure travel corporation and, before that, in charge of creative development and copywriting for a boutique marketing and public relations agency.

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