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, Naomi Meyer, Software Development Engineer at Adobe. Naomi 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?
Remember, your parents love you. They’re not trying to ruin your life 😀
2. What was your dream job when you were just starting your career? How has that dream evolved?
When I was just starting my career I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do, or what my dream job could be. Initially I thought I might become a lawyer – partly because I really look up to my Aunt Arlene, who’s a badass lawyer. Since getting into tech and coding, my idea of my dream job and what I can do in the future have changed considerably, now the sky’s the limit!
3. What does gender equality mean to you?
Unfortunately in 2019, gender inequality is still a reality for women across the globe. For me gender equality doesn’t mean women and men have to become the same, gender equality means all people regardless of gender, get the same opportunities, rights, access, and responsibilities – everywhere. It’s about economic participation, decision making, sustainable development, education, and human rights – equally for all humans.
4. Who is one person in your industry who has inspired you in your fight for equality? How have they done so?
I think seeing other women in technical engineering leadership roles is always inspiring because they prove its possible for women to get there! At the Adobe New York office my desk is near the brilliant lead data scientist, Margarita Savova. She’s inspirational because she builds the most impressive complex algorithms, has multiple patents to her name, and when I hear her give presentations I’m always blown away by how intelligent she is. She’s also really sweet and down to earth. I also have the opportunity to work in the same business unit in the Adobe Experience Platform, with some incredible women engineering leaders who I look up to: Anjul Bhambhri, Vasanthi Holtcamp, and Jaemi Bremner – who actually encouraged me to speak at engineering conferences! I’m also inspired by tech women I follow online, who are doing excellent work for the industry and fighting for equality: Joy Buolamwini (AJL), Eva Galperin (EFF), and Saron Yitbarek (CodeNewbies) are truly amazing! I’m inspired by their work and I want to be a powerful, confident, brilliant women in tech just like them all when I grow up! (sorry I couldn’t pick just one)
5. What’s one concrete next step that others can take to promote equality (of any sort) in the workplace?
There are so many! I love Karen Catlin’s Better Allies, because she provides actionable concrete steps all can take, to promote equality at work. I think the key to promoting workplace equality is to get more diversity at the table and then once they’re there, actually listen and respect what they have to say.As women I think we have a responsibility to lift as we climb. Empowered women empower women!