Eighteen months ago, women represented 34 percent of employees at NetSuite, but less than 10 percent of leadership.
Recognizing that disparity, not just at NetSuite but in the tech community as a whole, a cross-functional team of women formed Women in NetSuite (WIN) to advance the professional development of women at NetSuite through recruitment, sponsorship, networking, education and advocacy.
The community here in Silicon Valley has noticed our efforts to create a more diverse workplace at NetSuite. One of our pioneering WIN team members has been recognized -- with an award from the HR Symposium, an organization charged with supporting the growth and development of Northern California Human Resources professionals. JoAnne Taylor, Senior Director, US & Corporate Human Resources at NetSuite was recently given HR Symposium’s 2016 Award of Excellence for her work in leading WIN.
It’s well deserved. In the first 12 months since the launch of the WIN initiative, the attrition of female employees slowed to a pace less than their male counterparts. With promotions and hiring of more women into leadership roles, our female leadership population rose from 20 percent in 2014 to 24 percent in 2015. We also saw the number of "high-potential" female leaders rise from 13 percent of the hi-potential population to over 30 percent during that same time period.
WIN, with the support of senior leadership, has also been instrumental in creating the new maternity/paternity policy at NetSuite and has implemented NetSuite’s first ever female mentor program in the US - more than doubling this program since inception at the beginning of 2015 to its current size today. WIN now counts more than 500 members and more than 60 volunteers across the globe helping to bring its vision to life at more than 10 chapters across our global NetSuite locations.
That’s significant progress in a short amount of time and JoAnne was a central part of it. She led the cross functional team of senior women in creating a WIN steering committee with subcommittees to focus on the charter areas of education, networking, mentoring and recruiting. She also created a standardized tool kit to implement WIN employee resource groups in every office in the US and as well in Asia and Europe. Her commitment to the program and her ability to create a scalable model allowed the pace of these roll-outs to be accelerated.
Congratulations to JoAnne, who I thought put it perfectly in accepting the award. As she said:
“I think to myself I am one person at one company. What’s the big deal? But then I look at my daughter’s face. She’s eight years old. I look at her face and I see endless possibility.
“Only I know endless possibility is still riddled with barriers that shouldn’t be there. When we all do our part to remove barriers – for whatever the cause – collectively we make a difference. Whether for you, your kids, your friends, your colleagues. It all matters. We can all make a difference.”