Last week, a group of 50 amazing women walked into the Equinix Headquarters, ready to take control of their careers. Among them was a Data Analyst who loves Pilates, a Program Manager retired from the United States Air Force, a Senior Business Analyst who empowers women refugees from Afghanistan, an iOS Engineer who volunteers for 'Humane Eating'. These 50 women are part of a unique, underserved talent pool who are changing the way Equinix finds and hires technical talent.
Women Back to Work is a one-of-a-kind organization that helps women in technology return to the workforce after a hiatus. Powered by my company Akraya, a leading IT consulting and talent acquisition firm and 2018 'Best Places to Work' - WBW assists returning women with resume writing, skills assessment, training, mentoring, and more. Then, through events hosted at a Corporate campus, WBW participants spend the day at leading employers like Equinix learning from company executives, HR leaders, and Hiring Managers. And in return, the women are able to share some of the challenges they face getting back into the workforce, allowing employers like Equinix to uncover ways to reach and assist this untapped talent pool.
The Returnship event at Equinix started with Debra McCowan, Chief Human Resources Officer and Larry McAlister, VP Global Talent Acquisition welcoming the women and thanking them for attending. Having these company leaders participate in the event showed just how much Equinix appreciated these talented women and the value they provided.
Irena Halsey, Interim Chief Diversity leader at Electronic Arts led a very powerful hour where the women had a chance to share what was driving their decision to return to the workforce and the hurdles they faced. In return Equinix leadership was able to provide guidance and tips that would help them overcome these hurdles. The speakers shared relevant information and tools that women can apply to their job searches.
The group learned how to apply design thinking strategies to their job search from Shalini Sardana, a Leadership Ambassador with 'Take the Lead Women'. In addition, the returnees had an opportunity for 1:1 meetings with hiring leadership and talent acquisition managers.
For me and my team, it was an energizing event that helped reaffirm the reasons why Women Back to Work exists. It embodies one of Akraya's core values of giving back and aligns with our purpose of delivering 3 times the karma - enabling our clients to deliver revolutionary products, inspiring our consultants (in this case our returnees) to pursue their dreams and empowering our employees to realize their potential (supporting our community)
Kelly Kayser, Global Talent Acquisition at Equinix and I are both so proud to stand side-by-side with our women returnees and provide an avenue that gets them closer to their professional goals. I am grateful to Equinix for hosting such an empowering day and looking forward to the next one.
Silicon Valley is experiencing a shortage of qualified candidates for open roles. Technology jobs will continue to dominate the workforce. The 2018 Silicon Valley Index indicates that tech jobs are growing, and unemployment is lower than it has ever been since 2000 (Silicon Valley Index, 2018). Are you an employer looking to engage an untapped technical talent pool? Reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how we can help.