Hi, I'm Anne-Lise. And this is Jenna. We are consultants at The Berkeley Partnership. And together, we run the Women@Berkeley Network. To mark this International Women's Day, we thought it would be good if we could share a little bit about what our network does. And maybe, Jenna, you can give a little bit of an intro.
So, the Women@Berkeley Network is open to everybody in the firm. And we're a group of people really focused on making our workplace truly inclusive and accessible for everybody here. Of course, one of our big ambitions and goals is to really support the women at Berkeley and make sure that they've got everything they need to succeed here at The Berkeley Partnership, but also in their future careers too.
It's been so good to do this with you, Jenna, and to develop the network. I've really had a really great time, and I think what's been really great as well is to see how much enthusiasm and support we've had from everybody in the firm.
It feels like the time is right now. And for me, particularly being a woman in lockdown over the last couple of years, living by myself, one of the things I've really missed, or I've felt, is that isolation aspect of being in lockdown. And there were times, actually, where I'd been three or four days on Zoom calls continually, and I was the only woman on those calls and I hadn't spoken to anybody else outside of work. I really got that urge that wanted to get back into the office and back with our colleagues and particularly the women at Berkeley.
I think you're right when you say it's the right time. There's been so much that's happened in the last 10 years already. It's really important to realize that only 30% of senior leadership roles are held by women. It's great we've moved so much and we've had so much success. But equally, there's a lot to be done to make sure that we don't stay at representation level, but actually that we work together to create an impact.
It's so true. And The Berkeley Partnership has been supporting International Women's Day for many years. But this year's theme is breaking the bias, which I think is really powerful. Interesting to see how the network is going to support that pledge.
There's so much stereotype about women who, to be successful, need to be strong, opinionated, assertive, less feminine, less emotional. I don't think that's true.
But you know what, sometimes it's we women who hold some of that bias and that stereotype. Actually what we would like to do as part of this network is break that actually. And part of that is about sharing awareness and experiences internally with our women, but also with our male colleagues as well so they can understand certain behaviors and how actually they can be more supportive of us.
I think that's what makes our network special, is it's open to women and men, because we understand how important it is for men to support us and to be with us. Alone, we can't do that change, we can't make the change. So it's really good for us to be able to have men as our allies. And I think they'll learn so much along the way.
So we've talked a lot about the aims and what we want to achieve as part of the Women@Berkeley Network. And this year's all about turning into action. So what's on the plan ahead?
I'm really excited about some of the projects we have. One that's really dear and close to my heart is building communities. For example, supporting each other as working moms and working parents, but also developing our careers. How do we build that influence and that impact when we're out with clients? And what's also important is sharing those stories and sharing our experience together, particularly when we're able to bring external speakers who are going to really share those interesting stories.
I'm really looking forward to that, I really am. The other piece I'm really looking forward to is exploring some of the leadership development opportunities specifically for women, actually. So, whether that's in Berkeley or outside in the industry, that would be really powerful, so I'm looking forward to it a lot. And of course, feeding back into The Berkeley Partnership as a firm, for what we need and require as women to be working in a truly inclusive, supportive, and empowering workplace.
Having a voice.
And really not forget having fun along the way too. I think it's really nice for us. We can socialize as women together and having a lot of fun. And it's so true to who we are at Berkeley.
Oh, that's true. So we've got a fun packed year ahead and I'm really looking forward to it.
Both men and women, representative of our whole firm, featured in our #BreakTheBias pledge video to share our commitments.
Sameera: We will have the courage to be authentic
Kofi: We will value our differences
Kat: We will support each other
Will: We will create a culture where everyone feels they belong
Pankaj: We will recognize the benefits of our diversity
Kali: We will celebrate our women’s achievements and contributions – both big and small
Mark: We will all play our part
Dave: We will be allies and champions
Jenna: We will be mentors and role models
Murray: We will work together
Richard: We will challenge the gender stereotypes, discrimination and bias in our industry
Anne-Lise: We will move from representation to making an impact
Mike: We will break the bias
Sandy: We will break the bias
Sameera Simjee, Partner