On October 20, 2021, the International Conference on Gender Equality and Corporate Social Responsibility and the Women's Empowerment Principles' (WEPs) award ceremony were held in Beijing, jointly sponsored by the China Office of UN-Women and the EU delegation in China.
Thoughtworks wins the WEPs award
Thoughtworks was awarded the Community Engagements & Partnerships category award for their positive contribution and outstanding achievements in promoting women communities. This marks Thoughtworks' second WEPs award, after their win in the China Leadership Commitment category in 2020. Other companies that have won the award in the same period include PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), Trip.com Group and Noah Holdings among others.
Ms. Kang Ke, marketing director of Thoughtworks China, (second from right) accepts the award
As the first WEPs award initiative in the Asia-Pacific region, this award aims to recognize model business practices that promote gender equality. Co-sponsored by UN Women and the United Nations Global Compact Office, the WEPs encompass seven principles to guide businesses in the promotion of gender equality across the value chain. At present, more than 5,600 companies around the world are signatories of the WEPs commitment to promoting gender equality.
Ms. Mu Hong, director-general of the Liaison Department of the All-China Women's Federation, pointed out in her speech: "The effective actions taken by companies in promoting women's capabilities – building, providing equal development opportunities and helping women participate in scientific and technological innovation – are not only conducive to growing women's potential but also to promoting the development of companies themselves and achieving more sustainable economic growth."
Ms. Mu Hong, director-general of the Liaison Department of the All-China Women's Federation, presents
Zhang Song, CEO of Thoughtworks China, said: “Cultivating an inclusive culture and pursuing social equity has been a goal set by Thoughtworks since its inception and it has also been the basis of our values and community-focused culture. In China, we adhere to Thoughtworks' policy of promoting gender equality and women's empowerment, from recruitment, selection and training to staff retention.
“We always pay attention to the obstacles that women face in their career choices and development due to traditional social habits or cognitive biases, and hope to create a platform for female technologists to develop and learn from role models. At the same time, through cooperation between our community and international organizations, we also hope to provide a platform for our female employees and encourage everyone to use the community platform to exert the responsibility and influence of technologists to support marginalized social groups and use technology to promote a fairer future.”
Practice corporate values and take various measures to promote the development of women in science and technology
In the global technology industry, the proportion of women is significantly lower than that of men. Whether intentional or not, gender bias has always existed. As a global technology consulting company with more than 25 years of history, Thoughtworks has always regarded social progress and justice as one of the three pillars of its corporate culture. To fully implement corporate values, continue to promote gender equality in the workplace and truly help open the doors of science and technology for women, Thoughtworks has made significant efforts and investment in this area.
Over the years, Thoughtworks has been committed to creating a business and cultural environment of gender tolerance and gender equality. By insisting on a 1:1 school recruitment gender ratio, having women represent 50 percent of global leadership programs, implementing anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies, showing zero tolerance for disrespect towards women, offering flexible office mechanisms for working mothers in addition to other corporate policies and providing female employees with equal salaries and promotion channels, Thoughtworks has supported women in the workplace and helped support women's career development in computer science and technology. Due to its outstanding performance, Thoughtworks has been selected as a "World's Top Employer for Women Technologists" by the AnitaB.org Institute, the world's leading non-profit for women in technology, for several years in a row.
While energetically promoting gender equality within the company, Thoughtworks also fully promotes a community spirit, focuses on broader industry and social welfare undertakings, integrates issues of common concern to society, and organizes many activities and communities to give confidence and strength to women in technology.
Create a community together to help more women explore a better future
At present, Thoughtworks China has three female communities, oriented towards the company, the industry and society. These communities integrate their own characteristics to organize a variety of activities to help women grow and encourage women in the workplace to explore more possibilities.
The TechLady Science and Technology Women's Community, a self-organized and operated community, is dedicated to promoting the improvement of the workplace for women in science and technology, helping women balance life and work and create opportunities to meet other women facing the same challenges. At present, the community has organized a number of activities in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Xi’an, Chengdu and Wuhan, such as the establishment of a special training camp for women in college called the "Outstanding Women Program", and the “ WiLD women’s leadership development Program” jointly organized with the British Embassy in China and the British consulates. It also continues to develop the "Dao Ma Dan" project and recognize female role models in science and technology.
Since 2019, in order to address the root causes of unconscious gender bias in the science and technology industry, the community has organized a girls' education support project in cooperation with Plan International and a number of other social institutions, to encourage girls to broaden their horizons, build awareness, establish career goals and have a far-reaching impact on gender diversity and tolerance in the industry through well-designed curricula.
In 2021, in response to the lack of support and programs that help identify and build an effective response to the bullying and violence on social media experienced by children in rural communities, TechLady Women's community launched a company-wide initiative called a "Training Course for Children's Design Thinking". Created for children in rural communities in cooperation with Plan International, it has already been delivered to many children in rural Pucheng and Jia County.
Children watching the training course for children's design thinking
It is thanks to this project's outstanding performance that Thoughtworks has been recognized with the 2021 China WEPs Community Engagement & Partnerships category award. Thoughtworks plans to continue delivering the "Training Course for Children's Design Thinking" to even more children in rural communities. At the same time, women communities in Thoughtworks will host additional activities focused on listening to women's perspectives to help more women achieve their full potential.
In the future, Thoughtworks will join other companies from different industries across WEPs platform to take additional action to promote gender equality, help many more women achieve the full potential of their skills and talents in this new era and promote social development and progress for all.
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Thoughtworks is a global technology consultancy that integrates strategy, design and engineering to drive digital innovation. We are 10,000+ people strong across 48 offices in 17 countries. Over the last 25+ years, we’ve delivered extraordinary impact together with our clients by helping them solve complex business problems with technology as the differentiator.
Linda Horiuchi, global head of public relations, Thoughtworks
Phone: +1(646) 581-2568