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Women’s EDGE at 84.51° takes on the gender gap

Women’s EDGE at 84.51° takes on the gender gap

 February 27, 2020

It’s no secret women are underrepresented in STEM careers. Even though women make up almost half of the workforce, a Gartner research study suggests only 31 percent of jobs in IT are held by women. But what’s even more troubling is the lack of women in tech industry leadership roles. Recent studies show this figure at only 22 per cent.

While spreading awareness of this gender gap is a start, it just simply isn’t enough to acknowledge the inequities and press on in the hopes that things will improve on their own. Never a company to sit idly by, 84.51° is proud of the steps its Women’s EDGE group has taken to ensure 84.51° is a place where all people feel like they belong and are fostered to take their careers where they want to be.

Women’s EDGE, which stands for Engage, Grow, Develop and Empower, is a company-sponsored People-Led Group – a voluntary, employee-led group helping to foster a diverse, inclusive workplace aligned with 84.51°’s mission and values. The vision for Women’s EDGE is to create a work environment where women can believe they can bring their whole, authentic selves to work and are valued for their own unique contributions at 84.51°.

Women’s EDGE provides resources, support and a community bringing together both men and women who want to develop and enhance their careers. Feedback, networking, mentoring, training and access to leadership are leveraged to support participants who want to focus on their own careers, in addition to the careers of their female colleagues. 

Since its inception, Women’s EDGE has performed the work of not only creating a supportive environment and fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion, but also actively working to uncover areas across the organization to be improved upon. Through periodic polls and focused discussions for committee members, the group facilitates opportunities for any underlying issues to “bubble up” and be recognized.

8451 womens EDGE event

One recent example of this work is when the group did some looking into 84.51°’s tech track development program, which provides a path for employees to move along in their technical careers. Women’s EDGE noticed that one of 84.51°’s business units was comprised of only 32 percent women, and in that specific business unit’s tech track, only 13 percent were women. By shining a light on insights like this, Women’s EDGE was able to initiate the conversation inside 84.51° about what it is that might keep women from applying or being considered for the tech track in as great a number as men.

Multiple committees focusing on key areas

To address the specific issues it uncovers and work toward progress, Women’s EDGE has established multiple committees and subcommittees to focus employees’ attention on the areas in question. While groups are fluid and constantly evolving to meet the different needs as they arise, they are currently organized into Development (Personal and Professional), Community Groups, and Operations and Support Teams.

  • ACE, which stands for Amplify, Connect and Enrich, is 84.51°’s Development-focused group. Its mission is to create an inclusive platform for the right conversations to amplify content, connect people and enrich the 84.51° community.
  • 84.51° currently has three community groups. Women of Color drives a culture of awareness and inclusion by infusing the group’s perspective into all facets of 84.51°’s Women’s EDGE and 84.51°. Women in Tech enables women technologists to succeed throughout their technical career from pre-career to mature career. Gender Lens promotes equal opportunity in the workplace through education, resources and community.
  • The group’s Operations and Support Teams consist of two committees. The Networking Committee educates EDGE members about the importance of networking and how to build an effective network, while enabling active networking opportunities throughout the year and in conjunction with offered events. Finally, the Marketing and Operations Committee supports EDGE events, other committees and their members. This group also serves at the voice of EDGE.

84.51 MARC fireside chat with Stuart and Rodney

Men are encouraged to participate

It’s also important to note Women’s EDGE is not a women-only group, as men are welcome and encouraged to participate. Another People-Led Group, MARC (Men Advocating Real Change), frequently partners with Women’s EDGE to organize workshops and develop ideas for how male colleagues can support the initiative.

Women’s EDGE and 84.51° are also proud supporters of International Women’s Day and organize an annual event to celebrate. The next event will include a vendor expo with local female-owned businesses and interactive experiences encouraging employees to consciously step out of their day jobs and focus on their role in supporting women.

84.51° acknowledges the job of Women’s EDGE is never done. Rather, addressing the gender gap is a long and ongoing struggle – one extending beyond the employees of 84.51°. By taking action to combat inequity, leading by example, and communicating the same consistent message to teach tomorrow’s leaders everyone’s voice should be heard regardless of who they are, the company believes it can contribute to positive change.

Further your career with inclusive employer 84.51°

84.51° is proud to help drive inclusion for everyone and is always keen to hear from women interested in data technology and innovation.

Search and apply for an exciting job with 84.51°.


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Disclosure: Where Women Work researches and publishes insightful evidence about how its paid member organizations support women's equality.

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