Being empowered by Adobe women
by Adobe Life Team
Posted on 03-08-2018
To celebrate International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month, we’re shining the spotlight on our Adobe & Women employee network. Adobe & Women was created for female employees and male allies to share experiences, spark dialogue and develop the community of women at Adobe.
Since its inception, Adobe & Women has grown tremendously throughout all our sites globally, united by the mission to advance the growth and mentorship of women inside and outside of Adobe. The network is led by the Adobe & Women Leadership Council, a newly formed team of twenty-five senior leader women from across the organization, who are focused on key initiatives ranging from internal programs and education to mentorship and recruiting.
To learn more about the impact Adobe & Women makes, hear about the experiences of some of the members and site leads.
From grassroots to summits
When Donna Kolnes, Director & Associate General Counsel, first got involved with Adobe & Women in San Jose three years ago, the group’s activity was sporadic. Realizing the value of this network, Donna stepped up to the challenge and began playing an active role. “I started to arrange monthly meetings with women who were interested in participating and we discussed a wide range of topics,” Donna said.
It didn’t take long for these monthly meetings to expand and Donna soon found herself part of something much bigger. With the addition of Donna’s co-lead, Jackie Lincoln-Owyang, the grassroots effort gained steam, and a year later, Adobe & Women got support through an executive sponsor and was granted a budget to arrange more impactful events. What started as a grassroots effort in San Jose soon gave way to Adobe hosting the first Adobe & Women Leadership Summit in 2016.
As Adobe & Women has grown in San Jose, so has Donna. “It’s taken on a life of its own and I’ve grown with it. Because of this network, I’ve developed into a better leader. I’ve seen what other companies do with their women’s network and Adobe’s is amazing. Our focus on women and how we help our members realize their worth is unique,” Donna said.
All eyes on the finish line
Sarah VanOphuijsen, Senior Program Manager, has been with Adobe for a year and half, and her experience with Adobe & Women has showed her firsthand how supportive all the members are. When Sarah first joined the Network, she wanted to raise money for a cause she was passionate about—AIDS Walk San Francisco. Through the help of the network and collaboration with the Adobe’s other Employee Network Groups, Sarah raised $7,000 in donations—and that was before Adobe’s matching grant! “As a group, we impact profound change in our communities and really support one another,” Sarah said.
It was also through Adobe & Women that Sarah arranged a self-defense training class for Adobe women in San Francisco. “I was inspired when I heard a story about a woman who was able to fight off an assailant. When I brought up the idea to arrange a self-defense class, the leadership team was really supportive of it. With the help of the Wellness and Security teams at Adobe, we were able to hire a trainer and the event was so successful. We’re making plans to do it again this year.”
When Sarah mentions how the network stepped in to help, she wasn’t kidding. Leading up to the event, Sarah hit a setback when she broke her foot. “While I was out, the network committee members immediately took over to make sure the event was successful. It was really a sign of how Adobe women support each other to get initiatives over the finish line,” Sarah said.
Being involved in Adobe & Women offered Sarah and other women the opportunity to try out new skills that they can bring back to their roles at Adobe. “I get to work with wonderful women, while at the same time benefiting our careers and making a positive impact in our community.”
The power of the network
With a wide reaching mission, Adobe & Women has had a profound influence on the culture we foster at here at Adobe. Here are what some other Adobe & Women site leads are saying of their experience:
“Being part of Adobe & Women has been an invaluable resource in my nearly seven years with Adobe. It has enabled me to make connections across teams, to participate in projects and volunteer opportunities that I otherwise wouldn’t have, and to feel at home in a community.”
- Sophia Far, Manager, Account Management, Emeryville, California, USA
“Adobe & Women is grounded in a powerful idea — reimagining our world for the better. This unity of purpose is not only productive but also cathartic, enabling us to analyze society, hear intersectional perspectives from members, and truly introspect on what it would mean if certain negative behaviors are perpetuated.”
- Divya Prabhakar, Software Development Engineering, San Francisco, California, USA
“I have seen the Lehi site evolve over the five years that I’ve been working here, and leading Adobe & Women here has given me the opportunity to meet women and men who are passionate about equality. Each of us are working through similar issues — trying to raise families or better ourselves personally while focusing on growing our careers and breaking through barriers. We volunteer outside our everyday jobs because we are adamant that Adobe remains a place where everyone feels welcome and included.”
- Loren Micalizio, Senior Video Producer, Lehi, Utah, USA
“I’m privileged to have daily opportunities to learn from and collaborate with other women from all over the company in different roles, background, regions and levels of experience.”
- Carrie Pruitt, Senior Customer Success Manager, Seattle, Washington, USA
“I’ve been part of the Adobe and Women Network for the last three years, and every year I’ve seen something new and different happen through this network! That’s already a great reason to be excited when you see a network evolving and improving, it is a sure sign of value.”
- Amrita Madiah, Director, Talent Development, Bangalore, India
“Being part of Adobe & Women and getting to represent a wider group in our region, is both an honour and a privilege. Showing leadership and creating the path for women in Adobe Australia to grow and rise up as a future leader, is something I hope I can create.”
- Clare Cahill, Head of Experience Marketing, Sydney, Australia
“Adobe & Women allows me to engage and learn from very diverse and inspirational leaders. I would have loved to benefit from such a network at the beginning of my career.”
- Murielle Riveron, Senior Manager, Customer Success, Paris, France
Be part of something bigger and make an impact! Join our team by applying today on our career site.
Topics: Adobe Life, #AdobeForAll, Adobe Culture, Brand, Diversity & Inclusion