Each for Equal: Driving Progress for Women at Adobe

Adobe employees striking the #EachForEqual pose for International Women's Day.

Adobe employees striking the #EachForEqual pose for International Women’s Day.

by Katie Juran

posted on 03-09-2020

This year the theme for International Women’s Day is #EachforEqual, focusing on the impact each one of us can have to create a gender-equal world. At Adobe, we talk a lot about the actions each person can take to drive positive change. That could be a hiring manager insisting on considering a diverse array of candidates; a tenured employee inviting a new hire to coffee; a meeting leader ensuring everyone has a chance to speak; a team member giving honest feedback to a peer; or any other small, everyday gesture that can change the equation for those around us.

In the past year, we have continued to advance the representation and experience of our women around the world.

Gender diversity metrics

In our fiscal year 2019, our global gender mix improved 1% across all our global population and in our leadership, people manager, and technical roles.

Given the scale of our 22,000+ global employee base, we’re encouraged by this progress. But we have a lot of work ahead of us to achieve equal representation across each of these segments. Here are some highlights of our investments for women this past year:

Expanding employee parity commitments

Beyond representation, we want every Adobe employee to feel they have fair compensation and opportunity. We achieved global gender pay parity in October 2018, and we reaffirmed that commitment in September 2019. Expanding on our parity commitments, in early 2019 we announced the next chapter with a new initiative called opportunity parity where we are examining fairness in promotions and horizontal movement across demographic groups. At the end of FY2019, our global promotion rates for males and females and U.S. race/ethnicity (white vs. non-white) showed less than 1% variance. This demonstrates that we’re starting from a solid foundation with our opportunity parity efforts. At the MAKERS Conference this year, we pledged to extend our promotion analysis to our organizations and major geographic regions and develop our first findings on horizontal movement.

Reaching the university underserved population

We’ve continued our commitment to growing the talent pipeline by bringing more women and underrepresented groups into tech careers. To strengthen our strategy, we have increased focus and investment on the university underserved population, which we believe is a high-impact pathway for careers in computing and technology. Our university technology scholarship programs encouraged female students globally to pursue careers in computer science and engineering. Through our Adobe Research Women-in-Technology Scholarship and our Adobe India Women-in-Tech Scholarship, female student recipients benefitted from financial scholarships, internship opportunities, mentorship from senior leaders, and the opportunity to secure a full-time position. Additionally, to help prepare students for careers in technology, this year we initiated our partnership with Braven, a U.S. nonprofit that empowers college students from underrepresented backgrounds to secure promising jobs and economic freedom.

Family planning and support

To strengthen support for our families, in 2019 we expanded U.S. parental leave for non-birth parents and adoptive parents, who now receive 16 weeks of full pay. Birth parents continue to receive 26 weeks of full pay. We increased U.S. fertility drugs from U.S. $20K to $60K for fertility preservation, supporting employees actively trying to have a baby. This also provides support to women who are looking to preserve their fertility or need a gestational carrier. Globally, we expanded same-sex dependent partner healthcare coverage to India, Taiwan, and Singapore, in addition to the U.S. We also enhanced our parental policy leave policies in Denmark, Belgium, Australia, and New Zealand.

Advocating for change

We advocated for public policy outcomes that support our employees and reflect our values. Because we’ve seen firsthand the value and importance of paid leave policies and workplace protections, in 2019 we supported bills in the U.S. Congress — including the FAMILY Act the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act. Additionally, we advocated for public policy outcomes to protect the LGBTQ+ community from discrimination, including participating in the Business Coalition for the Equality Act and joining U.S. industry leaders in signing a Supreme Court amicus brief in support of the proposition that current federal civil rights laws protect LGBTQ+ employees from discriminations in the workplace.

Encouraging career re-entry

At our India sites, we initiated an innovative She Sparks internship program for women who have taken a career break and are interested in returning to the workforce in the technology field. It entails a six-month-long internship where participants have the opportunity to build new skills and refresh existing skills. In 2019 we onboarded 17 women in tech roles across teams in India.

Learning and growth

To help foster women in leadership roles, we continued our flagship “Leadership Circles” development program — with 120 women participating in 2019 globally. Additionally, our Women’s Executive Shadow Program (WESP) gave female employees access to senior leaders via a “day in the life” shadow experience. In 2019, close to 200 women participated across sites in Europe, India, and North America. Our Hispanic and Latinx employee network (HOLA) also ran a mentoring program to build the leadership capabilities of Adobe’s Hispanic and Latinx employees in a way that leverages the richness of experience within the community.

Promoting diversity in the creative industry

To empower diverse voices in creativity, we continued to provide support, training, and tools. Through our partnership with the Sundance Institute, we announced in early 2020 the inaugural Women at Sundance | Adobe Fellowship to help female filmmakers launch successful and sustainable careers. We are the first-ever brand to create a women-focused fellowship with Sundance Institute, and we look forward to discovering, championing, and spotlighting women artists creating work across diverse disciplines of filmmaking. This year at the Sundance Film Festival we had the opportunity to interview celebrities and filmmakers about female representation in the film industry. Listen to what they had to say:

Industry accolades

Throughout the year, Adobe was honored with diversity and inclusions awards — a wonderful testament to our commitment in this area. Relative to supporting and advancing women in the workplace, Adobe was recognized by The 3% Movement for making strides toward gender equality across our in-house creative team; we were included on Bloomberg’s 2020 Gender-Equality Index; and we were listed on Working Mother’s 100 Best Companies by Working Mother Magazine.

Our Adobe For All vision for inclusion extends beyond gender to appreciating all the ways we are different, including race, ethnicity, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, cultural background, religious beliefs, and everything else that makes us who we are. Women span a broad array of identities and life experiences, and with the spirit of #EachForEqual we can move our collective experience forward.


Topics: Diversity & Inclusion, Public Policy, Women Create, Celebrating Women