Raise Her Voice
I’m so pleased that we celebrate Women’s History Month in March – a month of renewal and growth. The days get a little longer, trees and flowers awaken to new potential. It’s the perfect time to come together to recognize the unique achievements and contributions of women – it fills me with gratitude and hope.
Last year at this time, I could never have imagined what 2020 would bring. Putting the health and safety of our colleagues and communities first, in March 2020, Adobe began to shift to remote work, California issued its first Shelter-in-Place guidance, and it was becoming clear that we were facing a truly, global pandemic. As the year progressed, we saw thousands become seriously ill or die from COVID-19 and many more experienced financial distress caused by disruptions in the economy. Not only that, but our nation also wrestled with a long overdue movement toward racial and social justice.
For women particularly, 2020 was immensely challenging. McKinsey’s annual Women in the Workforce study concluded that the COVID-19 crisis was taking a disproportionately heavy toll on women, and especially that of Black women. Among its most stunning findings was that one out of four women were considering leaving the workforce or reducing responsibilities because of the pandemic – that’s potentially 2 million women. This was the first year (out of the previous six) in which male and female attrition from the workplace differed significantly.
The report made clear that how corporate America supports women during the pandemic will define gender equality in the workplace for the next generation. I’m proud of the way Adobe responded with making flexible schedules the norm, as well as introducing a host of new benefits, global days off, and consistent messaging about the importance of employee wellbeing from all levels of leadership. Although there is no silver bullet to alleviate the constant juggling act so many have been managing, these efforts have helped to reduce stress during this difficult time.
As the Women at Adobe Employee Network began to think about how to recognize Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day 2021, it became clear that we wanted to celebrate our global community. Because it is impossible for us to be together physically, we wanted to unite virtually to celebrate the talent, creativity, and passion of our colleagues. We put out a call for talent and the women of Adobe responded.
On March 9, we hosted a truly global event with over 30 talented Adobe singers, artists, musicians, poets, performers, and storytellers representing 12+ countries across Adobe’s worldwide footprint. Organized around the theme Raise Her Voice, we were inspired and humbled by the talents and passions of women raising their voices through art, music, and song. Women also shared how they have advanced their careers, supported their families, and improved their communities. When we raise our voices and amplify the voices of others, we begin to change the world.
Throughout the month, we’ll host additional events to engage and inspire employees, including a panel discussion of female leaders at Adobe, and a conversation with Jessica Kellgren-Fozard, an uplifting, comedic English YouTube and television personality who’s overcome significant disabilities to find her voice and inspire others with wit and wisdom.
As part of Adobe’s commitment to creativity for all, you’ll continue to see external Adobe campaigns to support, which amplify and celebrate women creators. This includes our #WomenCreate and #WomenCreateWednesday campaigns, which focus on what inspires women and how women work to lift each other up.
Everywhere around us we see women raising their voices to advocate for their families, to create art and commerce, to address societal challenges, and build a better world. Given the challenges we face, there has never been a more important time for women’s voices to be a part of the discussion about how to reshape our society in a way that delivers more justice, more equality, and more opportunity for everyone.
This March, we invite everyone to help a colleague, friend, or family member raise her voice.