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International Women’s Day: Choose to Challenge

Stephany Cardinali | 8 March 2021

International Women's Day is celebrated on March 8th every year around the world. It has been observed since the early 1900s and first recognized by the United Nations in 1975.

This year’s theme is “Choose to Challenge.” What started as a protest for equal rights and voting rights is now a day to “celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women.”

In the supply chain and logistics industry, there is increased support to drive recruitment for women in engineering and tech related roles, influence of women in the industry, and the development of women’s careers.

Bastian Solutions’ mission statement reads in part, “Our collaborative culture promotes integrity, inclusion, and innovation providing opportunities to learn, grow and make an impact.” As a global innovator of engineering and technical solutions, every person in our company plays an important role in making that impact regardless of gender or role.

Celebrating Women’s Achievements

The International Women’s Day website says it best, “We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women's achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.” This is a call for each of us to “choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality." It's also a call to "seek out and celebrate women's achievements".

Personal Branding

This is a great time to reflect – How do we share who we are, our goals, and our accomplishments? Personal branding speaks to our experiences, attributes, strengths and, ultimately, how others know you.

Your brand is your true story – it reflects the path you’ve taken to this point in your life and the path you take in the future. It's how others know you when you are physically present. Our personal brands should be more than descriptive words. Our brand is about us as individuals and how we function within our job title.

When first identifying your personal brand, think about:

  • Strengths
  • Core values
  • Characteristics
  • Passions and your motivations
  • Future goals

The Gift of Feedback

While we can personally own and grow our brand, as a woman or ally in the workforce and industry, how do we celebrate and elevate women’s achievements?

The gift of feedback is a powerful tool. The brand we represent outwardly, in the public, isn’t something we can always see clearly. This is where we can lean on our personal Board of Trust – trusted friends, peers, family, and managers. The Board of Trust can change throughout time, but it should always be a safe space for discussion and honest feedback. Make it a routine to regularly ask for feedback.

When participating in feedback be honest.

  • Recognize strengths
  • Be specific
  • Be prompt
  • Don’t be confrontational
  • Identify suggestions

Giving negative feedback (or constructive criticism) can be just as valuable as positive feedback and could present a growth opportunity. Above all, keep the conversation ongoing and a regular practice.

When receiving feedback receive it graciously and don’t be defensive. Not all feedback will be comfortable or what we expect to hear. Consider the following when receiving constructive criticism:

  • Is the feedback valuable?
  • Did you learn something about yourself you didn’t know?
  • Does the feedback align with the brand you want to represent? 

Choose to Challenge

The practice of identifying your brand and participating in feedback makes you more aware and opens opportunities to make decisions and take action. Above all, it helps us actively seek out and celebrate women’s achievements.  We are working to counter unconscious bias and intentionally seek out diversity at every level so we can strengthen our biggest assets, the employees. At Bastian Solutions, we strive to celebrate our Women in Tech at all levels. 

Author: Stephany Cardinali

Stephany is the 3D Production Supervisor at Bastian Solutions. She has a B.S. in Media Arts and Science from Indiana University and certificates in applied computer science and advanced studies in character animation.

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