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International Women’s Day 2022: Breaking the bias and establishing gender equality

Farmer and advisor looking at maps and farm management software in farm office

International Women's Day is a global event celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

Today and every day, TELUS Agriculture is committed to promoting and celebrating diversity and inclusion across our business and within our communities. By embodying our TELUS values, we strive to make life better for our customers, team members and the communities where we live, work and serve.

Ensuring gender diversity at TELUS Agriculture

As a technology and data insights company in the agriculture, food and consumer goods industries, we’re committed to growing equality in our team and across the industries we work. This year it is estimated that women will represent 33% of the workforce at global technology firms, with only 25% of technical roles being held by women. There is a clear gender divide in the technology industry and we’re working to reflect the diversity of the communities we serve, empower our team members to ensure a lack of bias in our processes and promote allyship.

As one pillar of our larger diversity, equity and inclusion mandate, gender equality is a key ingredient to ignite change and innovation. One of the ways we support this is through Connections, an internal resource group that aims to build relationships among female team members and allies to advance gender balance across all levels and functions of our business. Launched in early 2021, the program has accomplished many milestones, such as:

  • Welcoming over 300 team members

  • Sharing 20 stories of our team members

  • Achieving a likelihood to recommend score of 93%

  • Hosting 10 virtual café sessions in which members heard firsthand from female leaders how they defeat gender stereotypes.

We look forward to seeing how the program continues to evolve by implementing more initiatives and resources to support our female team members.

#BreakTheBias with us

The theme of International Women’s Day 2022, #BreakTheBias, challenges everyone to reflect on how they may unconsciously be reinforcing gender stereotypes and share how they are breaking down barriers to achieve gender parity. By raising awareness against bias and taking action for equality, we can champion a world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive. In celebration of International Women’s Day, we reached out to our team members to share how they are breaking the bias.

John Raines, President

“It’s uncomfortable to recognize we have biases, but I believe it’s the first step toward meaningful change. I’ve become deliberate in taking into account my own potential blind spots or preconceived ideas when I make decisions. And I encourage my colleagues to let me know if I might have missed considering something because I know that listening is key to elevating women and ensuring we provide an equitable work environment.”

Breanne Baker, Customer Marketing Manager, Agribusiness

“Changing the systems is the key to creating real change. I #BreakTheBias by calling out gendered actions or assumptions and maintaining a gender equal mindset. Remember we must acknowledge that these biases are rooted in the way we view the leader prototype and gender stereotypes. A combination of systemic change and individual behavioural and attitudinal change is key!”

Dr. Shari van de Pol, Development Architect, Animal Health

“Don't be afraid to create your own template, forge your own path and disrupt the stereotypes that exist in our world. It might be more challenging but it is also more fun to hike through the woods rather than walk down a well-paved path.”

Sarah Chee, Senior Marketing and Communications Manager, Global Strategy

“Helping to ensure there's more inclusive and positive visibility and representation of women in the visuals and language we use and the people we profile. As well as building a diversity of perspectives and backgrounds into our creative team and processes that drive new ideas and produce content that is more representative and accessible to our audiences.”

Jessica Angier, Vice President, Consulting, Food, Beverage and Consumer Goods

“#BreakTheBias for me is about speaking up and creating a supportive network of like-minded women. We are role models not only for future generations but also for those around us right now. Let us show up for each other, respect each other, share our ideas and continue to move forward and #BreakTheBias.”

Jeff Bradshaw, Vice President, Global Technology

“Encouraging current and future generations of women to pursue careers in technology will lead to more creative, robust and innovative solutions. It is essential to build an engaging and inclusive work environment where women feel welcomed and valued.”

Louise Kidney, Business Analyst, Product Development, Agribusiness

“At TELUS Agriculture, we include a diversity of minds in the decision-making process. When you do this you automatically have a better and stronger result because the environment in the room becomes open. Suddenly, you begin talking with people, rather than talking at them. People love this!”

Chris Terris, Vice President, Global Strategy and Animal Health

“On gender diversity, I think it's important to actually call out the gaps and bring attention to it. If you don't admit and assess that there is a gap and inherent biases you won't take efforts to fix it.”

Jennifer Schiffman, Head of Marketing, Trade Promotion and Retail Execution Americas, Food, Beverage and Consumer Goods

“I actively seek out ways to shine a light on the accomplishments of the admirable women that work alongside me. Making sure that their achievements are recognized, known and rewarded is a minimum. Visibility and compensation are two critical elements that each of us can support in our effort to #BreakTheBias.”

Building strong and resilient communities is at the cornerstone of TELUS Agriculture’s social purpose, and together we can play a part in bringing about lasting change. Follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter to see more ways our team members #BreakTheBias.

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