August 26th is Women’s Equality Day in the United States, marking the 101st anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment—giving women the right to vote. We’ve got a few things to say about the state of women in the workforce in 2021, and RingCentral’s commitment to their success.
- The 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution guarantees all American women the right to vote.
- Since 1980, more eligible women voters have said they voted than men in every Presidential election
Where we came from
The 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits individual states from denying the right to vote to any US citizen on the basis of sex, essentially granting women in the United States the right to vote. While the amendment supposedly guaranteed “all” women in the United States the right to vote, many women of color were still denied this right and faced voter suppression for decades to come. For example, the voting rights of Native American women were not recognized until 1924. For Chinese American women, 1943. Japanese and other Asian American women couldn’t vote until 1952. African American women (who worked tirelessly to support the women’s suffrage movement as far back as the 19th century,) were not granted the right to vote until the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965.
“Don’t Iron While The Strike Is Hot.”
The passage of the 19th Amendment isn’t the only reason we’re celebrating today. On August 26, 1970, tens of thousands of women across America joined the Women’s Strike for Equality, using the 50th anniversary of women’s suffrage to bring renewed attention to women’s rights. It was the biggest women’s mobilization in U.S. history until the Women’s March in 2017, and the results were powerful. Soon after, a male-dominated Congress passed Title IX of the Higher Educational Amendments Act in 1972 and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act in 1974.
Nowhere near finished
51 years later, there’s still plenty of work to do. Women make up more than 50% of the US workforce in 2021—but still only earn about 87% of what their male counterparts do. For women of color, that disparity is even worse.
Women make up only 20 percent of Congress, and fewer than 22 percent of city mayors. The Equal Rights Amendment has been awaiting ratification since 1972. And we are still waiting for our first female commander-in-chief.
Leaning in, standing up
Change is painfully slow in coming. And there’s no magic formula for instant economic and social justice—but that doesn’t mean we’re powerless. The #MeToo, #TimesUp and #SayHerName movements are all changing the nature of social justice, both in and outside the workplace and are fueled by the global communications revolution. RingCentral plays a key role in that, and we take our responsibility seriously. Every year, RingCentral increases the percentage of women in our overall workforce, and we have a higher percentage of women in management and leadership than nearly all of our technology peers. Our Diversity Vision Statement for 2021 reaches across all genders, orientations and backgrounds, but three of its primary goals are:
- Equal gender representation
- More women at the board level
- Empower women in leadership
Similarly, RingCentral takes active strides to ensure Women’s Rights are being stood for. Our Comprehensive Review on The Gender Pay Gap dives deep into the issue of equal pay and shares what we are doing to help combat the issue. Some key findings from the report are:
- Women are paid less and it hits harder in an economic crisis
- Enterprises with gender-diverse leadership perform better
- Embracing flexible work improves your diversity practice
Good for women = good for business
Gender equity isn’t just a feel-good issue. It’s good business. According to the McKinsey Global Institute, up to $28 trillion could be added to the global GDP if we were to achieve full gender equality by 2025. That’s a serious chunk of change. And exactly the kind of conversation that could lead to actual change. RingCentral is a company that is in the business of “enabling human connection.” Our technology gives women all over the world more flexibility and visibility in the hybrid work environment. RingCentral Employee Resource Groups like SaaSY Women and the Mom’s Group are providing female employees with resources and a supportive framework to help them excel. Additionally, they are working with men on what true allyship means.
The women at RingCentral are truly extraordinary. Our Chief People Officer Gunjan Aggarwal agrees saying, “ What I want to emphasize about RingCentral’s women as I know them more is that RC women employees are smart, intelligent, dedicated, creative, passionate and results-driven. RingCentral’s women are entrepreneurs and represent us in our engagements with our customers and in our communities”. As a company, we are not content to simply say the right things, post the right posts and continue on with business as usual. We’re proud to stand up for the women who work here, the women we serve, and the women who will come next. We are proud to celebrate Women’s Equality Day. And we won’t stop working to make it a reality until we get there.
Originally published Aug 26, 2021, updated Sep 23, 2021