Be Bold for Change: International Women's Day at Qualcomm

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Be Bold for Change: International Women's Day at Qualcomm

By Vicki Mealer-Burke, Chief Diversity Officer

Multimedia from this Release

Vernā Myers and blog post author Vicki Mealer-Burke

Tuesday, March 14, 2017 - 10:00am


Through my 20+ years at Qualcomm, I’ve participated in many of our celebratory events for International Women’s Day (IWD). In past years, I’ve always taken away a refreshed inspiration for my own development, and a reinforced commitment to continue empowering my female colleagues as well as enabling an inclusive work environment where everybody thrives and Qualcomm is the ultimate benefactor. However, this year was particularly special for me. As our new Chief Diversity Officer, I was no longer a participant, but instead I had the opportunity to influence and set the tone for our IWD events here at Qualcomm.

Inspired by this year’s theme Be Bold for Change, my team, our two employee networks focused on supporting and developing our female employees (Qualcomm Women in Science and Engineering-QWISE and Qualcomm Females Influencing Information Technology-QFINITY), and other employees around the world, worked together to organize a series of activities and events that left everybody energized and empowered to take the next steps toward creating a more inclusive and diverse company. Everybody was encouraged to wear something purple on the day to show support.

It’s great that we have this kind of energizing event to keep encouraging women to step up, speak up, and also remind men that they need to make some difference in order to embrace the difference.

— Rong He, Principal Engineer, Qualcomm Atheros, Inc.

At our main event, which took place in Irwin Jacobs Hall in SD, we were honored to have Vernā Myers as our guest keynote speaker. Vernā is a nationally recognized speaker on the issues of gender and racial bias. She is often sought after by companies to advise on creating inclusive environments and improving the recruitment, retention, and advancement of underrepresented groups. When I stepped on stage to kick off the events, I was energized when I saw the “sea of purple” in our packed auditorium which included both men and women. Vernā gave an engaging and fun presentation, and shared her perspectives about diversity and inclusion and how we as a company can enable a better environment to champion women. She also spoke about the important role that women play to make that happen by being willing to take risks, share ourselves and be willing to engage with those that show interest in supporting us. She said something that I have always believed, “We all benefit when we stay focused on creating a workplace of excellence.”

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Keywords: Diversity & Inclusion | Awareness Day | Conferences | Events, Media & Communications | Gender Equality | Innovation & Technology | International Women's Day | Leadership | Qualcomm | Responsible Business & Employee Engagement | Sustainable Development Goals