Symantec's Support for Gender Equity
Symantec utilizes a combination of nonprofit partnerships, internal initiatives, and ongoing feedback to continuously strengthen its approach to gender equity.
In October 2007, Symantec's Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee adopted the Calvert Women's PrinciplesTM
. To help implement the Principles at Symantec and promote them more broadly in the San Francisco Bay Area, Symantec partnered with the City of San Francisco, Calvert, Verité, and sixteen prominent Bay Area companies to formulate the Gender Equality Principles
(GEP). The GEP have adapted the Calvert Women's Principles™ to address local challenges and opportunities and offer clear, practical standards and measures against which private sector entities can assess their progress. As a first step, companies are encouraged to perform an online self-assessment
- Provides a baseline of their performance on issues of gender equality;
- Identifies areas of strength and opportunities for improvement; and
- Delivers extensive tools and resources to assist companies in creating an action plan.
In May 2010, Symantec CEO Enrique Salem signed a statement in support of the Women's Empowerment Principles: Equality Means Business
. These Principles, which were produced and disseminated by the United Nations, outline seven steps that business and others can take to advance and empower women.
The seven Principles are a global code of corporate conduct intended to empower, advance, and invest in women worldwide. They focus on:
- Establishing high-level corporate leadership for gender equality.
- Treating all women and men fairly at work - respecting and supporting human rights and nondiscrimination.
- Ensuring the health, safety, and well-being of all women and men workers.
- Promoting education, training, and professional development for women.
- Implementing enterprise development, supply chain, and marketing practices that empower women.
- Promoting equality through community initiatives and advocacy.
- Measuring and publicly reporting on progress to achieve gender equality.
Increasing representation of women in Symantec’s leadership to match their overall representation at the company
Women currently comprise 27 percent of Symantec’s global workforce. This is consistent with women's representation in the industry as a whole—which demonstrates how much work is needed to reach gender parity. To increase the number of women in leadership, technical, and sales positions around the world, Symantec has committed to a multi-faceted approach that includes support systems for women professionals at Symantec, philanthropic initiatives that encourage more women to become scientists and engineers, and women’s rights advocacy. We also have a 2011 goal to set career development goals for 100 percent of top performing technical women.
Symantec Women's Action Network—comprising 17 chapters and more than 1,350 members in all— helps Symantec recruit, develop, and retain talented women. It provides women employees a forum for personal and professional networking throughout all levels of the company, which enables them to build relationships and share information.
“Building the pipeline” of female science, technology, engineering, and mathematics professionals.
In addition to supporting other women at Symantec, SWAN
members connect with and serve as role models for girls interested in technology through events such as Dare2BDigital in California, DigiGirlz in Poland, and Geek Girls Fest in Roseville, Minnesota. Last year, Symantec hosted 30 ninth- and tenth-grade girls for the second annual Geek Girls Fest. The day was filled with activities and discussions led by Symantec SWAN members. Summing up the experience, participants said they appreciated the variety of activities and that the event was hands-on, rather than a lecture on why technology is great.
Annual Diversity and Inclusion survey
As part of the company’s ongoing internal assessment and improvement efforts, Symantec conducts an annual Diversity and Inclusion Survey. In 2010, more than 7,128 employees participated in it. The results show that employees continue to believe Symantec is a respectful and inclusive workplace.
- 88 percent of employees responded favorably to questions regarding the inclusiveness of all people regardless of their race/ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or disability.
- 89 percent of respondents do not believe that race, gender, disability, religion, or sexual orientation had an impact on their opportunities at Symantec.
While Symantec is proud of these high ratings, our goal is to have all employees feel comfortable with both working at Symantec and the culture of inclusion at the company. Therefore, we continue to address issues of concern, and we are proud to report that Symantec received higher scores in areas in which we invested resources based on the results of the 2009 survey:
- In FY09, we found a gap between the perception of men and women relating to opportunities for women to advance at Symantec, with women responding less favorably than men. This gap still exists, but the 2010 survey measured a 2.5 percent increase in women's perception regarding their opportunities to advance at Symantec and 3.5 percent more positive responses to questions relating to gender diversity being welcome at Symantec. Overall, the favorable response from Symantec women around openness to gender diversity at the company has moved from 68.2 percent in 2008 to 77.5 percent in 2010—nearly a 10 percent improvement. And men continue to express an openness to gender diversity, with over 85 percent of male respondents saying it is welcome at Symantec.
- We also continued to focus on helping employees understand the diversity of Symantec's workforce and its customers; favorable scores for this question increased by 10 percent in FY10.
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