WISE words from women on International Women’s Day

International Women's Day is a global observance that recognizes and celebrates women's social, economic, cultural, and political achievements. This year, the International Women's Day campaign theme is #EmbraceEquity. The campaign encourages us to think about equity more deeply because when we embrace equity, we embrace diversity, and we embrace inclusion.

Last year, my colleague and ever-inspiring friend, Dawn Lewis and I were given the honor of leading our award-winning W.I.S.E. program at Russell Investments.

W.I.S.E., which stands for Women in Sales Excellence, was created in 2018 by two female sales associates with the goal of forming a group that supports women in sales and client service roles. Our mission within the group is to help provide a roadmap for our female associates to progress in their careers at Russell Investments and to create a forum for collaboration and communication with the women in our many business units.

We asked the group what this year's theme #EmbracingEquity meant to them and here were some of the highlights:

Amparo Pineda, Institutional Sales Associate, Ontario, Canada

Equity to me is to be valued and to value others for their individual strengths, and where necessary receive/give the necessary tools and support to strengthen each other's weaknesses. It is, in other words, an à la carte way of helping people become the best they can be.

Nancy Fahmy, Senior Director, Business Solutions Consultant, New Jersey, USA

Embracing gender equity is not just a dream we should aspire to, but rather a constant forging of a path, propelling us with the belief of all the great things we can accomplish together when everyone has the opportunity to not just survive but thrive regardless of their gender.

Dawn Lewis, Associate Director, Sales Enablement, Wisconsin, USA

Equity is not about "one-size-fits-all." Instead, it's about understanding each other's goals and requirements to succeed. Equity is about having the opportunity to receive what each of us needs to be successful. We all deserve the same opportunity for success, respect, belonging, inclusion, acceptance, and fairness.

Tracy Weeks, Regional Consultant, BC, Canada

By embracing equity, we honor the legacy of countless women who fought for equity before us. It is our shared responsibility to continue their work for our daughters, granddaughters, nieces etc. Through collective action, we can build a brighter and more just world for the next generations of women.

At Russell Investments, we are proud to be able to support and inspire women who deserve the opportunity to experience growth and development. The work that we do with the WISE program inspires me daily to improve the lives of the people that we connect with.

May this International Women's Day inspire us all to be a difference-maker in pursuit of equity and equality in our communities.