On International Women’s Day 2022, we are all called to break the bias by challenging our assumptions about gender in our workplace and communities. As we reflect on the experiences and accomplishments of the women who make an impact in our lives today, we’re proud to share our efforts toward building a world with greater gender parity and equality.
Innovating for inclusion
We recognize the risk for bias as we continue to use and develop advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) technology. In July 2021, Lenovo reinforced its commitment to accountable and gender fair AI practices by joining the ‘Women and AI’ Charter from Cercle InterElles, a French-based meta-network of 16 companies across scientific and technological industries.
While we work on mitigating bias in emerging technologies, we must also focus on eliminating bias where ideas emerge. For many technology companies, their list of patented ideas and intellectual property serves as a valuable asset. However, patents are a tangible and discrete way to measure who is delivering innovations, whose ideas are deemed worthy of a patent, and if – at the intersection of innovation and value – diverse voices are included in the process. This realization caused Lenovo’s intellectual property attorneys to create and support a national effort to increase diversity of patent holders in technology, beginning with gender. Lenovo’s patent office is collaborating with its Women in Lenovo Leadership (WILL) employee resource group to evaluate Lenovo’s technologies, spark solutions, and drive greater collection of new ideas and innovations from women at Lenovo.
Empowering our workforce and communities
Lenovo’s global workforce is made up of 36% women, and Lenovo’s Women in Lenovo Leadership (WILL) employee resource group (ERG) is our largest ERG with chapters around the world bringing women together to develop their talents and provide a supportive space for women in technology. We’re proud to have recently been recognized on the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index for our efforts toward gender equity in the workplace.
However, we also understand that in order to increase the number of women in technology, we need to support women in our community, and the next generation of women in STEM. In 2021, Lenovo completed its fifteenth year of global sponsorship for the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society, the leading international platform for action highlighting women’s voices and vision and creating a more inclusive future for all. While supporting this platform on a global level, Lenovo also supports women on a local level through Lenovo Foundation and its effort to empower women with access to technology and STEM education. During the 2021 Love on Month of Service, we shone a spotlight on our partnership with Laboratoria in Latin America and Lenovo employees’ takeaways from mentoring women in STEM.
Female executive representation goals
While it’s important to empower women in our workforce and communities, Lenovo has set next generation goals to increase its representation of female executives. After meeting its 2020 goals for 20% female executive representation, Lenovo announced a new target to reach 27% by FY 2025/26.
A key factor in reaching this goal will be Lenovo’s Women’s Leadership Development Program (WLDP), a 6-month program that accelerates the development of high-potential women leaders and prepares them to be executives.
Lenovo graduated our sixth cohort of WLDP leaders in 2021, seeing them through a virtual curriculum of 360 assessments, professional coaching, a digital academy and professional education webinars.
Advocating for change
On this International Women’s Day, in addition to our sponsorship and advocacy in the community, we are proud to announce our commitment to the UN Global Compact’s Women’s Empowerment Principles. These principles offer guidance for businesses like Lenovo to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace and community. While we work toward gender equity at Lenovo, we understand that reducing bias and increasing gender equality is an effort that will require all of our commitment. We are proud to join our fellow signatories and UN Global Compact members in this initiative.