Women’s History Month 2024: Activating Local Programming to Inspire Women Around the World

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9 kwietnia 2024
3 min czytania
Women's History Month 2024

About the Author: Audrey Utchen (she/her/hers)

As a Deal Manager, I have spent the last three years at Asana working as a strategic advisor to the sales organization, helping Account Executives and Renewals Managers structure non-standard deals and negotiate complex business-to-business (B2B) software transactions all over the world.  I have also served as a co-lead for AsanaWomen for the last two years, the Employee Resource Group (ERG) responsible for creating programming and fostering community for all women-identifying folks at Asana.

This spring marked two important “third” anniversaries for me: wrapping up both my third year at Asana and the third Women’s History Month I’ve been involved with at the company. When I got together with the other leaders of our AsanaWomen group to create our Asana project to plan Women’s History Month, we focused on local activations that fostered community within each office yet still made us feel connected to one another across the world. This year’s global celebration focused on facilitating connections within local offices, empowering women to take control of their careers, and fostering allyship across the company globally. At many offices we started the month with International Women’s Day booths to encourage dialogue between women and our allies about how to #InspireInclusion, and we decked out our dining areas in official purple swag. 

Some of my favorite memories at Asana are in our cafeterias enjoying a meal with colleagues, and one of my favorite perks of being an Asana employee is the high quality fare our culinary teams produce. Food connects people across cultures, and when we approached the team about highlighting female-inspired dishes to celebrate the month, they delivered! We brought dishes inspired by the important women in our company leadership’s lives to our cafeterias: our CRO’s grandma’s Italian meatballs, our CFO’s mom’s bitter melon and beef, and our CTO’s daughter’s blueberry pancakes just to name a few. So many good conversations were had about the delicious meals that were featured, and the micro kitchens on each floor of our San Francisco headquarters were buzzing with excitement for our surprise dessert pop-up featuring cookies from a local female chef – Asanas have a big sweet tooth and gobbled them up.

Asana women's history event team

We also had opportunities to engage in person all over the world as AsanaWomen hosted a paint night in our Dublin and Munich offices with art kits from a female-founded Munich brand, held an engaging “Ask Me Anything” session with our DACH Enterprise Sales Manager Angelique Werner, had a watch party for the UN Women’s conference in APJ, and brought the former female CEO of a large tech company in for a leadership fireside chat at our Sydney office. AsanaWomen in New York partnered with Gigabyte – our affinity group for women, transgender, and gender non-conforming team members (WTGNC) in engineering – for an inspirational career conversation showcasing powerhouse women of color taking the tech world by storm, including Asana’s own Director of Product, Qichen Zhang.  

One of the best parts about AsanaWomen is how our community members lead the programming they want to see. At our San Francisco headquarters, women within our finance team raised their hands and activated their networks to assemble a diverse panel of women leading business transformations at their organizations, including Veronica Sosa, our Corporate Controller. Women came from across the country to join us on site, with more tuning in online. It was so successful that there are talks about making this a rotating event hosted at different companies in the Bay Area.

Asana women's history event crowd

A true benefit to being an ERG leader at Asana (the company) is that we use Asana (the product) to plan all of our events. It doesn’t matter if I was working with Carmen in Munich, Meenal in Sydney, or Becca who I can see on my floor in San Francisco. We created a project and set each Women’s History Month event as a “milestone” dependent on subtasks around the world. Think, the catering needs to be ordered, guests must be logged into the security system, AV sets up the webinar, run-of-show documents are written and collaborated on, and the actual fireside chat or panel is held before we can mark off the milestone as complete. In turn, we see a flying unicorn or otter to celebrate as each task is finished and we get one step closer to being done. When you’re working to bring people together and foster community, it’s great to have technology that improves how you collaborate cross-functionally with colleagues – and have fun while doing it.  

No huge tentpole month is accomplished in a silo, so kudos and love to all of the incredible women who planned and executed these events around the world. And with that, this recap has been shared, and the final component of our 2024 Women’s History Month project is complete. I’m ready to close out my third Women’s History Month at Asana, and I can’t wait for the yeti to fly when I check off this last task. See you next March for another month of inspirational programming celebrating women at Asana.

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