Silicon Slopes invites all CEOs and their organizations to take the ParityPledge, an initiative of Parity.org designed to increase the representation of women at the highest levels of leadership in organizations across the country. The full list of founding companies will be officially announced during the Women’s Leadership Summit, part of the Silicon Slopes Tech Summit, which coincides with the Sundance Film Festival in January 2018 and has an expected attendance of 10,000 people.
Silicon Slopes executives collaborated with Parity.org’s founder Cathrin Stickney to develop the idea for the ParityPledge over the last few months. In early conversations, as leaders from Silicon Slopes were debating the best way to give women an equal footing, the NFL’s Rooney Rule was brought up. Stickney loved the simplicity and the idea of the ParityPledge was born.
The NFL’s Rooney Rule is a straightforward solution that increased representation of African American leaders on NFL teams by requiring teams to include African American candidates in the interview process. In just three years, the Rooney Rule helped increase representation from just six percent to 22 percent.
Similarly, the ParityPledge simply asks CEOs and their organizations to commit to including at least one qualified female candidate in the interview process for any open position of vice president or above — including board positions — with no requirement of hiring quotas or deadlines.
“Gender diversity in company leadership creates healthier organizations, yet we know that in tech as in many industries, we have a long way to go to make parity a reality,” said Aaron Skonnard, co-founder and CEO of Pluralsight. “It will take the collective consciousness at the highest levels of organizations to make a meaningful difference. We are proud to take the ParityPledge and help be a role model for change.”
“While 82 percent of Americans say it’s important for women and men to have the same opportunities for career advancement, just 34 percent say their current workplace puts a high priority on having women in leadership positions. That’s a huge experience gap,” said Ryan Smith, co-founder and CEO of Qualtrics. “ParityPledge is the right thing to do. It’s so easy to implement, any company of any size can commit to doing this. We need more women in tech and in leadership — it’s hard to achieve success if we are removing half of the playing field. ParityPledge will not only help us all to recruit but also to grow our leadership from within.”
“The Parity Pledge provides simple steps for all business leaders to make better decisions to achieve gender parity — especially for executive and leadership roles. We are proud to partner with Parity.org and make the pledge,” said Dave Elkington, CEO and co-founder, Insidesales.com.
Josh James, Domo founder and CEO, said, “Just as the Rooney Rule successfully improved diversity for NFL team leadership, we believe the ParityPledge will have the same impact for gender diversity in corporate America. We were pleased to see that the Rooney Rule was mentioned in recent recommendations by Uber’s fact-finding board and also know that it is something Sheryl Sandberg has spoken about as a step Facebook has taken to create a more diverse workforce.”
Silicon Slopes invites all tech CEOs and companies across all industries to commit to bringing more women into the interview pipeline to move their organizations towards parity at the highest ranks. More information about the ParityPledge and the Parity organization is available at Parity.org.