Fostering women empowerment and allyship at Colgate
Colgate is a caring, innovative growth company reimagining a healthier future for all people, their pets and our planet. As part of this purpose, Colgate believes in - and works towards - a world that is diverse, equitable and inclusive. Practicing allyship with #IAmRemarkable is helping to advance these goals.
It all started a few years back when Colgate’s Worldwide Director of Collaboration Services in Global IT, Patty Vollmar, was involved in the company’s transition to Google Workspace and got introduced to the #IAmRemarkable program. She knew right away it could be a helpful and constructive tool to increase support for under-represented groups and give a voice to women by encouraging self-promotion.
After people go through the workshops, you can see a difference in the way they talk about what they want to achieve, and what they’re doing to get thereAngelique Jno Baptiste, HR Business Partner
Since then, Colgate has run workshops on a regular basis in the U.S., and the benefits were noticeable. With renewed confidence, team members are more comfortable speaking up in group meetings, vocalising their ideas, and contributing to Colgate’s culture of innovation. “After people go through the workshops, you can see a difference in the way they talk about what they want to achieve, and what they’re doing to get there,” says Angelique Jno Baptiste, HR Business Partner. One particular story stands out of an IT employee having to manage difficult conversations with more senior business partners. “Initially this lady felt intimidated,” recalls Angelique, “but after attending an #IAmRemarkable session, she realised her expertise was valued and should be expressed. Her confidence grew, and she actually went on to win an award from the business and was promoted for her work.”
People feel more confident about speaking up in meetings, and being prouder of their achievements. They’re even applying for job postings they might previously have shied away from.Pallavi Joshi, Senior Global IT Manager, Colgate
Inspired by their US colleagues, Colgate’s Mumbai team has also been rolling out #IAmRemarkable to support its own diversity, equity, and inclusion goals. “Our offices work closely together, with a shared goal to create a culture where people feel empowered and more supportive of each other,” explains Senior Global IT Manager, Pallavi Joshi. “So when we heard from our US colleagues about the impact #IAmRemarkable has been creating, we couldn’t wait to start.”
When members of the US team attended Pallavi’s #IAmRemarkable workshop during a visit to the Mumbai office, it became evident that their Indian colleagues struggled with the same issues as their US counterparts.
“It really didn’t matter what office you’re from,” explains Patty. “Everyone talked about the same themes of struggling with self-promotion, and overcoming obstacles in the past. #IAmRemarkable has been a great equaliser in that respect.”
The benefits of #IAmRemarkable were felt just as strongly in Mumbai, and Pallavi and the local team have noticed a real change around the business. “People feel more confident about speaking up in meetings, and being prouder of their achievements,” says Pallavi. “They’re even applying for job postings they might previously have shied away from.”
Our people feel more valued, more empowered about themselves and their ideas — and they’re more willing to share their differences. The personal empowerment from #IAmRemarkable has translated into their professional workClaudia Barrera, Worldwide Director of Global Digital Applications, Colgate
Hundreds of Colgate employees have now experienced #IAmRemarkable, and are feeling empowered to acknowledge, celebrate and express their achievements. After such a positive response, the next step for the business is to scale the program across multiple departments and offices. “We just started with IT, and now we want to expand into other areas of the business,” says Claudia. ”It’s something employees are asking for, and it delivers great benefits for all.”
The initiative has also supported the leadership team’s ambition to give a voice to under-represented groups and drive self-empowerment. “Our people feel more valued, more empowered about themselves and their ideas — and they’re more willing to share their differences,” says Claudia. “The personal empowerment from #IAmRemarkable has translated into their professional work. This is definitely the type of workshop that can help everybody.”