Essilor Celebrates International Women’s Day
By Essilor News
International Women’s Day is upon us, and at Essilor, we’re rallying behind the global movement to #PressforProgress in calling for action to accelerate gender parity and help celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
“Essilor is proud to join the global community this year to #PressforProgress as we continue to invest in programs and strategies that demonstrate our firm commitment to creating a workplace where artificial barriers do not exist, and where employees are empowered to contribute at their maximum potential,” says LaShanda Reed-Larry, Director Inclusion, Diversity & Affirmative Action.
To mark this annual milestone, we’re featuring insights from six women who are employed across various areas of the company. They share the challenges they’ve faced in the workplace, how Essilor has supported them, and why it’s important for women and men to #PressforProgess.
Finding the Elusive Work-Life Balance
"My biggest challenge has been balancing family, especially as a mother of twin boys,” says Bidisha Rudra, Executive Director, IDD Managed Care Sales. “There have been times when I have fretted about missing soccer games due to work or business travel, or leaving a meeting early to pick up my kids from after care. Over the years, I have learned to be human and to ‘let go.’ I now focus on prioritizing and that helps me to be more focused and efficient at what I do.”
Proving Your Capabilities
For Strategic Planning Manager Tanisha Washington, the challenges have been about her chosen field. “I have always leaned towards operations and industrial environments. There’s always a period of time of having to prove you’re capable and qualified to be in that environment and that you intend to stay and are not just ‘testing out’ the operational career field. Getting people to accept you into that world and eventually trust your leadership can be a challenge.”
Essilor Offers Welcome Workplace Support
“Essilor has continued to support and encourage my growth and training within the organization. Allowing for flexibility to manage both family and work while taking on more responsibility has been key,” shares Theresa Kuzdak, Director of Finance and Interim Controller/Head of Shared Services.
For Diana Murphy, ABOC, SimplifEye Project Manager for the Customer Experience team, the chance to further her education has been important as an Essilor of America employee. “The company has supported me by allowing me to further my education by obtaining my Opticianry degree. I’ve also gotten opportunities in new roles to advance my career.”
Why it’s Important to #PressForProgress
Stacy Knopik is Assistant Manager of Duffens Optical in Denver and knows that while she hasn’t faced career obstacles as a woman, not all women in the workforce are as fortunate. “I do know there are situations all over the world where people are not given the chance they deserve. I do feel that people need to stand up for themselves and push forward regardless of who they are. If you want something bad enough, you can make it happen.”
Kristan Gross, Global Executive Director of Vision Impact Institute, says the press for progress must go beyond the workplace. “There is little to no attention being given to gender disparities related to vision health. The Centers for Disease Control reports that American women are at greater risk of vision loss than men over the course of their lives. And worldwide, cultural stigma, lack of access to information about eye health, and lack of access to eye exams are just some of the reasons women sometimes do not have a voice in the vision conversation. It’s imperative that we press for progress to eradicate poor vision and ensure our world’s girls and women receive an equal opportunity to learn and be successful as a result of healthy vision.”
We’ll be sharing additional content in honor of International Women’s Day on social media. We encourage you to join us in the #PressforProgress today and every day as we work to accelerate gender parity.