Akamai India's StandTall Program
Diversity and Inclusion is a mission-critical goal at Akamai. In support of this goal, the India Learning and Development team in collaboration with the Women's Forum India (employee resource group), launched an initiative that aims to foster a culture of greater inclusion called StandTall.
The Standtall program is the first of its kind at Akamai. It is a women leadership and enablement program designed to support women "leads" to move into leadership positions. Their development journey is spread across 3-4 months using the 70-20-10 model to support them in their path of exploring their full potential.
The program started as a pilot in 2016 resulting in 12 women lead graduates. The journey began with a one-month diagnosis phase using an inclusive, unconventional approach with 1:1 interviews and interactive "Story Circles". About 45 men and women, all Akamai leaders shared stories around challenges, biases, and blind-spots. This was followed by an intensive workshop that focused on developing critical beliefs and crucial skills needed to navigate through complex challenges that are unique to women.
We also had a development center where specific behaviors were assessed in a simulated environment with our own senior leaders as panel members. This resulted in 1:1 coaching sessions where individual development plans were shared to enable success in their career goals. The managers of the women leads were involved in an interactive dialogue and were oriented on how to support them in this journey.
This was the first step towards having a structured approach to increase the representation of women in leadership roles in India. We are very proud of this program and happy to say it is still continuing today. 45 women leaders have graduated from the program so far with 100% retention rate and 65% career progress over 3 years. To take a peek into our journey from 2016-2018 click here.