Vice President of Business Networks & Bell TV, Bell
Vice President of Customer Operations Strategy, Design, & Delivery, Bell
Having diverse talent, skills, and perspectives drives an organization’s ability to innovate. At Bell, diversity includes empowering women in tech.
Bell Canada’s commitment to diversity and inclusion (D&I) has earned the communications company recognition as one of Canada’s Best Diversity Employers, Canada’s Top Family-Friendly Employers, and Canada’s Top 100 Employers. A key part of Bell’s D&I strategy is promoting women to leadership positions, especially within the science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields. Through proactive leadership, team member resources, networking opportunities, and partnerships with organizations like Catalyst, Women in Communications and Technology (WCT), and Women Business Enterprises (WBE), Bell is empowering women to make substantial strides into STEM leadership roles.
Outstanding women at Bell
Two such women leaders are Anuja Sheth, Vice President of Business Networks and Bell TV, and Sonia Brar, Vice President of Customer Operations Strategy, Design, and Delivery. Both were recently celebrated by WCT for their outstanding STEM contributions: Sheth received WCT’s 2019 Trailblazer of the Year Award and Brar received WCT’s 2020 Innovator of the Year Award. Sheth credits Bell’s strong support for women — which starts at the top — for her career success. “The leadership fully appreciates the correlation between fostering gender diversity and the company’s overall performance,” says Sheth. Brar agrees, adding, “The culture at Bell is one that really supports you as an individual and your unique talents versus boxing you into something else.”
Growing together into the future
One of Bell’s key resource supports for women leaders is the Women at Bell forum, led by Brar. “It’s an employee-led Canada-wide program with over 2,500 members dedicated to supporting the development, advancement and visibility of women as leaders at Bell,” she says. The forum offers women access to mentorship, sponsorship, networking, and coaching opportunities.
Another way Bell supports women leaders is by encouraging their participation and challenging them to stretch themselves by taking on roles or projects beyond their comfort zones. “I think having equal opportunity to take on high-profile projects has had the biggest impact on my growth,” says Brar, who recently moved to a new position in customer operations after working for 19 years in IT.
Inspiring women leaders in STEM
While D&I has removed some of the structural barriers to women’s advancement, both Sheth and Brar agree that it’s equally important for women to be proactive about showcasing their capabilities, especially in STEM fields where women are underrepresented. “Organizations can do their part in creating opportunities, but at the end of the day you have to step up, raise your hand, and bring that confidence in your abilities to the table,” says Sheth.