March 7, 2024

Ksenia Soldatova: Reflecting on International Women's Day and the Path to Equity

Ksenia Soldatova highlights the shift in celebrating International Women's Day, stressing the importance of advocating for women's equality and empowerment. With extensive HR experience, she acknowledges progress in gender equity but underscores the need for ongoing efforts. She advises young women to seek mentorship and self-advocacy, emphasizing continuous support for women's advancement.

We here at CITI had the wonderful opportunity to sit down and chat with CITI member Ksenia Soldatova about International Women's Day and what it means to her, especially at this time in history. 

Ksenia remembers when International Women's Day was celebrated through flowers or gifts to acknowledge the work the women do day to day, in and out of the workplace, but now it has evolved into something much more. “For me International Women's Day [now] is a reminder of the power, courage, and really endless potential that every woman possesses everyday of the year. It’s about recognizing the ongoing challenges women face such as: pay disparities, and underrepresentation in leadership positions, juggling work, social, and family responsibilities  and challenging misconception about the ease of women's progress.” 

Ksenia has worked in HR for over twenty years, a field dominated by women, and she is excited to see women come up in recent years for leadership positions, however there are still challenges to be faced in these roles. “Gaining equal access to the decision making table alongside male leaders, and making sure our voices are not only heard but also valued and acted upon.” 

Ksenia found herself inspired by many women throughout her life but one in particular stood out. “Her name is Erin Gallagher and she is one of the top DEI voices in LinkedIn. She is also the founder of Ella and that is an inclusive network unlocking women's access to human, social, and financial capital.She is also [the] creator of the Hype Women Movement. She’s one of the women who inspires me because she's not afraid to speak up– she amplifies the voices of those who need support. She's very straightforward, very bold and I think the way it impacts me is really to stand up for myself and for the people around me.”

When asked about CITI Ksenia was happy to share all the ways in which we are on the right path. “CITI is known for its commitment to inclusivity and fairness and like any organization it seeks opportunities for growth. What I think is amazing about CITI and why I’m a part of it is that it recognizes the importance of equity, and CITI acknowledges that by finding ways to provide resources  and opportunities based on an individual's needs. It really aims to level the playing field and I think that’s the main goal.”

Ksenia shared some advice for young women aspiring to succeed. “Set the goal that inspire [you], find mentors to support your goals and development, seek sponsors that advocate for you behind closed doors, be open to coaching opportunities even when it’s challenging at times, look for your community that, brings you fulfillment professionally and personally, and finally learn how to be kind to yourself.” 

Lastly, Ksenia had some words of wisdom to share with the community about how to be a better ally to women not just on International Women's Day but all year round. “Actively support and uplift women in all fields, challenge biases and barriers, and really work towards creating the environments where everyone has a chance to succeed. Whether that's volunteering with a professional organization as a mentor,  sending monetary donations to your local women's shelter, providing learning opportunities at work or any other means that align with our interests and values: do it.” 

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