Marian Waldmann Agarwal has a unique blend of business and legal skills she leverages when counseling clients on various privacy and data security matters. With a background in information systems and business management, and in-house experience as a secondee to two different companies, she has firsthand knowledge of the internal business needs required for company initiatives to succeed. Ms. Waldmann Agarwal works with companies on designing and building various aspects of their privacy programs, including drafting internal policies, procedures, and guidelines for legal and non-legal audiences that incorporate privacy best practices and legal requirements in daily operations.
Why is it important to celebrate Women’s History Month/International Women’s Day?
Representation truly is important and celebrating Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day gives us all a reason to learn about and honor women’s contributions across varied fields. Growing up, I always enjoyed learning about women’s achievements. It helped me envision the possibilities that I might have for my own life. I see the same hope and inspiration in the eyes of my daughters when they learn about women’s accomplishments in different fields. In the past weeks, they have been excited to share what they are learning about Malala Yousafzai and Ann Cole Lowe at the dinner table.
Women’s History Month also reminds me of why I have the opportunities I have and encourages me to continue working to ensure that my daughters and all the generations who follow will have those opportunities and more.
What changes have you seen in the course of your career that have paved the way for women’s advancement?
One of the biggest changes I have witnessed has been the increased acceptance of flexible working arrangements. While beneficial to both men and women, flexible work arrangements have allowed me personally to enjoy motherhood and be a more participative parent while still enjoying a challenging and rewarding career. More than ever before, women have an opportunity to work and enjoy a family rather than needing to prioritize one at a time.
What would be the most meaningful action that allies could undertake to help advance women in the workplace?
Before taking action, allies need to be aware of the stereotypes that we have been socialized into believing about how men and women should behave in the workplace. Armed with that knowledge, they need to speak up when they see those stereotypes shaping decisions and behavior in the workplace. Speaking up can be as simple as making sure a female colleague is recognized for her contribution or that her ideas are attributed to her.