The Importance of Chasing Grace

Categories: Our Company People & Culture Impact

At Autodesk, we feel strongly about supporting and celebrating the people that contribute to our collective success each day. It feels good to work in an environment that encourages the fresh thinking that inherently comes with a culture of diversity – it’s also good business. We believe that diversity of experience, background and identity will help us to reach our company goals and better serve our customers.

That’s why we’re proud to support the Chasing Grace Project, a six-episode documentary series from filmmaker Jennifer Cloer focused on women in tech. Each episode aims to give a voice to the everyday women in technology. Topics include the economic and emotional toll of the gender pay gap and the value of communities for women outside the office.

Jennifer created the Chasing Grace Project after having spent nearly 20 years in the tech space and learning that there are fewer women in our industry than there were when she started. And that this was happening at a time when the technologies we’re building today – AI, machine learning and blockchain, among others – require that we all be contributing to their design, lest we risk living an even more exclusive world tomorrow. Jennifer set out with the Chasing Grace Project to help recruit and retain women for industry and to give them a platform to be seen and heard for their experiences. When we know we’re not alone, we can together accomplish so much.

We recently held Autodesk’s first-ever Women’s Summit, a two-day event meant to celebrate and engage with women at Autodesk. And the Autodesk Women’s Network is one of our largest employee resource groups, with more than 800 members across 27 countries.

Personally, I’ve seen first-hand the enormous value of communities for women in technology. It is the foundation to belonging – which is the support system that helps women realize the strengths inherit in their life experience. Diverse experiences can improve the quality of what we build and make for customers across the globe.  When women come together, we’re strengthened. This fuels us for the harder part of belonging – which is to live up to our full potential outside of our support community at work each day.  Feeling like you belong is paramount to bringing our best work to the table and take more risks, and that’s harder to come by when only two in ten tech jobs are held by women. Through this partnership with Chasing Grace, we are committing to elevate women’s voices through storytelling. I firmly believe our industry needs to continue putting in the hard work to attract and retain more women, so our products serve the broadest array of people.

Image of a woman on a New York city subway platform

Claire Wasserman, founder of Ladies Get Paid. The Chasing Grace Project delivers raw accounts about what it’s really like to be a woman in the technology industry and addresses issues like the gender pay gap.

Sharing stories and hearing each other out is crucial to culture change, and we at Autodesk think supporting Chasing Grace is a step in the right direction.

We’re proud to host Jennifer at the Women at AU reception at Autodesk University Las Vegas 2019 on Tuesday, Nov. 19, where we’ll come together and continue this conversation. Hope to see you there!

Image of a woman catching a drone coming out of the sky.

Chasing Grace footage, Episode #1. The docuseries explores the experiences of women in technology.