Throughout history, women have accomplished great things despite challenging barriers. Women like Hedy Lamarr, who was both an actress and inventor, pioneered technology that would form the basis for today’s WiFi, GPS, and Bluetooth communication systems. Or Ada Lovelace, who is considered the world’s first computer programmer. Empowering women to pursue their dreams benefits society as a whole.

The pandemic has significantly disrupted many individuals and has disproportionately affected women. Women’s jobs were 1.8 percent more vulnerable than men’s jobs during the pandemic, with women making up 39 percent of global employment but 54 percent of job losses. In addition, 59 percent of women reported feeling lonely post-pandemic, feeling disconnected from peers and their community. Cognizant of this disconnect, Z-Women, our crew-led Zoox Affinity Group (ZAG), hosted events for women to ‘find their squad’ and connect through creative spaces and professional groups, both in-person and virtually.

‘Food for Thought’ in the Community

Z-Women collaborated with our on-site culinary team to kick off the month with a hands-on pasta making class and happy hour. Our crew got a chance to learn about pasta-making techniques from our culinary team and bring home their own fresh pasta! 

Z-Women also hosted tea tasting sessions with Teatulia, a Denver-based, Bangladeshi-grown organic tea company working to create a regenerative and self-sustaining community. During these sessions, our crew had a chance to learn about the cattle lending and farming programs supported by Zoox. These programs aim to highlight the social impact that female farmers and women-owned businesses endure. 

Inspiration in Creative Spaces

Z-Women collaborated on an art pop-up shop on our campus with local San Francisco artist and fashion designer Rachel Znerold. Rachel displayed her artwork and chatted with our crew about where she finds inspiration and channels creativity. Her artwork, she says, is inspired “by the universality of form and color in the organic world, the importance of ritual and community in the human experience, and creating more mindfulness and empowerment through art.”

Connecting through Speed Mentoring

Finding your community isn’t just a saying; it’s what “women supporting women” is all about. Our Z-Women group hosted a unique speed mentoring session to help those early in their career find a mentor to support them on their journey. This event included leaders across all of Zoox and small mentoring sessions for our crew to learn from industry experts who are bringing autonomous vehicles to our roads.