Introducing: WILL

cz January 17, 2018 by Christina Zorrilla-Rivera

It’s the bitter truth: women continue to face challenges in the workplace, from gender bias and equal pay to work flexibility and more. It’s an important and timely conversation, and I’m proud to say, one that this company is adamant about being a part of. Toys“R”Us has done so much to create a workforce that is diverse and an environment that is inclusive, but what do I love most? We’ve made significant strides in shaping a culture that helps women feel empowered. It’s a huge effort, and I’m happy to be part of it through our WILL Team Resource Group – Women Inspiring Leadership and Learning.

Before I dive into the awesome efforts of WILL and the members who make it happen, let me introduce myself. As a 5-year veteran of the company, I am a Planner for the Girls Collectible Department. What does that mean? I have the privilege of working with brands like Fingerlings, L.O.L. Surprise, Pikmi Pops and Shopkins, and – in a nutshell – develop strategies that ensure they get onto our shelves at the perfect time. As in, just when your son or daughter is asking for them. It’s a position I’m proud to hold in addition to my favorite and most important role – Mom to two beautiful girls.

When I think about what I want for my daughters as they grow up…the kind of workplace culture I want them to be a part of…I think about my dad. When I was young, my father said something I’ll never forget – something that rang loud and clear in my head as I navigated through difficult points in my life. He told me, “You’re a woman, something beautiful! Women can do so much more. Your capabilities aren’t measurable. Never let me or anyone in this world make you feel like you aren’t enough or can’t because of your gender.” #thanksdad

That brings me to WILL, which (no surprise!) feels the same.

According to the Center for American Progress, it’s been estimated that, at the current rate of change, it will take until 2085 for women to reach parity with men in key leadership roles in the U.S.

This illustrates the greater need for a team member resource group like WILL – a group that provides women who want a seat at the table with encouragement, tools and awareness in an open and collaborative forum. Our focus is on unlocking the power, talents and potential of women at Toys“R”Us by providing a network of advocates (including men!), as well as on eliminating the gender bias that still exists in the world today. We hold impactful discussions. enjoy role play exercises, host events and more.

What I love most about this group is that women from all walks of life and women in entry level to leadership positions come together to support, learn from and empower one another. THAT’S beautiful!

On a personal level, I came into WILL at the perfect time. I was finalizing my divorce and figuring out how to strive as a single mom to my daughters while still becoming successful in my career. We come together, share stories and experiences, and help and empower one another to grow. Remember, all you beautiful, amazing women: your capabilities aren’t measurable.