Challenge Model Practice
Women's Initiative (WIN)

eBay Inc.

Principle II: Work-life balance and career development

Principle IV: Management and governance

Principle VII: Leadership, transparency, and accountability

2013 Challenge Submission

eBay Inc. is a global commerce and payments leader, providing a platform where merchants of all sizes can compete and win. Founded in 1995 in San Jose, Calif., eBay Inc. connects millions of buyers and sellers and enabled $212 billion of commerce volume in 2013. The company includes eBay, one of the world's largest online marketplaces, digital payments leader PayPal, eBay Enterprise, and several specialized marketplaces such as StubHub, the world's largest ticket marketplace, and eBay classifieds sites, which together have a presence in more than 1,000 cities around the world.

“I joined eBay Inc. because I wanted to change the world. And we can’t do that unless we attract, develop and retain the very best leaders including the very best women leaders.”
John Donahoe
President and CEO, eBay Inc.

The global Women’s Initiative (WIN) was launched by CEO John Donahoe and Senior Vice President for Global Human Resources Beth Axelrod in 2011 to make gender diversity a company priority and expand support for women to build lasting, successful careers at eBay Inc. Based on the principle that women own their careers and should shape their professional development, the WIN program equips women leaders with the tools needed to learn, grow and develop by creating awareness of gender diversity issues, encouraging advocacy and sponsorship, fostering professional growth and development, and deepening the connections among women in the company. WIN is a global initiative that is active across all businesses, functions, regions, and critical talent segments which is sustained through leadership commitment and a strong community of women committed to helping each other.

The program’s signature event is the Global WIN Summit, which brings together eBay Inc.’s senior executives and women leaders (director and above) for a high-impact professional development and networking experience. In 2013, the WIN dialogue was expanded to include men, with over 100 men leaders joining the women leaders at the third Global WIN Summit. By design, men leaders were represented in inverse proportion to their representation as leaders in the company, i.e., at roughly the same proportion as the women leaders in the company.

How does this model practice work?

eBay Inc. measures its global gender diversity in three ways. First, eBay Inc. looks at the current and historical representation of women at all levels across the company as well as by business, function, region, critical talent segment, and by leader (Vice President and above) twice a year. This workforce data is shared with the company’s business leaders for transparency and accountability. In addition, the company reviews hiring, promotion, and attrition data for its women leader population (defined as director and above). Since the start of WIN in 2011, eBay Inc. reports that both the number and proportion of women leaders has increased across all businesses, functions, regions, and critical talent segments. Second, eBay Inc. conducts an annual employee engagement survey, analyzing responses by gender and identifying any statistically significant differences. Finally, , in 2013, eBay Inc. initiated a gender diversity survey of the global leader population to evaluate the inclusiveness of its culture and more fully understand the experiences of women leaders than before. To measure progress, the company has committed to conducting another gender diversity survey in 2015.

How can I adopt this model practice in my workplace?

There are three key elements to the WIN initiative: enforcement

  1. Leadership
    A successful initiative requires visible and sustained senior leadership commitment, starting with the CEO.
  2. People Processes
    Talent practices need to change, including the implementation of diverse slates of job candidates as well as interviewers, a more disciplined approach to promotions, professional development plans customized to each employee, and deliberate career conversations for promising women employees.
  3. Measurement
    The initiative depends on a regular and sustained measurement of progress with periodic reviews of eBay Inc.’s workforce data with executive leadership, including Senior Vice Presidents, Vice Presidents, and global women leaders.
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