“The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor to any one organization but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.” – Gloria Steinem
Happy International Women’s Day! Marked every year on the 8th of March, #IWD is all about celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. It’s a day to reflect on women’s equality, lobby for gender parity and spread awareness about how to level the playing field in a time where it still remains unbalanced.
At Go Instore, our company values focus on support, impact and connection: with our people, our technology, our clients & our vision. We’re focused on building a strong, diverse and inclusive company culture; but we’re also always learning.
As a technology company, we recognise the industry we find ourselves in is one that still has a way to go. As it stands, only 19% of the tech workforce are women. This figure is even less for Asian women, at 5%, and even lower for black and Hispanic women, at just 3%. Women are underrepresented in senior leadership positions due to this disparity in the workforce- in fact, 77% of tech director roles are filled by men.
Anyone can support International Women’s Day- and everyone should! This year, I caught up with some of the women of Go Instore & Emplifi to hear about what the day means to them.
What challenges have you encountered working within tech?
“I’ve been lucky throughout my career to have some amazing female leaders and role models in a very male dominated tech world. I do feel like in the past I have had to choose career or life – but I feel 100% more supported at Go Instore to be both a mum and boss at my job.”
“It’s challenging to find the balance between wanting to celebrate being a woman in a male-dominated space, but also just wanting to be treated as an equal and focus on the work rather than being the only woman in the room.”
“Working in a field where women are traditionally underrepresented means that I am often faced with the daunting situation where I am the only woman in the room and I have to find my voice. In those moments, I remind myself of a quote from one of the most bad-ass ladies in history, the Notorious RBG (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, if you didn’t already know!) who said, “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”
What does International Women’s Day mean to you?
“Women and men should support women. I want to raise my son to respect women and support them in or out of work. We shouldn’t still be in a world where it’s all on women to choose between being a mum or having a career. This is a society responsibility.”
“It means celebrating how fortunate we are to have the opportunities to work in the space that we do – it’s respecting how far we’ve come, and looking forward to what’s ahead.”
“IWD is such a significant day because it represents not only the progress women have made striving for equality, but it is also an opportunity to reflect on all the sacrifices women have made to empower us today.”
“The pandemic has altered the way we work forever. And in the turbulence of the last 2 years, it’s been all too easy to overlook the bias against women in the workplace. But whether you’re in an office, or behind a screen, bias has no bounds. It’s more important this year, than ever, to turn the spotlight back to breaking down the gender inequalities in the workplace and beyond.”
What is done well by Go Instore and Emplifi to support you?
“I think we have incredibly strong female leaders and continuing to promote women into highly visible roles will attract more talent, help develop women in all areas of our company, and ultimately contribute to the success of our company.”
“I am being supported with flexible working but I’m not sure this is just a woman thing or actually being a company that values family.”
“There’s always scope for learning, and I feel like personal development is something that is valued by both companies”
What could be done better by your company to support barriers women face in the workplace?
“I think companies should support women in all areas of business, and honestly, it would be nice to be at a place where there isn’t anything that has to be done to support women because we are equals.”
“I think just having open dialogue between women across different departments (and geographies) is really valuable. We all come from different places and any opportunity for additional collaboration and communication is a welcomed one.”
“Ensuring that processes are equal and structured.”
This year, the theme for #IWD2022 is about breaking down biases. Biases can populate the workplace in many different forms and manifestations. It’s important to be able to recognise this, and call it out when you see it. Start by amplifying the voices of other women. Recognise when they’re getting spoken over. Second guess your reaction when you label a woman ‘emotional’, rather than firm. Question your language, and adjust it.
Let’s ensure we’re prepared to do this everyday, and not just today. Happy International Women’s Day.