To celebrate International Women’s Day this year, Women Love Tech asked over 40 female tech leaders and entrepreneurs from around the globe to share their top tips on how to #BreakTheBias.
It’s 2022 and there is still a gender pay gap. Nearly one in ten company boards have no women. Female-founded startups continue to receive a dismal share of venture funding. Women remain the default caregivers.
International Women’s Day is a moment for focus. As much as it is a day to celebrate the strides that have been gained in the workplace, it is also a day to mark the distance that still needs to be traveled.
“As we celebrate the achievements of all women on this day, we also need to reflect on the work that still needs to be done,” says international film director Liz Courtenay, one of many women who will be asking themselves this week what can we all do to help?
IWD’s theme this year is ‘Break the Bias’ because gender bias, whether deliberate or unconscious, remains ingrained in our working norms. “For all of us and for those who walk in our footsteps tomorrow, we need to work together to break this bias,” Courtenay adds.
Research shows that recruiting and advancing women is better for business. Companies that have more women in leadership roles are 25% more likely to financially outperform their competitors, according to Forbes magazine. “I’m so proud to run a business that has empowered and championed the cause of women for so many years,” says Sharon Williams, CEO and founder of Taurus, one of Australia’s oldest marketing and PR agencies.
“Let’s create change with tolerance and patience, and equal opportunity and acceptance for all of us.”
Study after study has found that women make better employees, managers, and leaders. Girls perform better in school and show better work organisation skills, according to studies at the Universities of Georgia and Columbia. They communicate better according to a study at the University of Western Ontario. They are more engaged, better motivators, show stronger business ethics and are better community builders than men according to a Gallup study.
And yet they still earn approximately 84% of what men earn, and there remains a disparity in promotions.
“The only way I’ve personally been able to break down the bias is by surrounding myself with a mentor, friends, family, husband, who truly support me in chasing my dreams and doing what I want to do,” says Abbie White, founder and manager of Sales Redefined, a sales and marketing company.
“We’ve all got to look for opportunities with growth, get out of our comfort zones, and find those pockets of courage to go and shoot for the stars.”
Ahead of IWD, Women Love Tech has been speaking to women in leadership roles and asking for their views and tips on how we can all work together to break the bias.
Connecting and supporting other women is essential says Kathryn Carter, General Manager for Snapchat in the Asia-Pacific countries. “Use today to remind yourself to speak to other women in the industry. This will not only give you a sense of belonging, a wider network, but it’s also important that we recognise the work that we’re all doing.”
Danielle Johansson, CEO of Threadicated, a personal stylist business, believes it’s important that women share their innovations and successes with the world. “And having mixed gender teams in our workplace ensures women’s abilities are being witnessed first-hand. This helps to create a ripple effect,” she says.
Daring to be different is also vital, says Jean Ng, VP of Growth at the technology company, Paxful. “Many aspiring female leaders think they need to act like men to get to the top but that’s simply not true. Just act yourself, whatever that might be.”
We all have a responsibility, says Melanie Cochrane, Group Managing Director at Equifax. “We all contribute to bias. We are all subject to bias, and it’s all of our responsibility to ensure that we have equality in the community that we live.”
That means listening to the voices of marginalized women too, adds Hannah Diviney, disability advocate and Editor-in-Chief of Missing Perspectives. “If the focus of your feminism is narrowed to only hearing from the perspectives of straight, white, cisgender, thin, able-bodied women, then it’s not working. Be willing to learn from women of colour, from transgender and non-binary women, from women who otherwise identify as part of the LGBTQIA+ community, from disabled women, from women who live in bodies of all shapes and sizes. It’s not true equality or parity otherwise.”
Happy International Women’s Day!
Women Love Tech would like to thank the video platform Studio Bucket for putting our video together. Studio Bucket is the new way to create video for internal and external communications.