This week four of our amazing female employees were featured in WeAreTheCity’s celebration of International Women’s Day (IWD). Here's what they had to say.
IWD is a special day each year to celebrate the successful achievements of women around the globe.It makes us think about equality – all people should have equal opportunities to make the most of their talents. And it’s about respect for our qualities and differences to ensure they are truly valued. I overcome challenges for being a woman every day. I live and work in the male-dominated IT industry.
I have been leading the tech dev department at Delete since 2008. Being both female and Russian-born, I always try to be at least a head above others in knowledge / professional experience to ensure I deserve the respect and trust of my colleagues and our clients. I am very proud of my recent Sitecore MVP award – for the second time in row, there are not so many female Sitecore MVPs in the world. I am never happy about my achievements however and every year I try to raise my bar higher.
I’d say a challenge I have overcome was in joining a very male dominated environment in a standalone position. However, the business has been very supportive of my role. I’ve worked hard to show the benefits of the function whilst working my way up, raising a family and being a key figure at board meetings, reporting and presenting suggestions / ideas. During this time, I’ve also been shortlisted as a finalist for two Wales HR awards which is immensely rewarding.
Whilst it’s been tough to support a young family and progress within my career, I’ve feel I’ve achieved a lot and it can be done. I’ve also learnt to trust in my abilities. I hope that others can do the same by trusting in their abilities, to get to where they want to.
There are so many wonderful, inspiring women who I often reflect on in my professional career, but I’m constantly inspired by the women I work with on a day-to-day basis on all levels, especially in the tech industry. Those that are pushing themselves within their career and showing that equality is important, along with my HR peers who are doing so much within the community to inspire others and to give something back.
IWD is a day to recognise and celebrate women, their amazing achievements and progress that has been made whilst also representing an opportunity to reflect and highlight areas that still require further change or action. I think that I’ve learnt or taken inspiration from each and every woman that I have worked with professionally – be it through hearing about the positive or negative experiences they have encountered within their own careers, how they approach certain situations or their outlook on life and work.
I feel there are a lot of days for the sake of days sometimes, but IWD is one that actually still holds some weight and meaning. We’re not there with gender equality, far from it, but this day offers the chance to reflect and celebrate the huge strides that have been made in both the distant and recent past. It’s important not to lose sight of that. A challenge I overcame last year was returning from maternity leave at the exact same time that we were placed into lockdown. With the help of Delete / Kagool I was able to return part time. It was intense, especially as in the first lockdown when there was no childcare support available; and even a basic task like going to the shop was an ordeal for fear of the unknown risk, let alone with a four-month old in tow.
I think everyone – men, women, non-binary, have faced difficulties during this pandemic, but the learning is just to be realistic, flexible and work smart. Keep what matters to you at front of mind and if you want it to happen and work for it, then it will.
Women who know what they’re about and work hard inspire me. There have been many people throughout my career who I have looked up to at all levels of seniority. I started my career in PR, and my first ever manager, Pip, taught me so much not only about the agency industry but also about determination and a ‘getting shit done’ attitude. I really admired her confidence with clients and within the business, and I drew a lot from the experience of working with her.
Outside of people I have worked with directly, everywhere you look there are women doing the most incredible things in the digital space. To name a couple – Carrie Rose from Rise at 7 – unquestionable success in such a short space of time and a hell of a personal brand, and Whitney Wolfe Herd of Bumble who became the youngest female CEO to ever take a company public in the US. What an achievement!
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