Expert opinions on breaking the bias, International Women’s Day 2022

international womens day

We hear from more top business leaders as they reflect on how to Break the Bias this International Women’s Day, including comments from Fiverr, Clearco and Docusign

International Women’s Day encourages everyone to celebrate women’s achievements, raise awareness against bias, and take action for equality. This year’s theme shows we can all collectively #BreakTheBias. Below are some insights and advice from female figures across the technology sector on how we can achieve this.

Peggy de Lange, Vice President of International Expansion at Fiverr 

“Almost 60 years after the passing of The Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it illegal to pay women less than men for the same job, men are still paid 20% more than their female counterparts. Furthermore, heightened gender bias was another unfortunate fallout of the pandemic, specifically in terms of pay. 

There’s still a lot of work to be done to break the bias around pay but the freelance community is making headway in reversing this trend. On the Fiverr platform female freelancers are actually earning 9% more than their male counterparts. 

One of the reasons why love working within the freelance industry is that every day, I see individuals being judged by the quality of their work, not their gender. Freelancers on Fiverr are purely judged by their credentials and reviews; thus gender, sexual orientation, color, or religion have no bearing on the hiring process.

I am a huge advocate for inspiring women to know their financial worth and selling their skills accordingly – as the famous saying goes, ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get.’”

Michele Romanow, Co-Founder & CEO, Clearco

“International Women’s Day makes me proud that we are focusing our attention on areas that need action in today’s society. As strong leaders, we should be able to choose a career path that we want to own while living in a world free of bias, stereotypes, and discrimination.

Innovation is one way to move towards a gender-equal world, using AI and machine learning data to #BreakTheBias so we surround ourselves in a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive society. That is why at Clearco we use AI to remove bias from investment decisions and as a result, we have funded 25x more female founders than traditional VCs. 

I’m motivated by what we’re doing for women. Nearly 30% of businesses in our UK portfolio are led by women, and a staggering 50% of our current global portfolio represents businesses led by women.”

Joan Burke, Chief People Officer, DocuSign

The pandemic necessitated technical developments that would allow for greater connections in hybrid workplaces. During this time, there was also a heightened understanding of the disproportionate impact on women and people of color, shedding light on how firms may improve their workplace inclusivity and parity.

Remote working has shifted our corporate conventions. Employees’ work and personal lives used to be completely distinct, but they are now inextricably linked. According to research, women who work from home spend more time caring for their children and suffer lower productivity than their male counterparts. People are more vulnerable than they have ever been, and they are looking for leaders who will truly stand up for them.

Joan Burke, Chief People Officer at DocuSign, has established an employee-centric organization guided by her north star: the value of listening.

“Putting employees first is critical to running a successful firm. Employee surveys are a fantastic method to get feedback from all sides before making a decision. Based on the comments obtained, battles can be fought on behalf of employees that may feel hesitant to come forward and let their struggle be known.”

DocuSign is also committed to transparency, which includes examining pay equity as part of its annual salary review. Compensation is changed in accordance with the findings of the analysis.

As a result, when it comes to employee retention, DocuSign is at the forefront. Despite the fact that statistics suggest that women are leaving their jobs this year, Burke’s employee-first approach has created a culture where employees feel heard. Her efforts to listen to every employee and express that each of them is valued have resulted in DocuSign’s inclusive culture and high retention rates.

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Erin Laurenson

Multimedia Content Producer for TBTech

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