The annual International Women’s Day (IWD) is a day to celebrate and champion the myriad of achievements and progress made by women everywhere. For years now, women have faced disparities in treatment and benefits in the workplace, due to biases enforced by societal norms. Hence, this year’s IWD theme #BreakTheBias marks a call to action for raising our awareness and reflexivity of stereotypes that we might unconsciously or consciously have towards our colleagues and friends alike.
What does that look like for the team at Sekuro? Let’s find out through the lens of our Sekuro team.
Why do you think it's important to have IWD?
There was an overwhelming consensus across the board during Sekuro’s internal IWD team session that IWD remains crucial as it sparks conversations and shines a light on the harsh reality and implications of gender inequality, especially in the workplace. Issues such as the gender pay gap, the glass ceiling and the lack of female representation in leadership roles are still prevalent even in a modern society like our own.
This day serves as a reminder to all of us to check our bias and continue to do better in our workplace processes, such as recruitment and L&D.
How does Sekuro contribute to #WomenInTech?
In the team session, Sekuro also reflected on the recent progress of #WomenInTech – how we can continue to improve and create opportunities for females who are interested in joining the tech industry. For instance, in the last batch of Sekuro’s graduate program Hackcelerator, there was an encouraging increase in the number of female participants, amounting to about 25% of the total number of participants. A third of the participants was also hired, out of which a quarter were female.
This graduate program aims to provides a platform for all which underscore Sekuro’s belief and effort in providing career opportunities to women who are interested in tech.
What can we continue to do internally?
The journey towards gender inclusion and equitability is a continuous process and we should always aim to do better in every step.
A few measures to tackle challenges in building a more inclusive environment for women in tech includes unconscious bias training sessions to keep ourselves and our communication styles in check, reviewing job adverts (how it is written might have an effect on how many females apply), and even just starting a conversation on social media to increase awareness and get people talking about what matters.
What challenges do we think will occur?
We should also prepare for the challenges that might occur in the process. Due to societal norms and stereotypes, females tend to opt for marketing, PR and people-focused roles from an early age — which should not be the case. For example in Australia, girls might develop imposter syndrome due to peer pressure when it comes to choosing tech jobs as early as high school. As a company in the tech industry, Sekuro aims to create spaces for #WomenInTech as early as possible, and one way to achieve this is to provide more opportunities for girls who are still in school and harbour an interest for the tech industry.
Who do you feel is responsible for taking action on women's issues, and gender issues in general?
Gender equality does not solely mean championing for women’s rights. It means that everyone deserves the same rights, regardless of gender. To us, #BreakTheBias is important as it means taking a stand to remove the preconceived notions we have towards people before even meeting them, or getting to know them. Taking action on gender issues is something that begins with us. Only by breaking our own personal barriers, are we then able to work towards a more inclusive world.
In retrospect, a common agreement that we shared was that equality for all is a human right we should continue working towards, and not just on a single day like IWD. Fostering an inclusive work culture is still our utmost priority here at Sekuro, and that starts with us — from the way we hone our recruitment processes to the ways we treat each and every single one of our teammates.
Team Sekuro’s next steps
Here at Sekuro, we believe that diversity and inclusion (D&I) should be embedded within culture — it is a process, and involves continuous commitment to the betterment for both our organisation and employees. For one, we intend to organise unconscious bias workshops for the later part of 2022, to ensure that we sustain a neutral approach across all areas of our business. We also have plans to continue and upscale our efforts for Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on raising awareness about key issues and supporting marginalised communities with education.
Together we can #BreaktheBias, and create a gender-equal world for all!