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There is an economic and cultural divide between men and women; a vast space where gender rules govern professional opportunities and challenges. In the technology sector, the gap is even more pronounced. While there is increasing demand and plenty of positions are created for careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM disciplines), the number of women who decide to pursue these careers does not reflect the demand.
According to a study by the Girl Scout Research Institute, 81% of teenagers show an interest in pursuing STEM careers but only 13% consider them as their first options. Similarly, in Argentina, Aivo’s home country, statistics released by Chicas en Tecnología and Medallia reveal that only 16% of those enrolled in careers related to programming are women.
But there is no reason to feel this way and it's worth remembering that intelligence, skills, talent and ability do not distinguish between genders. Today, the industry is looking to open doors and adapt in order to help women enter the competitive job market, become future leaders in technology and completely level the playing field.
Organizations and support for equality
More and more organizations are implementing major transformations. Women around the world today have the support of institutions such as Women Who Code, Laboratoria or Chicas en Tecnología. Their mission, each one in a different country, is to close the gender gap in the tech industry, providing women access to education and work in the field.
Many companies are also making gender equity their priority. Between 2015 and 2017, Marc Benioff, Co-CEO of Salesforce, invested more than eight million dollars to eliminate the salary gap between his male and female employees. Because of its inclusive and diverse organizational culture, Fortune and Great Place to Work named Salesforce as the best work environment for women in 2018.
More and more companies are also realizing that leadership does not distinguish between genders. In a landmark instance, another of our partners, Zendesk, appointed 3 outstanding women to its board of directors just before its IPO launched in 2014. By doing so, their 7-member board became comprised of 4 men and 3 women.
At Aivo, offering the same opportunities to men and women is a commitment from day one. As a globally innovative tech company, we want to lead by example. Our staff aspires to be balanced and we promote a culture that does not distinguish by gender, but rather by merit. Women make up 45% of our team, and 41% of management and department head positions. In addition, the company offers educational programs without discrimination to anyone looking to advance their career, along with extended paternity leave.
How to continue promoting change?
With diversity we all win, both employees and companies. The combination of various skills, knowledge, personalities and experiences provide a better understanding of different market sectors and consumer interest. Respecting diversity and eliminating stereotypes also enriches both the work environment and employee relationships. What's more, a study conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership and Watermark shows that organizations with a high percentage of women have higher job satisfaction, greater employee dedication and a lower risk of burnout. All of this ultimately means a significant improvement in productivity.
To take a stand for a level playing field in the workplace, the change must start with us. We must break with gender stereotypes and be aware of the accepted norms we unconsciously follow.
With that in mind, we talked to María Celeste Frascaroli, Product Manager at Aivo, about her experience throughout her trajectory as a developer: “When I joined the Aivo development team in 2015, I was the only woman. There I learned to work among men all the time, adapting myself, and they always respected me. Today, women make up almost 20% of the team, and the percentage will continue growing even more”, she told us.
“Personally, I feel fortunate to work in technology, where we are creating new things all the time. Every person has something to contribute in this industry regardless of their gender. The fact is, today women are earning the place we deserve in technology, not on account of being women, but rather for the skills we have, suited for the positions we occupy,” she added.
At Aivo, we all share the same passion, and our diversity gives us a signature style that comes from both individual contributions and the way team members tackle each challenge. This enriches and establishes a framework of collaboration where all of us, through our strengths and weaknesses, never stop learning.
Some thoughts from the Aivo family
From the very first day, equal opportunities between men and women has been a key aspect of our culture. To take part in this global commemoration of women’s rights, we started an internal conversation in our company about inclusion, diversity and women in tech. Here are some thoughts that were shared by our Aivo family.