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One Small Step for Yesware, One Giant Leap for Women in the Workplace

There are plenty of seats at the table in Yesware’s biggest conference room called Yeti.

Eighteen to be exact.

It’s Director of Talent Zoe Silverman’s mission to fill those seats with qualified and diverse team members.

And she’s getting closer.

With our latest round of new hires, Yesware reached an exciting milestone:  We have officially achieved a 50/50 male-to-female employee ratio.

The Harsh Reality: Women Are Still a Minority In Major Tech Companies

According to a study by Cascade Insights, 50 major tech companies have one ugly thing in common: a lack of women.

Pulling data on the male-to-female employee estimates for 50 major tech companies revealed something alarming:

  1. Women represented only 20-30 percent of the workforce in a majority of the companies studied.
  2. Not one of the companies had 50 percent or higher estimates for women in the workforce.

There’s a lot to unpack here. And a lot of misconceptions that come with the data, like the notion that it’s ‘just a pipeline problem.’

“The gender gap in tech is not just about recruiting stats — there is so much more we need to address if we’re aiming for gender equity in the workplace… but that’s a topic for another time,” explains Zoe. (Looking for a place to start? Check out this recent diversity & inclusion survey by the organization She Geeks Out, where women reveal they feel like outsiders working in the Boston tech scene.)

How We Are Working To Create a Female Friendly Work Culture

“It’s our mission to create a positive, supportive, inclusive company culture and work environment where women not only decide to join but where they want to stay and are able to thrive,” explains Zoe.

So, what is her strategy to keeping the momentum going? By continuing to approach things from three different angles: interpersonal, institutional, and cultural.

Interpersonal meaning how we treat each other in the workplace (consciously or not). A positive example of this is on International Women’s Day 2017, the kitchen in the whiteboard was filled with cards for each female employee. On them, people wrote down one thing they appreciate or admire about their colleagues. “I still look at it for motivation if I’m having a rough day,” Zoe said.

Institutional meaning the structure and policies that we put in place as an organization. Examples of this? Our parental leave offering, providing training around unconscious bias and harassment prevention, leveraging best practices in writing inclusive job descriptions, and regularly completing comp analysis to check for disparities.

What’s on Zoe’s wishlist in the institutional category? More women on our board and executive team.

And culture — the values and norms we create together. Every single member of the Yesware community contributes to its culture. By creating a supportive environment where people want to work. How does it feel to be a woman working at Yesware and would we encourage our female friends to apply?

By ignoring the cultural aspect, we create an even bigger risk. “If everyone isn’t on the same page, some members of our communities will continue to think it’s ‘just a pipeline problem’ and fail to take accountability for what they can do to help,” explains Zoe.

What’s Next

While we’re proud of this accomplishment, we recognize that there is still so much to be done. The culture at Yesware is truly unique and we’re optimistic about continuing down a path that allows for more inclusiveness in the workplace.

Zoe says, “Being at 50% doesn’t mean we’ve closed the gender gap, but it means we’re in a better place than we were before. It gives me even more energy to work to attract, hire, and retain for all forms of diversity at Yesware. The truth is, we really can’t have this conversation successfully without acknowledging the absolutely critical role that women of color, queer women, immigrant women, and so many others play in the pursuit of real equity. There’s so much more to do but I’m inspired to see signs that the future is really female.”

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The Yesware Promise

Yesware is committed to developing a culture that embraces diversity and fosters inclusivity. We do this not only because it makes us stronger both as individuals and as a business, but because it is the right thing to do. We know that diversity comes in many forms, so we welcome employees from all walks of life to bring their differing experiences and perspectives to Yesware. Together, we can build an environment where every single member of our team can bring their authentic self to work, be heard, and work toward achieving their professional potential.