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Supporting women in tech: Conversations with the leadership team

Updated: Mar 25, 2022

Gender inequality is not just a women’s issue. It’s a business issue. That’s why at VEERUM we celebrate the influential women that have shaped and led our team, but also have important conversations about how we are taking steps to promote gender equality in the workplace.

For the third part of our International Women’s Day series, we sat down with the VEERUM leadership team to discuss what the day means to them, celebrate important women who have shaped their careers, and reflect on how we can support the next generation of women in technology.

Take a look at their insights below:

David Lod, CEO

What does International Women’s Day mean to you?

International Women’s Day is not only about a recognition of women and their abilities. It’s about promoting fairness and inclusivity and identifying that things are not equal across genders. It deserves more than a day, if not an ongoing conversation to discuss these issues. Gender equality should be an ongoing conversation we are ready to have, every single day.

If you could have coffee with any woman in history who would you choose and why?

I had the opportunity to meet Michelle Obama briefly at a larger event she was speaking at. She gave a powerful speech that really resonated with me, she said: “Men who are in a position of power or executive positions in organizations, it’s not enough that you want your daughter to have the same opportunities as your sons, you have to do something about that right now. You can’t just wish it, you need to take action.” Michelle Obama is an amazing advocate for gender equality so I would love to spend some more time with her.

As a business leader, what are you focusing on in the next five years to keep improving and pushing for gender equality?

We’ve recognized that we need to expand our hiring pools and practices. Just posting jobs on the various channels doesn't necessarily make it accessible and fair for women and minority groups. Now we need to look at recruiting directly in channels such as female software development groups. We need to advertise, work and champion within the distinct groups and channels where we will find more women candidates. We want to attract more diverse talent and show people that they can have a place with VEERUM.

Additionally, we need to recognize and support the skills of working mothers. Pivoting from a professional career to child care cannot be viewed as a deficit, it should be viewed as an absolute improvement in overall capacity. When you take time off to raise children, the narrative needs to be that this is as important, if not more, as staying in the workforce over that period. This isn’t a resume gap, this is agility in practice.

Rob Southon, CTO

How do you view the state of women in technology in 2021?

It’s an incredible time to enter the technology field as more and more people and businesses look to technology to solve or ease challenges faced in a post-pandemic world. The strongest teams, and the teams most likely to solve some of those challenges, are the most diverse teams. Unfortunately, there’s still a strong underrepresentation of women in the technology field. VEERUM wants to help change that fact. We are actively growing our technology team and strongly encouraging women to apply to our open positions. There’s never been a better time to join a tech company! Join VEERUM!

Who is a woman in tech that inspires you?

Like many young male tech entrepreneurs, I was originally inspired by the big names in tech in the early 2000’s, who were predominantly all males. When Arlene Dickinson burst onto the tech scene she completely (and publicly; as a “Dragon”) broke down a number of the stereotypes perpetuated by male focused media in technology. I was immediately a huge fan.

Arlene has obviously become extremely successful, but has done so while increasing awareness on women's inequalities and building great companies. She has impressed on me how socially conscious business models are often the best investments. Arlene also leads District Ventures Capital which is a venture fund that focuses on a number of great causes and businesses such as wellness, health and organic focused companies. I continue to be inspired by Arlene every day.

Trevor MacMaster, CCO

Who is a woman that has made an impact on your career?

My first supervisor out of university. Back when I began my career, there was hardly any representation for women at the C-level of large organizations. I happened to be hired by a large organization and I reported directly to her. She was an amazing mentor, coach and really helped shape my career.

What advantages does increased diversity bring to the technology industry?

I’ve always been a proponent of diversity in the workforce as I have seen the benefits firsthand. Diversity brings different perspectives, breeds innovation, and only serves to make a company like VEERUM much stronger. We have global clients and thus it is a great advantage for us to ensure we mirror the makeup of our clients for increased communication and trust. Diversity of gender, age, cultural backgrounds, and ethnicities are key pillars for a technology company success.

How can the industry support the next generation of women entering the tech field?

Having more women in the workplace makes an organization a better place to work, for people of all genders and diversities. This diversity ultimately benefits a company’s performance. Period. As a father of three teenage daughters, I strongly feel that we should present women with opportunities at a young age and encourage them to enter the industry.

When I really think about what I want to accomplish in the next year, I am committed to looking for and valuing diverse talent, and ensuring that I am aware of my own unconscious gender bias. Inclusivity is the key to our DNA and success at VEERUM. We are a much stronger company with diversity.

Chris Bacon, Director of Finance

If you could have coffee with any woman in history who would you choose and why?

Michelle Obama. She is such a great speaker with many amazing initiatives like promoting physical fitness for young kids, or advocating for education for young women and girls. At the beginning of the pandemic, she began to do read-along stories for young children, which my son loved. I think she is a great role model.

What do you think business leaders need to focus on over the next five years to keep improving and pushing for equality?

I believe even today, awareness is very important. As I continue to educate myself, I am amazed by barriers to women in the workforce. There is a need to bring awareness to the issue and take action. One thing I like about working at VEERUM is that gender inequality continues to be a big discussion point for us. We are focused on continual improvement. The next step is making sure we are doing everything we can to attract diverse talent. This means valuing the diverse team we do have, giving everyone the opportunity to use their voice, and ensuring everyone feels comfortable expressing their views. We want to make sure our potential hiring pools are aware of our values. We want women to know that there are many opportunities at VEERUM to grow.

Read part one and part two of our International Women's Day series to learn more about the women who have shaped and led VEERUM.


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