For decades, there has been a significant lack of female representation in tech and STEM companies. Only 11% of women hold executive positions in Silicon Valley companies, only 5% of leadership roles in the tech space are owned by women, and we represent as little as 16% of the total job applicant pool in tech.
As a SaaS Company, we at Statflo feel the need to raise awareness about these inequalities and spark more conversations among team members surrounding challenges faced by the female workforce. The goal for us is to ultimately create a safe, inclusive, and comfortable workplace for all genders. That’s where our Women of Statflo group, the brainchild of our Strategic Account Manager, Laurie McKenzie, came into the picture.
Talking about her thought process behind this initiative, Laurie shared, “Honestly, it’s something that I would have benefited from early in my career and thought it would be a great thing to start at Statflo, so I did. I'm so happy with the result and love what we are achieving together.”
This group was created to connect and build a community of women at Statflo. The committee has been conducting various activities and inviting speakers to discuss topics of interest relevant towards helping our female employees grow in both their professional and personal lives. On the occasion of International Women’s Day, we felt it would be interesting to share our experiences of implementing this employee resource group and discussing its impact.
Members of the Women of Statflo (WOS) group have presented on a variety of subjects such as, how to handle conflict, having difficult conversations, why women say sorry more, imposter syndrome, confidence gap and much more. In addition to advice on how we can strive towards overcoming certain stereotypes/issues that women experience in the workplace, these presentations have also educated the group and provided resources on how to be more successful at our jobs. It has also helped the members gain the confidence of presenting in front of their colleagues.
To gain more insight on the impact of this group on work culture and professional development, we surveyed members of the WOS group and the Executive team. Of those who took the survey from Statflo’s Executive team, 90% feel the WOS group has created a more inclusive environment. Expressing his thoughts on the impact of WOS, Peter Macnee, CEO of Statflo, stated, “The women of Statflo never cease to amaze me! They embody our Company values of being curious, genuine, accountable, and results-driven. I feel fortunate that as a group, they lead by example, with fluid collaboration and creativity to successfully execute our strategies. On this International Women’s Day, here’s a special toast to our women who are simply the best!”
All the participants from the WOS group stated that these sessions have brought more self-awareness on topics such as the sorry reflex and that they are being more cognizant of this in their day-to-day behavior. “Learning not to apologize when not needed helps me be more confident when working with peers and managers. Learning about the confidence gap helps me overcome my insecurities about not knowing everything and be more confident that my experience is valuable. Hearing from female leaders outside of our company about their experiences has shown me that there are different approaches to leadership and growth, which motivates me to create opportunities for myself at Statflo,” said one of the WOS members who participated in the survey.
90% of participants from the WOS survey also stated that the group has brought a sense of community, confidence, and helped to understand their peers better. Talking about how these sessions have been beneficial one of the WOS members said, “The group is a constant reminder that we are strong, results-driven women. This has given me even more confidence to take on new challenges and put myself out there more and more.”
There is a two-fold benefit to initiatives like these. It not only provides a sense of belonging and creates a “safe space” for a diverse workforce, but also helps with employee retention, employee satisfaction, and attracting top talent. WOS is also building our external brand as the speakers who join us are forming positive opinions of us as an organization.
Statflo has always been a staunch advocate for equality and diversity. WOS is a step in the right direction in making the company more inclusive and helping employees of all genders and backgrounds succeed in their roles. To that end, the Diversity Committee at Statflo has other activities and sessions in the pipeline and WOS is a big part of those initiatives. Talking about where the group is headed Laurie said, “I would love to create a formal mentorship/sponsorship program for the group, connecting us with more strong, like-minded individuals.”