Making the leap from a business plan to a fully operating company with customers and employees is an exhilarating journey. There is nothing more exciting and empowering than building a business. Particularly as a woman because you have this added sense of breaking the mould or going against the statistics. With excitement, come some terrifying lows, confidence crises and loneliness. I want to make it one of my personal missions for the negatives not to scare people away.
Tomorrow (Tuesday 8th March) is International Women’s Day. While more employers do now offer health and wellbeing support that is specific to women, this is often limited to a particular life stage, such as maternity. Towergate Health and Protection is encouraging businesses to provide for women across the entire lifecycle, from early adulthood to menopause, and beyond.
When it comes to the battle on gender equality, we can certainly see some improvement, however, there is still a lot to be done. Whilst we may be encouraging the younger generation into more STEM and subjects they weren’t considering before, we need to make sure this is reflected all the way up – and into leadership positions.
International Women’s Day is designed to pay homage to the progress that has been made in the battle for gender equality, but it also highlights the existing challenges that many women still face today. This year, as well as highlighting the everyday prejudices that women face, focus is also being placed on the growing need for sustainable practices within business. Gender equality is essential, and so too is the need to protect our future environment. And from an enterprise perspective, work needs to be done to improve in both areas.
Admitting we have biases is not easy. It makes you question how much control we have over our minds and behaviours. This year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) theme encourages us to ‘Break the Bias’ to achieve gender equality, but it is difficult to know which biases are the most important ones to ‘break’ first.
In our last Women in Tech issue back in September, the founder focus feature saw us head to the land of the midnight sun, Norway, to speak to Anne Lise Waal, CTO and COO of Attensi, provider of gamified training solutions, about the diverse team she has built, and how women in CTO positions can influence the ethos of a tech business.
As the world celebrated International Women’s Day on the 8th of March, Sophia the robot spoke on behalf of women at an online panel organised by SingularityNET. The event was livestreamed on the company’s YouTube channel and featured an insightful conversation on how to #BreakTheBias in AI and technology.