June 23, 2023

Breaking Barriers as Women in Tech: Empowering Women Leaders

EMPAUA Salesforce Partner
*A note on gender terminology: Throughout the blog post, we've used the terms "woman," "women," and "female" interchangeably to refer to those who experience obstacles occasionally because of their gender. These terms are meant to include individuals who identify as women, non-binary, or gender non-conforming. We want to use inclusive language at our best intention, and we highly value your thoughts and suggestions since our understanding of equity is always expanding. Please don't hesitate to reach out in case of feedback, we're more than happy to learn from you :)

It is without a doubt that technology is one of the global industries that is growing the fastest. However, when it comes to working in tech, the industry still presents significant barriers for women, hindering their full potential. These barriers encompass gender bias, stereotypes, and discrimination, including unequal pay and limited leadership opportunities. 

To promote gender equality and ensure a diverse and inclusive workforce, EMPAUA and The Delta, one of our key partners to help startups thrive, have recently organised an internal event called “The Journey & Learnings of Our Female Leaders”. The event aimed to provide a platform for female leaders from both companies to share their stories, inspiring change and exploring strategies to address these challenges.

This blog post will highlight key insights from the event and how EMPAUA's initiatives contribute to tackling these barriers.

Key Insights

During the event, we had Steffi Kromer, founder & CEO of EMPAUA, Jessica Leung, Delivery Director of EMPAUA and Alexandra Matthews, CPOO and Co-founder of The Delta shared their personal experiences & journey and offered valuable insights about overcoming the challenges they encountered as women in tech. 

Steffi Kromer and her founding story of EMPAUA

When asked about founding EMPAUA, Steffi responded:

There were numerous challenges in the early stages. We faced long nights and juggling two jobs simultaneously. Building a company meant hearing "no" so often that it became quite tough initially. We didn't have any customers or internal systems in place. Everything had to be set up from scratch, which was both daunting and exciting. However, we found joy in knowing that we were on the right track. The hard work we invested began to pay off, and we became known as Salesforce's trusted startup partner. It was a testament to the results we achieved by staying dedicated and pushing through the obstacles.

Besides the industry’s barriers, they also share that the most pervasive struggle that came from internalising some of our patriarchal society’s tropes was imposter syndrome. Imbued with a deep sense of self-doubt, despite external evidence of one’s own competence, and the fear of being exposed as a fraud, imposter syndrome can be an overwhelming obstacle for many women in tech. Drawing from their own encounters with this syndrome, our speakers provided their unique ways of navigating through it.

If I had let imposter syndrome hold me back from believing that I could achieve what I am doing today, such as becoming a founder, I probably would have shied away from taking on a leadership position as well. It's all in our heads, and that's why it doesn't surprise me that there's a strong correlation between how we feel and process this syndrome, which ultimately affects our confidence in starting our own businesses. Imposter syndrome is not an uncommon experience, and I've learned to be very self-aware whenever it arises.", says Alexandra.

Taking a deeper dive into the downfalls of imposter syndrome and ways of managing it, Alexandra Matthews elaborated: “70% of women experience imposter syndrome at some point in their lives. Whereas men, on the other hand, are 18% less likely to experience it. This is also one of the key factors that lead to lower rates of leadership in women as we have this perceived missing skills and experience, which most of the time is not the case."

Become observant and see it as this: a person who walks up to you and says 'you're really not good enough', then you say 'thank you, you may leave now', and you continue.
Alexandra Matthews gave advice about dealing with imposter syndrome

Jessica Leung, on the other hand, used a different approach:

When I took on my current role, the imposter syndrome feelings were very real. So, I decided early on that I would find someone to speak to, ideally female, who had a similar background to myself. There are people out there who are happy to help and all you have to do is ask. It's kind of like those quotes here:  you can't win the lottery if you don't buy a ticket.

The insights shared by these remarkable women during the event were both empowering and inspiring. Their personal stories of resilience to overcome personal & industry challenges offered a reminder that we are not alone in facing these difficulties.

How are we doing at EMPAUA

EMPAUA has long been committed to tackling barriers against women in tech and promoting gender equality within our company. And achieving pay equity is the most important goal and next step for us. There are many proactive measures we have taken to ensure wage equality. Let's have a closer look at some of these initiatives: 

  • Transparent salary:

At EMPAUA, transparency is core to our operations, and forms the cornerstone of our compensation practices. According to data from Figures, companies that have completely closed the adjusted pay gap between men and women are those who offer full transparency on individual salaries. Knowing this, EMPAUA has implemented a transparent salary policy, where employees have clear visibility of the salary structure company-wide. By maintaining clarity about each employee's earnings in relation to their roles, responsibilities, and experience, we can not only foster trust and openness but also mitigate any potential gender-based pay discrepancies.

  • Self-Setting salaries: 

A “traditional“ salary negotiation doesn’t encourage either party to be particularly open and honest – one party is trying to push for the highest possible salary, while the other party is trying to keep it as low as the other person is willing to go. Therefore, at EMPAUA, we decide to let people self-set their salaries. Through this initiative, our PAUArangers have the opportunity to assess their own value, skills, and contributions and propose a salary that they believe aligns with their professional progress. This ensures that compensation is fair, equitable, and reflective of each person's unique expertise and achievements. If you’re curious on how this process works at EMPAUA, read this article here.

  • Open culture of feedback: 

Another huge factor contributing to our wage equity at EMPAUA is our dedication to foster an open culture of feedback within the salary process. When someone submits a salary raise request, they will be involved in different feedback rounds from their line managers, salary advisors and their peers - a full 360 feedback experience. This allows for transparent discussions about market value, performance, goals, and career development, ensuring that everyone has an equal opportunity to grow and succeed. We also encourage constructive conversations between the salary requestor and feedback panel members using the Nonviolent Communication method. To understand more about how we give feedback at EMPAUA, please check it out here.

Final words

For every initiative we take, whether it’s big or small, we are one step closer to fulfil our mission: “creating a world where every individual is empowered to constantly grow by disrupting the way organisations operate, while creating the leaders of tomorrow.”

We are proud of our culture and remain dedicated to creating an inclusive and equitable workplace where everyone feels valued, empowered, and fairly compensated.


Working Student, People & Culture
Salesforce Partner EMPAUA


We create solutions that drive your business success.
Salesforce Partner EMPAUA

Do you need Salesforce support?

Request a Consultation and let our experts advise you.

Want to join the team?

Take a look at our job openings and be part of our mission.

Explore more articles