Particularly in the EU, discussions on gender equality in the workplace and the fairness of pay disparities between men and women doing the same work with and the same responsibilities have increased across the region.
For 2020, the Lisbon Strategies aim to reduce gender differences in employment by improving working conditions for women who are mothers and must take care of their children.
According to these strategies, this should be done without harming their professional careers, giving them adequate facilities to balance both their maternal and business roles.
Unfortunately, other reports are less optimistic and predict that gender parity won’t be attained for another 99.5 years (Global Gender Gap Report 2020).
Another hot topic is the negative impact that gender gaps have on economic performance.
According to a study, gender inequality reduces the average amount of human capital that a company can draw on and therefore impairs economic performance.
Whereas promoting female education is known to reduce fertility levels, reduce child mortality levels and promote the education of the next generation.
Each factor, in turn, has a positive impact on economic growth. (Gender Inequality and Growth in Europe, S. Klasen and A. Minasyan, 2017)
The male-female ratio at EMPAUA has improved rapidly since we were founded in 2014 and we’re aiming to maintain a balance that’s above the average in the cities where we have established offices.
To us, equality is one of our major objectives when hiring new talents, so we can demonstrate we’re a fair company striving for fair conditions in the workplace.
Today, we have 56 active team members across Europe. Of these, 35 are men and 21 women, which means 37% of our colleagues are women, currently working in diverse areas of the business from Operations, Sales and Marketing to IT, People (Human Resources) and Finance.
In our London office, female representation is even higher: 40% of our team members are women.
This might not be close to the ideal 50% yet, but is a promising number for a tech company, where men used to dominate the field.
Did you know that salary is not often really dependent on the actual performance, but on negotiation skills; or – even worse – on gender? Sadly, and as already described above, this is still a reality in many organisations’ cultures, however, not in ours.
At EMPAUA, all salaries are transparent, so everyone knows exactly what their colleagues earn. What’s more, we also think that every person is best positioned to make a qualified decision on their own salary, which is why we set them ourselves.
This forces all of us to reflect on the actual value we bring to the company. That way, inequalities and unfair differences between men and women are just not an issue!
We’ve asked our colleagues to tell us what they most admire about women and why to promote gender equality for this year’s International Women’s Day.
Florian Evers, Managing Director DE & Country Manager Sales DACH, said: "the International Women's Day should be a day to just celebrate and thank all women. Sadly enough, we as a company feel that this day has to be used to think and talk about gender equality in 2020. In the history of modern civilization, it took us thousands of years to at least reduce the oppression and dictation of women and their lives. It took us another hundred years to finally give women the same rights, and it took us decades to learn and understand that women are just as capable of achieving everything they want to. So, my question is: How long does it take us to create a society and a business world where expressions such as gender equality or "strong women" are simply outdated and irrelevant:
"This is just a few examples that I want to name in order to encourage companies and individuals to finally put this topic on the agenda."
"Equality matters and if I think about my working environment, I can only say that I'm happy to work for EMPAUA. Personality, ambition, passion, skills and empathy."
"That's what I think of when I talk about women at EMPAUA and that's what actually matters.", said Evers.
Christoph Wiederle, Salesforce Consultant: "In my opinion, and it might be a little cliché, but the one thing I admire most about women is a good sense of humour. There is nothing more attractive than a woman making men laugh. A woman with a smile it seems like beauty is radiating naturally from them."
Andrew Lukasiewicz, Solution Architect: "I've known so many strong women in my life and I feel like I cannot even begin to understand all the things that women have to go through on a daily basis and throughout their lives. That makes them so incredibly inspirational, strong and powerful people. What I do really admire about them is that they can take from any negative situation the positive side and work through it."
Nicklas Teicke, Founder & Adviser (current Founder & COO at doctorly): "What I have learned in my experience with startups is that diversity within the team is a key factor. It's one of the key drivers of success. And working in technology, unluckily we are lacking that diversity. This is something that within our ecosystem we have fought against. We are actively trying to get rid of these bias and we are truly trying to create diverse teams to work based on all of the different ideas coming from each team member. Women are an incredibly important part of that. I believe most companies have come to realise this and we try to keep the same track. I also believe that every human being should be looked upon as an individual. People are very unique and they come with very unique treats, and women have amazing gifts in a very wide variety, therefore I believe we need more of them just to have different ways of thinking. I believe that's very important."
Stefan Dittrich, Sales & Account Manager: "I love how harmonic they are and how easy they make to live with them at work. Men are always trying to be like the strong "macho" and are always competing with each other, but women always know how to be calm and, in the end, it's easier to deal with the hard stuff at work just because of their personality".
Jorge Valdés, Salesforce Consultant: "International Women's Day is one of the best occasions to stop and be grateful. It is one of the best times to celebrate the courage and determination of women around us. Thank you for being those fighters, able to paint on many of us a smile on our face. Thank you for being those brave women who face life's obstacles with their heads held high because you don't stop until you achieve what you want even though you are facing adversity. Thank you for showing us that if you stop, the world stops, and thank you for making the world go round every other day of the year. To all the women of EMPAUA and to all the women of the world, I want to say ´thank you´. Congratulations to all!"
Tiberius Raducan, Senior Salesforce Consultant: "What I really love in a woman if their courage and persistence to getting over obstacles and challenges that come their way. I also respect that they are less whiny than men!"
Steffi Kromer, founder and Managing Director in Zurich: “Founding a company as the only woman with five men sounds like a tough time, right? Wrong!
To me, our genders didn’t matter as much as purpose, cultural fit, respect, drive, and fun at work, and with my fellow EMPAUA board members, I share those qualities.
For companies I might be founding in the future, I will balance this out more right from the start if I get the chance to do so - but the purpose will also then always come first.In day to day business, over the last five years, I actually quite often experienced situations with people I’ve just met, that showed me that what is normal to me (women founding a business, woman as CEO) actually still is not.
I can’t count the times when people reacted with surprised eyes and over-the-top compliments when they found out that I was the founder and CEO of the company. I think it has already improved immensely in the last few years, but there is still a way to go.
Within EMPAUA, we have managed to build up an amazing team of women and men that work towards our purpose together, and where mutual respect is really lived.
We truly value each other, and I think that is something that needs to be done more, everywhere.”
Sarah Dallimore, Delivery Director UK and EMPAUA’s Board Member: "I’ve been extremely fortunate that throughout my career I have worked with amazing Managers, both male and female who have always pushed me - the only limitation to this was my own capability and motivation.
There was no ceiling to what I could achieve, and my gender was certainly never an issue. I find it completely unacceptable that this is not the norm for every woman.
Whilst women are still underrepresented in the technology industry, it is definitely improving, and I believe each individual can contribute to making a positive impact by continuing to raise awareness of how important it is to create an inclusive workplace.
At EMPAUA, we place such an emphasis on acceptance and supporting each other every single day, which I am very proud of.
I can imagine it can be quite isolating for women in leadership positions, especially in organisations where the male to female ratio is unbalanced, and I have so much admiration for those men who are also in leadership positions that recognise this and make a conscious effort to remove these barriers in their organisations."