By Leonida Kombo,
On 8th March, our team at mSurvey joined the rest of the world in celebrating International Women's Day, an annual celebration of women’s achievements observed by millions around the world.
Unfortunately, gender stereotypes still remain pervasive, preventing women from achieving their full potentials and contributing positively in the workplace. According to World Economic Forum's 2017 Global Gender Gap Report, we will still take over 200 years to achieve gender parity. There is a need for all of us to collectively push for gender inclusive society hence the theme for 2018, Push For Progress.
We had a conversation with Njoki Karungu-Karuga, mSurvey’s Director, Talent and Organisation on the role women play in driving success in the workplace, here’s what she had to share:
Why did we celebrate women's day?
Why not? Women are behind many incredible outcomes but we simply don't speak out enough about our achievements or our contributions. Right from our great great grandmothers to our current generation, women have made huge sacrifices and worked incredibly hard to get to where they are. in addition, girls just love to have fun!
Specifically in the tech industry we still have a long way to go in terms of gender parity with most engineers in the field being predominantly male. We are actually an exception to the rule at mSurvey with a female workforce shy of 50% of our total number of employees. This is because our CEO Kenfield totally believes it makes business sense to hire women! Mostly because of our superpowers in multitasking.
Why is gender parity important in the workplace?
Diversity is very important. Not because women deserve to be glorified..or men for that matter but because a mix of different ideas and thinking styles is what builds outstanding companies through deriving unique solutions to problems and getting to see challenges and opportunities from different angles.
Are women disadvantaged in the workplace?
I wouldn't use the word disadvantaged. What I would say is that because women have multiple roles and societal and personal demands around family life, organisations need to be flexible and provide an equal platform for them to grow their careers, without putting them in a position where they have to choose one over the other. At the end of the day, I don't believe that women are asking for any favours or special treatment. What we are after is provision of an equal platform so we can showcase the value we can deliver.