International Women's Day 2019
Almost every day of the calendar year can be attributed to a designated celebratory/holiday day - if there’s no “official” holiday to celebrate that day, you can be guaranteed there’s an unofficial one that you can jump in on. (If you’re wondering, it’s Grilled Cheese Day on April 12 and Sugar Cookie Day on July 9).
As a tech company, it’s fun to sometimes acknowledge some of the non-religious holidays, such as Data Privacy Day. But these days are all pretty inconsequential. There’s no real need to celebrate a particular type of food or highlight the importance of emojis (yes, there is an emoji day).
Of course, there are official and widely recognized “holidays” that hold significance. Today is one of those days, one of which Klipfolio is proud to celebrate.
What is International Women’s Day?
International Women’s Day(IWD) is dedicated to celebrating all women around the world - bringing together people in the spirit of unity, advocacy, celebration, reflection, and action. This awareness initiative is a call-to-action to move towards gender parity and to recognize women for their social, economic, cultural and political contributions to society.1
The history of International Women’s Day
During the second International Conference of Working Women, the leader of the ‘Women’s Office’ for Germany’s Social Democratic Party, Clara Zetkin, proposed the idea of International Women’s Day. The premise of the day would be a multi-nationally recognized day during which women could, “press for their demands.”1 The notion of International Women’s Day was widely accepted by many countries, though it was officially celebrated by the United Nations on March 8 of 19752 - solidifying it in calendars.
Why is IWD so important?
Canada as a whole is pushing through barriers and helping women break through the glass ceiling that has been present in their careers for centuries. That being said, there is still a ways to go to get to gender parity. The tech industry, specifically, is lagging behind the times - there is a distinct lack of women in our sector.
In a study conducted by PwC, MaRS Discovery District, and MoveTheDial, it was found that the average Canadian-based tech company executive teams consisted of 13% women while over 50% of companies have 0 women on their executive teams.3
*Heads up to those 50%: it’s been proven that companies with female representation at the top levels outperform companies with none.4
Let’s break down the facts:
- In a report on the top 100 publicly traded Canadian companies, conducted in 2018, of the 540 Named Executive Officers, 51 were women, 489 were men.5
- As of July, 2018, 680 Canadian companies reported the make-up of their board seats; 16.4% of seats were held by women.6
- The S&P/TSX 60 - a group consisting of leading companies featured on the Toronto Stock Exchange - has a goal to increase female representation on all their companies to just 30% by the year 2020.6
So, why does all this matter? On the surface, representation for 50% of the world’s population matters (as it does for all other marginalized groups). But in a business sense, any group outside the majority brings with it a vast bank of knowledge, experience, and insight to the table that previously may have been overlooked and thus can lead to better overall success in the marketplace. So yes, it’s ethically and morally sound to have legitimate representation throughout your company, but it’s also just plain smart.7
What is Klipfolio doing?
“There remains a perception among 52% of women that technology is a male industry.” - Gillian Tans, President & CEO at Booking.com 8
Don’t you think it’s time to change that? Klipfolio certainly does.
We have no delusions that we can completely fix the gender difference in one blog post, nor can we do it through a generation of hard work. But, we do have the ability to help.
Everyone hears about these big tech names: Steve Jobs, Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos (to name a few). For women, and particularly non-white women, this can be hard to identify with, which makes it that much harder to see oneself in that position in the future.
Luckily for us, we have tons of incredibly dedicated, intelligent, ambitious, and talented women on our team that make Klipfolio what it is today.
Meet Klipfolio’s women in tech!
I am honoured to once again be able to write this year’s piece on International Women’s Day. The women I get to work with every day inspire me with their tenacity and innovative ideas and it is such a joy for me to be able to highlight them. These mini-spotlights only touch on a small part of each of their stories. I could easily write a novel on every one of them - but this captures a glimpse of what makes everyone so integral to the success of Klipfolio.
Pamela Buffone, Director of Product Marketing
Defender of the reality based community and evidence based decision making.
University of Ottawa, Finance & Marketing
Western University, Richard Ivey School of Business
Designing a passive solar house in the country and being the designer and general contractor of an infill home.
Monthly Recurring Revenue
Kaushi Bandara, Product Manager
Lover of travel, food, photography, Scottish whisky, cycling and destroying bigotry. Mama to two beautiful cat babies.
University of Toronto & University of Victoria, Astronomy & Astrophysics
Designing and building a Hobbit hole shaped shed in my backyard!
Customer Retention Rate
Katya Zeisig, Digital Marketing Specialist
Adamant lover of traveling, skiing, crime-show watching, and napping.
Dalhousie University, Business Management
Being an activist and vocal intersectional feminist ♀️Learning how to code!
Google Analytics Landing Page Views and Conversions
Jieyi Rong, Customer Success Guru
I love trying new things, run different experiments, at work and at home.
Carleton University, Electrical Engineering
Demo Conversion Rate
Meggan, Senior Manager of Support Services
Loves euchre, archery and cocktails at the cottage.
Camping all over Northern Canada and US in a little yellow tent and taking a quick dip in the Arctic Ocean.
Zendesk Ticket Analytics
Caileigh Simpson, Product Manager
When I was a kid I was an extra on Degrassi a couple of times and I got to meet Drake.
Queen’s University, Physical & Health Education
Conquering a major backcountry ski run in the BC mountains recently.
Daily Trial Starts
Trish Mermuys, Customer Loyalty Manager
Interested in all things customer success, retention, loyalty. Love playing sports and reading sci-fi in my down time.
Carleton University, Electrical Engineering
Recently - teaching myself how to make sourdough bread.
# of Onboarding Calls
Jaslyn English, User Experience Researcher
Avid fan of travelling, data, politics, and thought experiments.
McMaster University, Neuro & Cognitive Science
Wilfred Laurier University, Social Psychology
Having and continuing to grow an expansive community of friends and family around the globe.
Metric Creation Funnel
Le Liu, Web Developer (Co-Op)
A cat lover and always appreciate the beauty of art and coding.
Algonquin College, Mobile Application Development & Design
Understanding how AMP works and integrate to Klipfolio.com
Google Analytics Website Performance
Addie Stewart, Software Developer
When I’m not coding, I can often be found canoeing, hiking a trail, or painting.
Queen's University, Computer Science (Hons)
Working for a company with a way above average percentage of female software devs!
Net Promoter Score
Samantha Wilkie, Receptionist & Admin
If I’m not at work you will most likely find me at the gym working on becoming a strong woman (emotionally and physically!)
Carleton University, General Arts & Psychology
Recently purchasing my first car!
Time Spent in Meetings
Danielle Hodgson, Senior Product Manager
I am an outdoor fitness fanatic. You can find me enjoying the great outdoors in all extreme weathers!
Concordia University, Economics (Hons)
I am proud of the strong and positive community that I have built around me.
Net Promoter Score
Marisha Sesto, Digital Marketing Specialist
Always looking for ways to learn the next digital trend. In my spare time, you can find me reading, watching Friends, creating charcuterie boards, & hunting down new coffee shops or cocktail bars.
University of Ottawa, Commerce, Marketing
Recently, winning 1st place in the Michel Cloutier Marketing Competition with a creative strategy & campaign for Wesley Clover Parks.
Trial to Win Rate
Kalyani Khandelwal, Customer Support Team Lead - India
Meditator and Volunteer!
Bachelor of Computer Engineering
Becoming healthy by losing more than 10 Kgs of weight!
First Response Time
Prerna Luthra, Channel Success Guru
Part-time drummer, interested in anything music related. Love all different kinds of music.
Symbiosis International University, Business Administration in IT
Supporting the LGBT community. Love is love. Also bought my first home in less than a few years of being in this beautiful country.
Number of Partners Over Time
Keely Davison, Director of Support Services
Love to backpack around anywhere in the world, garden and spend time with family and friends.
University of Manitoba, Computer Science
Finally being able to keep up with my 94 year old father-in-law when we are skiing double black diamond runs.
Number of Tickets and Chats
Holly Ebbs, Technical Documentation Manager
I love camping, hiking, biking, and running - anything outdoors! I also love creating - baking, gardening, sewing, knitting, and drawing.
Carleton University, English Literature
Algonquin College, Technical Writing
My two strong, intelligent, loving daughters.
There are so many it’s impossible to choose!
Mallory Richard, Technical Writer
My favourite places include museums, libraries, art galleries, and spaces with an abundance of trees. I enjoy cooking, painting, writing, videos games, and puns.
Wilfrid Laurier University, English & Film Studies
University of New Brunswick, Education
Algonquin College - Technical Writing
Getting a shout-out during the grade 12 graduation speeches when I taught at an international high school in Trinidad and Tobago.
Krista Matthews, General Counsel
My favourite place in the world is being on the dock at our cottage.
University of Ottawa, English Literature & Law
My three amazing sons
Monthly Recurring Revenue
Natalia Castillo, Software Development Manager
I love cats, video games, recycling and napping.
Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon, Systems Engineering
University of Ottawa, Electronic Business Technologies
Hosting a woman in tech panel at uOttawa and being able to type without looking at the keyboard.
At work: Anything in Mixpanel; At home: Average Spending per Month
Shima Beigzadeh, Professional Services Ninja
Love travelling, spend time with my friends, and see my tropical plants survive in CA’s weather and give flowers.
University Technology Malaysia, IT Management
University of Ottawa, Systems Science, Msc.
Azad University, Mathematics, Msc.
Might be late to start, but motivated to continue learning skating before the end of winter. Going to practice every night no matter what kind of air condition :)
Ninja Hours and Hubspot
Seema Nikam, Technical Support Guru
Love singing and reading. I am a good listener and always a student. One word which describes me? A Lionheart!
Bachelor of Engineering and PG-DAC
A proud daughter of my lovely parents :)
We have tons more women on our team, though some were unable to participate as they were simply too passionate to take any time away from working on our product!
If you want to meet the rest of our team, check out our About Us page!
What's left to say?
A lot! But, I'll keep it short.
Inclusion and diversity isn't the easiest of things to nail down perfectly, but it's absoloutely critical to try. Klipfolio's Co-founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Allan Wille, understands this importance and speaks about our efforts in his aptly titled blog, Why diversity and inclusion are so hard to get right.
Before I sign off, I'd like to leave you with my favourite saying that I think relates to the theme of International Women's Day:
We can only move forward if we move forward together.
1 If you want to read more about International Women’s Day, visit their website: internationalwomensday.com
Topics: Thought Leadership
Originally published March 8, 2019, updated Sep, 06 2019