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International Women's Day 2019

International Women's Day Blog Banner - Lioness

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.

Women of Klipfolio: Kaushi Bandara

Kaushi Bandara, Product Manager

Lover of travel, food, photography, Scottish whisky, cycling and destroying bigotry. Mama to two beautiful cat babies.

Attended

University of Toronto & University of Victoria, Astronomy & Astrophysics

Accomplishment

Designing and building a Hobbit hole shaped shed in my backyard!

Favourite Metric

Customer Retention Rate


Women of Klipfolio: Katya Zeisig

Katya Zeisig, Digital Marketing Specialist

Adamant lover of traveling, skiing, crime-show watching, and napping.

Attended

Dalhousie University, Business Management

Accomplishment

Being an activist and vocal intersectional feminist ♀️Learning how to code!

Favourite Metric

Google Analytics Landing Page Views and Conversions


Women of Klipfolio: Jieyi Rong

Jieyi Rong, Customer Success Guru

I love trying new things, run different experiments, at work and at home.

Attended

Carleton University, Electrical Engineering

Accomplishment

Learning Spanish.

Favourite Metric

Demo Conversion Rate


Women of Klipfolio: Meggan

Meggan, Senior Manager of Support Services

Loves euchre, archery and cocktails at the cottage.

Accomplishment

Camping all over Northern Canada and US in a little yellow tent and taking a quick dip in the Arctic Ocean.

Favourite Metric

Zendesk Ticket Analytics


Women of Klipfolio: Caileigh Simpson

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.

Attended

Queen’s University, Physical & Health Education

Accomplishment

Conquering a major backcountry ski run in the BC mountains recently.

Favourite Metric

Daily Trial Starts


Women of Klipfolio: Trish Mermuys

Trish Mermuys, Customer Loyalty Manager

Interested in all things customer success, retention, loyalty. Love playing sports and reading sci-fi in my down time.

Attended

Carleton University, Electrical Engineering

Accomplishment

Recently - teaching myself how to make sourdough bread.

Favourite Metric

# of Onboarding Calls


Women of Klipfolio: Jaslyn English

Jaslyn English, User Experience Researcher

Avid fan of travelling, data, politics, and thought experiments.

Attended

McMaster University, Neuro & Cognitive Science

Wilfred Laurier University, Social Psychology

Accomplishment

Having and continuing to grow an expansive community of friends and family around the globe.

Favourite Metric

Metric Creation Funnel


Women of Klipfolio: Le Liu

Le Liu, Web Developer (Co-Op)

A cat lover and always appreciate the beauty of art and coding.

Attended

Algonquin College, Mobile Application Development & Design

Accomplishment

Understanding how AMP works and integrate to Klipfolio.com

Favourite Metric

Google Analytics Website Performance


Women of Klipfolio: Addie Stewart

Addie Stewart, Software Developer

When I’m not coding, I can often be found canoeing, hiking a trail, or painting.

Attended

Queen's University, Computer Science (Hons)

Accomplishment

Working for a company with a way above average percentage of female software devs!

Favourite Metric

Net Promoter Score


Women of Klipfolio: Samantha Wilkie

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!)

Attended

Carleton University, General Arts & Psychology

Accomplishment

Recently purchasing my first car!

Favourite Metric

Time Spent in Meetings


Women of Klipfolio: Kalyani Khandelwal

Kalyani Khandelwal, Customer Support Team Lead - India

Meditator and Volunteer!

Attended

Bachelor of Computer Engineering

Accomplishment

Becoming healthy by losing more than 10 Kgs of weight!

Favourite Metric

First Response Time


Women of Klipfolio: Holly Ebbs

Holly Ebbs, Technical Documentation Manager

I love camping, hiking, biking, and running - anything outdoors! I also love creating - baking, gardening, sewing, knitting, and drawing.

Attended

Carleton University, English Literature

Algonquin College, Technical Writing

Accomplishment

My two strong, intelligent, loving daughters.

Favourite Metric

There are so many it’s impossible to choose!


Women of Klipfolio: Krista Matthews

Krista Matthews, General Counsel

My favourite place in the world is being on the dock at our cottage.

Attended

University of Ottawa, English Literature & Law

Accomplishment

My three amazing sons

Favourite Metric

Monthly Recurring Revenue


Women of Klipfolio: Natalia Castillo

Natalia Castillo, Software Development Manager

I love cats, video games, recycling and napping.

Attended

Autonomous University of Nuevo Leon, Systems Engineering

University of Ottawa, Electronic Business Technologies

Accomplishment

Hosting a woman in tech panel at uOttawa and being able to type without looking at the keyboard.

Favourite Metric

At work: Anything in Mixpanel; At home: Average Spending per Month


Women of Klipfolio: Shima Beigzadeh

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.

Attended

University Technology Malaysia, IT Management

University of Ottawa, Systems Science, Msc.

Azad University, Mathematics, Msc.

Accomplishment

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 :)

Favourite Metric

Ninja Hours and Hubspot


Women of Klipfolio: Seema Nikam

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!

Attended

Bachelor of Engineering and PG-DAC

Accomplishment

A proud daughter of my lovely parents :)


[Oct 2019 Edit: No longer with Klipfolio]

Pamela Buffone, Director of Product Marketing

Defender of the reality based community and evidence based decision making.

Attended

University of Ottawa, Finance & Marketing

Western University, Richard Ivey School of Business

Accomplishment

Designing a passive solar house in the country and being the designer and general contractor of an infill home.

Favourite Metric

Monthly Recurring Revenue


[Oct 2019 Edit: No longer with Klipfolio]

Danielle Hodgson, Senior Product Manager

I am an outdoor fitness fanatic. You can find me enjoying the great outdoors in all extreme weathers!

Attended

Concordia University, Economics (Hons)

Accomplishment

I am proud of the strong and positive community that I have built around me.

Favourite Metric

Net Promoter Score


[Oct 2019 Edit: No longer with Klipfolio]

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.

Attended

University of Ottawa, Commerce, Marketing

Accomplishment

Recently, winning 1st place in the Michel Cloutier Marketing Competition with a creative strategy & campaign for Wesley Clover Parks.

Favourite Metric

Trial to Win Rate


[Oct 2019 Edit: No longer with Klipfolio]

Prerna Luthra, Channel Success Guru

Part-time drummer, interested in anything music related. Love all different kinds of music.

Attended

Symbiosis International University, Business Administration in IT

Accomplishment

Supporting the LGBT community. Love is love. Also bought my first home in less than a few years of being in this beautiful country.

Favourite Metric

Number of Partners Over Time


[Oct 2019 Edit: No longer with Klipfolio]

Keely Davison, Director of Support Services

Love to backpack around anywhere in the world, garden and spend time with family and friends.

Attended

University of Manitoba, Computer Science

Accomplishment

Finally being able to keep up with my 94 year old father-in-law when we are skiing double black diamond runs.

Favourite Metric

Number of Tickets and Chats


[Oct 2019 Edit: No longer with Klipfolio]

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.

Attended

Wilfrid Laurier University, English & Film Studies

University of New Brunswick, Education

Algonquin College - Technical Writing

Accomplishment

Getting a shout-out during the grade 12 graduation speeches when I taught at an international high school in Trinidad and Tobago.

Favourite Metric

To-Do Tasks


And more!

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.

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Originally published March 8, 2019, updated Oct, 08 2019

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