All people who work in the IT world know that women are usually a minor percentage of the workforce in technology companies. In Uruguay, only 20% of the IT jobs are occupied by women and if we talk about the inscriptions in IT careers, that number is affected negatively year by year.
But, what can tech companies like ours do in order to change that reality?
As a collective, local Uruguayan tech companies (including ourselves) have been executing several interesting initiatives like the “Techy for one day”, a program targeted to high-school girls to get to know the industry and the opportunities.
These communication initiatives are great, but our perspective is that tech companies like us need to adapt to lead the adoption of the big changes that are happening on a generational and psychological level. One of our core values is “Adapt to change” and from that follows that in a paradigm shifting landscape, we have to be pioneers in supporting that from our work culture an environment, where each person can feel taken into account, valued as a person and as professionals.
From Octobot we actively work in order to have an organizational culture where gender differences are non-existent neither in charges, salaries nor in responsibilities. We are strong believers that through our work culture, based on our values, we are creating a work environment with gender equality in a natural and spontaneous way, empowering people based on their capabilities and potentials.
We actively work to support a safe environment, where everyone feels comfortable expressing their ideas or opinions building trust to face new challenges, such as hand-to-hand talks with clients in the case of more junior profiles or to take leadership roles in the case of those people with the right skillset.
We trust in each person that is part of our team, giving them the opportunity to deploy their abilities, both technical and non-technical ones. We also try to support our team members in expanding all of their skills, providing spaces where they are able to learn and develop such.
We are all different and each one of us contributes from his role and with his personality something unique to the team. We listen to everyone equally, both at an organization level and at each team, so they can contribute their point of view as well as improvement opportunities.
Currently, we have industry-leading gender equality numbers, with 40% of our staff being women and 80% of them are directly working in the operations area in technology projects. That leads to some outstanding situations such as a high-profile and challenging project being successfully led and executed by a 100% female computer engineers’ team.