Can you please introduce yourself and tell us what your role is here at Mimi?
My name is Laura, I am 26 from Scotland and moved to Berlin in November 2020. I work as a Talent Acquisition and People Partner at Mimi.
What influenced you to pursue a career in technology?
I was first introduced to Mimi working as a freelance recruiter and quickly fell in love with the mission and team. While I was living in Glasgow I was running events to raise money for charities supporting those with sensory impairments and volunteering for DeafBlind Scotland, so hearing loss was always on my radar. I wanted to be further involved, so asked for any job openings and now… here I am!
What is more, technology was still a relatively new sector for me and I wanted to learn more. Technology surrounds us and is constantly evolving; improving the way we communicate, learn, work and live. How could I not want to be a part of that? Furthermore, being able to combine this with a topic I am passionate about (sensory impairments) was a dream for me.
What advice would you give to a woman considering technology as her career?
Go for it. Thinking back to my school days and the subjects I took and enjoyed, I would have never thought I would end up in the technology sector but I am glad to be here. It can be much more diverse than you think and suit all skill sets and personality types.
Speak to other women in the sector. Everyone is very open, honest and ready to support other women, particularly those who want to get into the technology space, so please feel empowered to reach out to us.
What advice would you give to companies nowadays to help break the bias and support a sustainable tomorrow for gender equality?
Every person has unique qualities and skills and it is important to be aware of this and make the most of it, regardless of anyone’s gender. There is no excuse for a company to be biased in recruitment or to prevent promoting women.
It is important for companies not to overlook reality and the inequality that still exists. Incorporate flexible working environments and part-time hours into your work culture to support women, especially those with a family. This will help women reach their best potential, have a career and grow. Most importantly, you must first gather quantitative and qualitative feedback to understand your company’s demography. This will define clear baselines and determine where you need to improve and create applicable initiatives for a more inclusive and supportive culture for all genders.
There are a number of things that we already do at Mimi to support an inclusive culture and promote a feeling of belonging to support all genders:
We have a Diversity and Inclusivity committee dedicated to working on these topics. We promote pronoun inclusion in our internal communication channels and run inclusive facilitation and communication training for all of our employees. What is more, the men at Mimi are actively invited to the discussion and they want to get involved.
We all know that the amount of men in tech may be higher in numbers, but it is important to remember that they can be allies to the cause of gender equality. Inviting them to the conversation helps them recognize the role they can play, and the responsibility they can take for initiating change.
We enable a flexible working environment and offer many of our roles part-time (60-100%). We also have a hybrid working environment at Mimi which gives our employees the freedom to come into the office or work remotely or from home and offer parental leave and support where they need it.
Furthermore, we have our very own Slack channel which includes all of the women at Mimi.
From a recruitment perspective, there are also a number of things you can do to attract women and better support them to start a career in Technology. For example, you can use targeted advertising to reach underrepresented groups and join communities and slack channels such as Women Who Code or Women Techmakers Berlin and advertise your roles and benefits here. You can also use direct sourcing techniques such as the Linkedin Recruiter tool to increase the talent pool with candidates who come from underrepresented groups to give them a higher chance of making it through the recruitment process. You can empower the women you already have and make them ambassadors, giving them a platform to promote working at your company on platforms, at webinars or at events.
Tools can also be very helpful when it comes to eliminating bias in your recruitment. For example, gender-decoder can help you to eliminate recruitment unconscious bias in your job advertisements. Slack even has a #BiasCorrect Plug-In that helps users fight their unconscious gender bias in real-time. If bias is detected, the plug-in will privately suggest a bias-free alternative message to the user.
Finally, give people the opportunity to feel empowered to apply to your company in the first place and give them a place to shine. Opening up your talent pool to overseas or junior candidates. What is more, I write a “Disclaimer” at the bottom of our job advertisements to encourage people who may doubt their qualifications or experience on paper, to apply for the role regardless have found that many people have a tendency not to apply to jobs unless they meet 100% of the requirements, however, we look at candidates, not resumes and want people who are hungry to learn and grow their talents. Therefore, we encourage those that think that the job is great for them to send in their application!