Happy International Women’s Day!

International Women’s Day is when we take time to think about women’s struggles and achievements around the world. To mark the occasion this year, we did a Q&A with some of our team members to find out more about their opinions and experiences. We’ve really enjoyed hearing their different perspectives on gender and women’s issues, and we hope you do too!

Adriana, Operations Manager

Q: What does gender equality mean to you?

A: Having the same opportunities as other people, and being invited to participate – it’s surprising that this is still a problem in the 21st century. I know that I’m just as good as a man, and my actions and opinions are viewed as valuable by other people. But it’s sometimes frustrating when you say something, and then a guy says the same thing and it gets taken more seriously.

Q: Which woman has inspired you the most, and why?

A: Actually, my dad has been a big inspiration – he treated me exactly like he would have done if I were a boy. In general, though, I look up to women who are fearless and take risks. I feel like men are taught to do that, and we aren’t – for example, I only apply for a job if I know I already have all the right skills, whereas by boyfriend thinks he can learn things on the fly once he’s got the job. So I’m trying to learn from women who are risk takers.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in the last year or so?

A: Firstly, writing my bachelor’s thesis. But also learning to identify, stand up to, and talk about different kinds of sexual abuse and aggression. It’s still so taboo, because it’s an uncomfortable topic and everyone understands it differently. I had a manager in my last job who kept saying things that made me feel uncomfortable, so I had to educate myself.

Vyoma, Space Management Team Lead

Q: What does gender equality mean to you?

A: For me, it’s all about men and women having equal opportunities to progress in their chosen careers.

Q: Which woman has inspired you the most, and why?
A: My mum – because she was a single mum, and she beat the odds by managing to move country with a child in tow. She accepted low-level jobs to get by, but she pushed through so that I could have a better life.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in the last year or so?

A: In the last three years I’ve been moving around a lot, and I’ve lived in several different countries. As much as I appreciate all the great experiences I’ve had, it’s been pretty exhausting. But in the end, I feel like I need to be challenged so I can grow.

Q: What advice would you give to companies trying to make life better for their female employees?

A: Try to employ equal amounts of men and women. It’s difficult to feel comfortable and confident in a male-dominated environment. Having female role models within the company, and being able to see women in management positions, also makes a big difference. Seeing strong women makes me more confident.

Eodisia, Account Manager

Q: What does gender equality mean to you?

A: It’s a matter of women realising that they’re equal to men, and can do all the same things. It’s not just about putting pressure on men to behave better – we need to be more confident too, and stop judging each other so much. I try to encourage my friends to believe in themselves more and not worry about appearing feminine enough.

Q: Which woman has inspired you the most, and why?

A: For me, I’m inspired by women who are able to just be themselves. It’s so hard to accept yourself and to not worry about pressure society puts on women to act in a certain way. Not caring about what other people think is very powerful.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in the last year or so?

A: I’ve been trying hard not to care about how other people look or behave, and to accept difference. I’ve also been learning to accept myself for who I am, and fight for what I care about. Escaping from destructive and judgemental mindsets is really tough.

Q: What advice would you give to companies trying to make life better for their female employees?

A: I want employers to stop acting like we’re different – just treat us like human beings, respect us, and don’t put us on a pedestal.

Yihui, Graphic Designer

Q: What does gender equality mean to you?

A: I think that men and women are different, but equal. We need to accept these differences and not try to compare too much.

Q: Which woman has inspired you the most, and why?

A: Pina Bausch, because I admire women who find the power to do what they want. Bausch knew what she wanted, and she went for it.

Q: What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in the last year or so?

Switching from being a student to an employee – it’s so hard to find a job you love!

Q: What advice would you give to companies trying to make life better for their female employees?

Let us take one or two days off per month when we’ve got our periods! And more snacks would be nice too…