Leading Gender Equality in the Workplace – By Laura Casselman

by Jenae Reid on April 20, 2018

Industry leaders have the responsibility of fostering equal and inclusive workplace settings that are constructive and empowering for both men and women. However, female empowerment in the workplace is extremely important in today’s society more than ever.

At JVZoo, we strive to do all of the above in all aspects of our business. Not only is our male to female employee ratio 50/50, but a third of our development team is comprised of women. Creating benefits packages that appeal to women is also key in getting females to accept job offers. We not only offer paid maternity and paternity leave, we also allow all employees the benefit of both working from home and having flexible start/finish times.

As you can imagine, this is appealing to working mothers, as it never forces them to choose between a sick child, a soccer tournament, or dance recital and work, but rather allows them the freedom to balance the responsibilities of both.

No matter the size of your company, creating appealing benefits packages, taking harassment seriously with zero-tolerance policies, and allowing equal opportunities for growth within the company are things that not only can, but should be done.

As a female CEO, bridging the gaps in gender equality at the workplace isn’t always easy to do, considering that our industry is predominantly male. However, when you hire based on the ability to do one’s job, instead of demographics, the task is not insurmountable.

The idea that women do not possess the correct skill-set needed to compete in the tech industry is outdated and, simply put, incorrect. More and more women are entering the workforce fully capable of performing at peak capacity in jobs that men used to have the dominant role.

It is not that the industry needs to change in order to meet the needs of women, but rather the mindset of those in the industry need to evolve to encompass the vast range of marketable skills women bring to the table.

Regardless of whether or not I wish to be an active part in the fight for equality, I am in this battle. Knowing how my decisions and actions affect the women that work with me, but also the daughters and granddaughters that are to follow in our footsteps.

That’s why I believe it’s so important that startup leaders do their part to make their companies more inclusive. It’s not always easy, even as a woman CEO. We’re battling centuries of social constructs that tell us to be quiet and sit down.

 

 

Laura Casselman is the CEO of JVZoo and recipient of a 2017 Silver Stevie Award

This article appeared in issue 42 of FeedFront Magazine, which was published in April 2018. https://issuu.com/affiliatesummit/docs/feedfront-42

 

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