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Happy International Women’s Day

Today is International Women’s Day, a day that calls on us all to step back, recognise and celebrate the achievement of women worldwide, raise awareness of the bias and barriers that impact women globally, and take action for equality in whatever ways we each can.

To the amazing women at Human Made, thank you! You each make Human Made better in so many ways. Women have been and will continue to be a central part of all aspects of Human Made’s success and I’m deeply grateful to everything each of you brings to the company every day. I particularly want to recognise the central role women have had in driving change at the company over the years, whether that’s larger shifts like the introduction and embedding of project management as a core discipline at the company, or the smaller steps like rotating meeting facilitation and note taking so that it doesn’t always fall to the women on the call. We all benefit from this work which is often challenging and invisible.

Human Made also wouldn’t be where it is today if it wasn’t for all the incredible women in the WordPress community, who work to improve the software, the wider project, and the ecosystem and community we’re all a part of. There too we see amazing women driving the change needed to make WordPress more accessible and open.

I strongly believe we are more successful as a company because of the diversity of our team and the inclusivity of our culture, the strengths WordPress has and should continue to expand on them too. Today is a day to remind ourselves that we have much more to do both to hire and promote more women, and to create a company and community that welcomes and empowers them. Listening to women, and reflecting on the bias and barriers we may be contributing to, is never complete, and I encourage everyone to take some time this week to reflect on the bias and barriers that might be impacting the women around you and how you could positively contribute to removing or reducing them.

Here are some ways we try at Human Made to mitigate bias and remove barriers that women may face in other workplaces:

  • Inclusivity is core to our work and leadership culture; believing deeply in people, and supporting and encouraging them to bring their whole selves to work.
  • Flexibility can really help remove or reduce some of the time and space barriers that discriminate against women in the workplace. As a remote-first organisation, we’re building a structure that means everyone can flex their work to their lives, rather than the other way around, giving more autonomy and control over when and how we work. 
  • Having a baby should not mean you do less well at work. We have generous maternity and paternity leave (up to 1 year at full pay), the flexibility to return part-time, and an approach to progression and pay that actively seeks to ensure we are not leaving women behind through those crucial early years.
  • We actively identify and share the load of work which is still often left to women, including note taking, facilitation, cooking and tidying at company meetups, etc. We seek to identify and surface invisible work so that it can be shared more equitably.

Personally, I feel deeply fortunate to work with the amazing women in Human Made’s leadership team, all of whom do incredible work pushing Human Made forward, and challenge and teach me every day. I want to personally thank a few individuals – Zoe, Siobhan, Petya, Dee and Daisy – with whom I’ve been working closely for a long time and who have made, and continue to make, me and Human Made better in so many ways.

“A challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.” As a company, community, and individually as people we must challenge ourselves and each other to be better. As CEO it is my responsibility to lead Human Made by example and going forward we will continue to search for ways large and small in which we can take greater action for equality and raise awareness of the bias and barriers women face.

Some things we can all do:

  • Celebrate and raise up the amazing women around you.
  • Reflect on the bias and barriers you see around you, what role do you play, can you challenge yourself or others to do more?
  • What actions could you take locally or globally, within yourself, or with others, for a more equal world?

For more information on how we’re working to create a more inclusive environment for women in tech, check out our open company handbook.