By Vanessa Ferguson, SVP of People & Experience
This is a pic of me in our mothering room at the New York office. It’s a space for mums to pump, or to feed their babies, and I got a lot of use out of it as a private place to pump at work. Whenever I ever brought my son to the office I would also use the space to feed him or let him nap.
On breaking the bias
In tech, women tend to be outnumbered by men, so when it comes to recruitment, employers need to ensure that they have inclusive screening practices and policies that do not allow for bias or for qualified female candidates to be overlooked.
Once women do have an opportunity to join a company, it is the employer’s responsibility to provide equal pay for equal work, and to ensure that any time out of the workforce (e.g., extended periods of leave) is not treated unfavourably. Further to this, to attract and retain female talent, I believe employers should provide flexible working conditions and pathways to further learning and career development.
“Blending” and true flexibility
For us to #BreakTheBias, time away from the workplace (e.g., maternity leave) should not be seen as a gap in experience or viewed negatively when screening resumes. I believe that varied experiences outside of the workplace (whether it be to raise a family, to travel, to try new things, to study, whatever) should be viewed as a real benefit to any role.
True flexibility is the most important experience that any workplace could provide to me at this point in my life. At LiveTiles, we no longer use the term “work-life balance” because we believe that the term “balance” suggests a tough juggling act where one aspect usually takes priority over another at a given point in time. Rather, we now refer to “work-life blend” because this is closer to our reality.
Our personal lives and work lives are blended in a way that gives us the freedom and flexibility to make time for what matters—even if it means kids are running around a in the background during meetings or someone is taking a call from their car.
It is not only parents who demand true flexibility when it comes to integrating work and personal lives. We value the experiences and interests of all employees, and all individuals should be able to structure their working day in a way that works for them. This includes hybrid ways of work (e.g., from home, from the office, or from anywhere), time scheduled for social activities, mental and physical health, and wellbeing initiatives.
Raising our voices
To raise awareness on DEI, we already have policies and practices to reduce bias and encourage diversity in recruitment. However, we need to be more vocal about some of the great things we are doing, so the idea spreads and reaches more people further.