The theme for 2022’s International Women’s Day is “Break the Bias” — a day to observe, with intention (since inclusivity and equality aren’t only important for one day), both the accomplishments and challenges women face in today’s world.
As a technology company and as a startup, Lucinity is at a cross-section of groups known for their shortcomings in gender equality. And as a business focused on a mission to Make Money Good by fighting money laundering, a crime that fuels crimes like human trafficking that disproportionately affect women, we’re especially keen on promoting and practicing equality.
I thought that it’d be fitting to ask the women of Lucinity about what their journey was to where they are, what their experience at Lucinity is, and what do they see as accomplishments and challenges for women in these sectors and the world as a whole.
When I joined Lucinity in late 2021 as VP of People & Culture, one of the most appealing aspects was how the company’s leadership approached equity and inclusion as an integral part of the culture. Startup companies are constantly in motion, always moving, but not always paying attention to culture or thinking about inclusivity. Understandably, a new company has to pull in many directions, from product development to building the sales pipeline. But deprioritizing culture can inadvertently expose the business to negative impacts much harder to correct at a later stage. The smart play for any new company is to pay attention to inclusivity from the start.
When I joined Lucinity, there were already several women at the company. Moreover, it pleased me to see women as crucial contributors, and leaders, in every single team, valued for their talent and expertise.
As we are lucky to have more women in Lucinity than who’d fit into a single article, we decided to present their perspectives as a gallery, instead of cutting their voice short. Some of them asked to remain anonymous, and I’ve relayed their message through this post and through the individual portraits.
Find out what these women of Lucinity had to say about equality, inclusiveness, and ways to Break the Bias:
- Theresa Bercich, VP of Product
- Anna Berglind Jónsdóttir, Full-Stack Developer
- Kristín Björg Bergþórsdóttir, Data Scientist
- Sonja Jónsdóttir, Frontend Developer
- Ingibjörg Gunnarsdóttir, Program Manager
- Edda Björk Konráðsdóttir, Backend Developer
The list goes on (thankfully!)
A 2019 survey from Vertonet puts the industry average of women vs men in IT in Iceland at 27%. Iceland may be leading in gender equality, but 27% is still a low number, especially when considering that it looks at technology companies but not technical fields. We’re happy to see women pursuing careers at technical companies, but would be even happier if companies had better hiring practices for women for technical disciplines – and not just for marketing, sales, HR, or other departments.
At Lucinity, we’re happy to report that while company-wide our gender ratio for women matches the 27%, the number goes slightly up when looking at technical disciplines only. Women make up 32% of our data science, product, and research & development teams. Still not even close to where we’d want to be, but it’s important to us that diversity is not a window-dressing exercise, and that we can (and do) promote and support women in actual tech.
(Note: I want to see women everywhere in tech companies. The comment above was more about addressing the fact that “women in tech” and the associated measurements can be misleading, and we should strive to avoid it turning into another checkbox-exercise to make company leaders, who still are mostly men, feel better.)
Break the Bias means not only creating opportunities for women at companies that traditionally have been male-dominated, but also correcting the skewed numbers by looking deeper into the actual reality of women in STEM fields.
It’s crucially important that we start this inclusion from a young age, and look deeper at topics that seem innocent and bias-free — like how we test seatbelts or use language. (Read the portraits for details.😉 ) Equality and inclusivity, however far it seems to have come, is still only beginning.
Use your voice to Break the Bias
It was both delightful and enlightening, speaking to the women of Lucinity. We all have so much in common and yet have such different perspectives and objectives regarding Break the Bias and gender equality.
What’s yours? How do your country, society, and company pursue inclusiveness? What challenges do you face as a woman, and what positive changes have you experienced?
Make your voice heard on this International Women’s Day of 2022 and every day after. Let’s Break the Bias together!