Mar 8, 2019 - 3min read
In honour of International Women’s Day (IWD), we talked to some of the awesome women here at Tonik to find out what the day means to them, any advice they may have, and what challenges they’ve faced in the workplace, if any. It was difficult deciding which five to feature though as we’re proud to say we have a pretty good gender balance at Tonik HQ - 47% of people working here are women. With this year’s IWD campaign theme being #BalanceforBetter, we’re helping to build a gender-balanced world. Balance drives a better working world, and it's not just a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. Gender balance is essential for economies and communities to thrive, so we all have a responsibility, and we will all benefit.
So without further ado, here come the girls…
Arpita Banerjee, Quality Assurance Professional
A work environment that recognises talent and good attributes, that understands that excellence has nothing to do with chromosomes automatically becomes open to a balanced and diverse team. A readiness to look at the person's strengths and beyond a person's gender often makes the best work environments. True talent and commitment never goes unnoticed.
Never in my education or at home have I come across the phrase '...because you are a girl'. Having said that, once you are out of sheltered environments you become aware of how most women have to fight for the bare minimum: independence, education, self-esteem and even the right to feel self-love.
For me the reason to celebrate this day is twofold: one, to encourage both men and women to think about the small things we can do to empower each other, and the second is to make sure that we give due acknowledgement to all the women who have broken the glass ceiling for us to be here today, making our own choices.
Anna Walters, Data Protection Officer
Firstly, and most importantly, don’t get hung up on the fact that you’re a girl/woman entering a sector or role that is male dominated. Society as a whole often has a funny way of making us think that something is out of norm – but whose norm? If you love a particular topic at school or you’re brilliant at your job and you enjoy what you do, then your gender shouldn’t play a part. Believe in yourself, be confident and make sure you have some great mentors to support you and enjoy the journey.
Having worked in a technical, MI or data-related role for over 20 years I have, without exception, always been the minority within my team/sector. I’ve also been in situations where I’ve managed teams where I was the only woman. I’ve never thought of myself as being different, or in a minority, except maybe because I’m short and left handed! Those two issues have proved to be bigger challenges in the workplace than my gender; us short folk always have to ask for help to reach that coffee mug down from the top shelf and try using a fountain pen with your left hand!
Sarah Henning, Commercial Director
The proportional under-representation of women has been a theme throughout my 20 years in energy, although I’ve been lucky enough to have two great female bosses who taught me a lot.
Gender balance is important across all areas of life. In the workplace, it’s been shown that having qualified women on the board leads to lower risk-taking behaviours (popular in Commercial!) and improved financial performance. Gender balance in the workplace will be a sign that stereotypes are dying, and structural inequalities are levelling out, which opens up choices for all genders. It’s not all about gender though, the question we need to answer is how we support equality everywhere. If every person helped one other person who was worse off than themselves, the world would be a much happier place.
Kaveeta Bhatia, Quality Assurance Leader
At Tonik, I'm lucky to have such a great team; however, throughout my career and at university (I studied a Computer Science degree which is a male-dominated course) because I don't fit the typical stereotype of a person in tech, I feel that people underestimate my abilities. Some people haven't thought I've been capable, but I have always worked hard to deliver and have surpassed people's expectations.
We should all appreciate the struggles and obstacles that women have faced to get us to the place that we are today. It's important to celebrate the achievements and successes of strong women who continue to kill it daily and inspire us!
Sonia Khera, Head of People & Community
I don’t believe I have been held back in the workplace because of my gender - during the early years of my career I experienced difficulties with my own confidence at times but that has more to do with my own ability to believe in myself. Fast forward to now and I am definitely better at this and that is down to life experience (although, I do have a black belt in Taekwondo which kinda helps!)
Gender balance is important to me on both a personal and professional level – being responsible for things such as recruitment, progression and development, the People Team have a huge role to play in ensuring Tonik’s policies and practices attract people no matter their gender. We want brilliant people it’s that simple! I am super proud of our gender balance at Tonik and acutely aware of some of the systemic issues that can cause barriers for women in the workplace. And as a mum of three (two girls and a boy) I want them to grow up knowing the opportunities for them are endless and open to them if they want it!
We think Tonik is an awesome place to work! If you think so too, take a look at our current vacancies here.
If you want to find out more about International Women’s Day, please visit their website.