Happy International Women’s Day.
Here at Stefanini, we know first-hand that creating a level playing field where women are empowered to make the most of their talents is not just the right thing to do, but also good for business.
The technology industry is renowned as a beacon of innovation, disrupting old ways of working and producing technology that changes the world and expands our horizons. Despite this, it continues to fall short when it comes to diversity and inclusion. Just 7% of funds run by European VC-backed companies when to tech firms run by women, and less than one in five start-ups is founded by a women.
At Stefanini, we’re taking steps to address this. We’re certainly not complacent, but we’re proud that in EMEA women make up more than half (55%) of our workforce and almost half (45%) of our senior leadership team.
We believe we’ve got more to do, but our efforts so far have included sponsoring coding events aimed at young women who are still in education, we’ve supported More Women in IT, an NGO committed to improving diversity in our industry, and we’re creating a flexible working environment to help all employees balance their working responsibilities with their family lives.
To mark International Women’s Day, we caught up with some of the women on our senior leadership team to discuss their experience at Stefanini, along with our efforts in this space and the importance of increasing diversity in the technology industry.
They talked us through the benefits of work-life balance and equality and diversity. It gives us great pleasure to introduce you to these five passionate women.
Tania Herrezeel, EMEA Marketing Director
“The theme of this year is #EachforEqual, which draws attention to the fact that
that an equal world is an enabled world.
“I’d have to agree based on a hugely exciting 10 years as Marketing Director for EMEA at Stefanini. As a member of the senior leadership team, I’ve had direct access to our founder’s vision and been empowered to bring this to life from a marketing perspective in my region. That’s a rare privilege in a large, global multinational.
“Being part of the transformation of a business, working shoulder to shoulder with the CEO, as well as responding to cultural differences across a diverse and mature market, means facing challenges but also allows for a huge sense of achievement and has helped shape my understanding of the importance of diversity.
“The number of women on the Executive Leadership Team has significantly increased since I joined 10 years ago and this cascades down to the entire company and reflects changes in our industry. While positive change is underway, my hope is that more businesses in our sector will become better at spotting and nurturing diverse talent.”
Anca Fotache, EMEA Service Delivery Director
“I joined Stefanini in 2014 as a Global Service Desk Manager, having spent over a decade in the telco industry. I knew from the start of my career that I wanted to follow a management path – planning, coordinating, changing, empowering and motivating people gave me a sense of fulfilment and accomplishment. Working at a global business like Stefanini, with such a dynamic environment, has allowed me to follow this path – it’s been challenging and hugely rewarding.
“Stefanini’s entrepreneurial mindset encourages ownership and co-creation. It means I’m right where I want to be: in the middle of a significant transformation, challenging the status quo, being challenged by the fast evolution of the current landscape, working with people who inspire me, breaking walls and building bridges.
“All of this is possible because of the culture at Stefanini, which is founded on equality, respect and meritocracy. This leads to the successful creation of diverse teams, which are more creative, innovative and profitable. It’s clear that our industry should build on its efforts to create a culture that fosters diversity and enables everyone to make their full contribution.”
Gladis Orsi, VP of Business Development
“I’ve enjoyed 15 years with Stefanini – with 10 of those in Brazil and 5 in the US – and have had real opportunity to show my worth and contribute to the company. Throughout this time, Stefanini has felt like a family, as well as a place where everyone has a voice and a chance to excel and rise through the ranks.
“This commitment to empowering people is something that needs to happen across the technology sector. With more women joining the workforce, there’s great potential for our industry to better harness the power of diversity and new perspectives.”
Carla Feber, Marketing & Communication Vice President, Global, NA & APAC
“I have been with Stefanini for four years and oversee all of the marketing from North America, APAC and global, covering communication and branding, along with all digital visibility. In this time, I’ve seen how Stefanini has a unique environment, offering the global perspective of a large multinational, while enabling colleagues to take an entrepreneurial approach, allowing new ideas to be implemented very quickly.
“Importantly, Stefanini empowers and invests in people, creating opportunity in a very meritocratic way. For the technology sector as a whole, there’s now significant opportunity to benefit from the new perspectives and ideas that women can bring to the workplace.”
Natali Lizarra, Country Manager Peru
“I joined Stefanini in 2017 as Commercial Manager and 2 years after I was promoted as a Country Manager for Peru. This has been a hugely enjoyable challenge and I’m grateful for the trust placed in me.
“Stefanini has a strong track record of empowering women and indeed, many of our senior leaders in Latin America are women. There’s no sense here that becoming a mother might hinder your career – we simply see an opportunity to work more flexibly and continue to advance policies that can promote gender equality.”
Bringing values to life
Our senior female leaders rightly note that a culture of equality must be at the top of the business agenda, and that starts with an understanding that diversity is not only morally right but a business imperative that should be treated the same way as any other strategic priority.
At Stefanini, our diversity commitments include:
- Diversity targets or goals should be shared outside and inside the organization
- The leadership team remains diverse
- Diversity is everyone’s responsibility
- Evaluate the current workforce and define diversity and inclusion goals. Tangible goals make ambitions real.
- Enlist and involve employees in diversity initiatives
The future is co–creation
Businesses are under pressure to hit a range of targets and as this pressure mounts, targets around diversity are often first to slip.
However, at Stefanini, we believe this is short-sighted because more diverse workforces perform better – by increasing diversity, companies are more likely to meet their other goals. The business world stands to benefit significantly by pushing for equality and gaining more diverse knowledge and perspectives. It’s clear that the future is co-creation.