The theme of International Women’s Day 2021 is to “choose to challenge”, as a challenged world is an alert world and from challenge comes change.
With that in mind, today we’re proud to join the 50 – 30 Challenge, a joint initiative between the Government of Canada and the private sector that challenges Canadian organizations to increase the representation and inclusion of diverse groups within their workplace
Women currently make up 42 per cent of employees at Cubert and hold 22 per cent of executive positions, but there is always room to do better and we plan to do just that in the year ahead.
We believe in the power of women and the impact that women can have in the Canadian health tech space. And what better way to celebrate International Women’s Day than by hearing from some of the incredible women on our team who are helping us usher in a new era of self-care and wellbeing.
Why is it important for more women to join the tech industry?
Nikki Schiavone, EVP of Marketing, Strategy & Innovation, Cubert: Tech is both our present and our future so it’s important for women to dive in and lean in, because it’s here to stay. Countless studies show women spend more time than men making purchasing decisions for the household, so for me, tech is a women’s game in the consumer world. Tech and consumer purchase behaviours go hand in hand and I’m humbled to work with the best digital performance, creative and marketing teams in the game (more than half of whom are women). We are dedicated to using technology to solve customer challenges and help millions of people. We are leading, learning, listening, observing, teaching, programming, developing, coaching, hiring, writing, speaking and advancing our tech forward, and these efforts serve us all. It’s a natural place for women to be, so let’s normalize that.
Jessica Albotra, Marketing Coordinator: Technology users are not only limited to men. When creating new tech, it’s important for women to be represented through the decision-makers in the industry.
Kristina Gonzales, Sr. Performance Media Manager: Technology is here to stay and women must have an active voice in something that’s so integral to our society and our lives.
Kitty Ng, Director of DTC & Supply Chain: Diversity of any kind is important, regardless of whether it’s professional industry representation or simply getting input for decisions. Historically, decision makers skew towards a specific profile that is disproportionate to users, in turn driving bias at all levels. Having women and other genders and races join the tech industry is particularly important to correct this phenomenon and offer additional perspective so products can be designed with all users in mind.
Sarah Wild-Cotes, Social Media Manager: Women are consumers/users of tech, so they should play an integral role in building it. Consider Whitney Wolfe Herd, who left Tinder to create Bumble, a female-driven dating platform that rivals her original employer in downloads and users. Just because a product is already out there doesn’t mean it suits the needs of all users, and women must use their perspective and knowledge to fill these product gaps.
What advice would you give to women wanting to be leaders?
Nikki Schiavone, EVP of Marketing, Strategy & Innovation, Cubert: Trust yourself, lead with integrity and develop a sense of awareness and presence. Accept there are difficulties and opportunities in leadership and celebrate the wins along the journey. Read, observe, become an outstanding listener, be open, laugh, develop your OWN leadership style. Learn how to teach and coach people and situations differently. Lean into what moves you – what lights your soul on fire – and actively drive and steer your career because you’re in charge of your destiny.
It’s also important to be an advocate, ally or champion for other women. When you walk through the door of opportunity, take others with you.
What advice would you give yourself just starting out?
Jessica Albotra, Marketing Coordinator: Hard work does pay off. It’s easy to get discouraged in such a fast-paced, and sometimes cut-throat industry, but perseverance goes a long way. It’s important to believe in yourself and your purpose because the work you do impacts people’s lives for the better.
Nikki Schiavone, EVP of Marketing, Strategy & Innovation, Cubert: Worry less, laugh more and buckle up – it’s going to be a fun ride! You’ll figure it all out along the way, so trust the journey and trust yourself – the leap is always worth it. Find your tribe of supporters and challengers and keep the ones who love you close. Mental, psychological, spiritual, financial and emotional health are as important as physical health, so create room for them too. And, eat that big plate of pasta – life is short!
Kristina Gonzales, Sr. Performance Media Manager: Anticipate and embrace challenges, because those will make the wins more rewarding.
We believe in the power of women and the impact that women can have in the Canadian health tech space.
What first sparked your interest in working in the tech industry?
Sarah Wild-Cotes, Social Media Manager: I’ve always been fascinated with/curious about the social tools and platforms that are becoming more and more integral to our daily lives. Tech itself is so fast paced – your days are never the same, and you’re always learning or doing something new, which is a great way to challenge yourself.
Kitty Ng, Director of DTC & Supply Chain: Fast moving, ever-evolving industries have always aligned with my attitudes towards work and life in general. I believe in efficient, continuous improvement and there’s no better industry than in tech to realize this.
On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about careers in technology?
Jessica Albotra, Marketing Coordinator: The most important message I want to share with young women is to speak up and use your voice because your opinion matters. We need more women in tech spaces to share their expertise and points of view.
Kristina Gonzales, Sr. Performance Media Manager: The only regret you’ll have is not trying. Go for it!
Kitty Ng, Director of DTC & Supply Chain: Work hard, be bold, stay curious and humble. Do not be intimidated or afraid to ask questions and always offer your perspective. Be curious and challenge conventional ideas – different perspectives are the best and often most innovative. A hard-working attitude will afford you the opportunity to join the competitive tech industry amongst other bright minds. Staying curious and humble will help you stay inventive and be consistently learning.
Sarah Wild-Cotes, Social Media Manager: My advice to anyone starting out is to “lean in”. Ask questions and join projects that aren’t necessarily part of your role. The broader you can understand the industry and the product/service you’re working on, the better you will be at your job. Don’t be afraid to not know or fail at something – especially at a tech start-up where most employees are encountering things for the first time and trying to figure them out. Take chances, work hard and improve for next time.