By: Fernanda Marquez and Joanna Carbajal
“Why does a society have one set of rules for men and another set of rules for women? Every society must have the same set of rules for both men and women to follow. Only then can the society become a progressive one.” ― Avijeet Das
Women’s Equality Day commemorates the passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote on August 26, 1920 in the United States. Historically, women had been treated as second-class citizens. This date was the first step towards women’s continued fight towards full equality.
August 26, 1920, USA (Source)
On Women’s Equality Day, people celebrate this day in different ways. The United States president gives a presidential proclamation. People highlight, on social media, influential women that have fought for gender equality. People go to a women’s museum to honor women that have been influential to our society (here is a list of women’s museums). There are also various conferences held on women’s rights. The ways to celebrate are endless, and at Ivaldi, we are highlighting two female employees. Maria Fernanda, Industrial Designer from our Mexico office, and Joanna Carbajal, Project Manager, will be sharing with you how Ivaldi has empowered them personally and professionally. The writing below is the sole opinion of the writers.
Maria Fernanda, Industrial Designer
Ivaldi allowed me to rediscover myself. As an Ivaldi Mexico employee, I realized that I have endless possibilities. I am an Industrial Designer, and I work as a Mechanical Designer. It is not easy to get a technology-focused job in Mexico because it is so male-dominated. As a child, I was taught that technology and mechanics were for men.
Living in Mexico, I applied to other companies in my area. Some of them asked for a specific age or gender. Many of these applications were just open for men. As a woman, I had fewer opportunities for a job and equal pay. When I applied to Ivaldi, none of this was applicable. I was treated as a human being and paid the same as my peers. I was hired on my knowledge, experience, and ambitions.
On my first day, we were told to express our opinions. We were reassured that we all had the same voice as everyone else. That, to me, was surprising as most jobs will not let you speak your mind unless you are in a high position. Since the first day, I felt empowered.
Besides working in an area related to my career, Ivaldi allowed me to work in marketing and graphic design. This place empowers people to volunteer for projects of interest. Since I was in college, I worked in marketing positions, which increased my graphic design skills. At Ivaldi, I recently expressed interest in writing blogs, and here I am co-writing one!
Another interesting aspect of Ivaldi is the flexible schedule for all the employees. This lets us distribute our time and also achieve our personal goals. I can also focus on my personal projects and discover new hobbies!
Why is Ivaldi a healthy workspace?
Aside from promoting equality, Ivaldi promotes work-life balance by providing once-a-month paid personal days and flexible schedules (apart from paid vacation days). Some companies don’t have an interest in the personal lives of their employees, which can lead to stress for the employees. By offering your employees flexibility and generous time off, their minds can rest and restore, which increases motivation once they’re back.
I am thankful for Ivaldi. It is a place full of equality, diversity, empathy, and companionship between peers. No matter our title, gender, or age, we are always heard at Ivaldi. I can propose ideas to anyone in the company and know I will be heard. Giving a voice to people is still the first step in establishing a trusting, healthy relationship.
Joanna Carbajal, Project Manager
Ivaldi has had a significant impact on my career. I started as a Marketing Assistant. My manager, Stefani Pellinen-Chavez, quickly saw my potential in managing projects. I became a ScrumMaster one month after my hiring date.
I had too often encountered employers that thought I wasn’t capable because I was too young before even giving me a chance. I also met companies where I worked with a majority of men, and I was treated as “incapable of understanding the technical aspects of the job.” Ivaldi believed in me despite my age, gender, or that I was still early in my career. They saw in me what every employer should be looking at - passion and skills.
I exceeded my role for the second time. A year and ten months later, I became a Project Manager - responsible for a couple of people. I did not need a technology-focused degree either to be able to do my role. I have been fortunate enough to be a part of all the different projects that are carried out at Ivaldi. You gain a profound understanding of the various aspects of the business when you are a Project Manager.
This is a message to all employers; despite the fact that an applicant may not meet all the requirements in a job description, an employee can still excel in that role. It’s all about the skills they have and if they have the right person to guide them along the way.
Our founder and COO, Stefani, built this company with the premise to develop talent and keep it. We proudly say that in over two years, we’ve had a 100% retention rate. The reason for this is Ivaldi’s commitment to discover talent and foster it.
From the moment a job is posted, our job descriptions do not have requirements but rather “nice to have.” Statistics say that men will apply for a job even if they only meet 60% of those qualifications. Women will apply if they meet all of them. We took off the requirements for that reason. We want diversity! People that look different will have different ideas. Different ideas mean opportunities to excel as a company!
You may be thinking. Well, doesn’t that increase your applicant pool by too much? We always post the pay range so that if someone is overqualified or underqualified, they won’t apply. We don’t waste people’s time. Too often, an applicant will go through a lengthy process and later discover that the pay is disappointing.
I also wanted to point out our maternity/paternity policy. After an employee comes back from maternity or paternity leave, childcare, figuring out their schedule and fitting in back at work can be hard. At Ivaldi, you get a flexible first year where you can work from home or bring your child to work. This allows parents to test their different childcare programs before committing right away. It also allows parents to bond more with their child. While employees aren’t expected to work 100% of the time for the first year, when you treat your employees with so much compassion, you will see that employees are always engaged and productive - demystifying many employers’ fear that parents will be disengaged just because they had a child.
Ivaldi is committed to developing our employees’ skills, our encouragement to hire a diverse pool of applicants and our generous policies, promote diversity. With that, happy Women’s Equality Day! What can you do to promote diversity?