Unhappy with the ‘boys club’ prevalent within the technology industry, Valeria Ignatieva left her job to co-found Diverse City Careers (DCC). DCC is a jobs board that evaluates employers based on their policies regarding women in the workforce. The impact DCC has had on gender equality within the tech industry, in a short span of time, earned them a 2016 Advertising #TechDiversity Award.
Diverse City Careers (DCC) was born out of founders Valeria Ignatieva and Gemma Lloyd’s dissatisfaction with the ability to easily identify which employers in the tech industry were supportive of women.
“I had a child and needed a flexible work schedule. I found a lot of companies did not cater to this or had limited policies addressing flexibility within the workforce.”
DCC is a jobs board with a difference – the company pre-screens employers on paid parental leave, pay equity, flexible working arrangements and much more. This information is not publicly listed elsewhere and has become an essential tool for women to assess employers.
“We believe in a better way of working, where we bring together a large community of organisations, female job seekers and gender equality advocates.”
Clients such as Accenture, BHP Billiton and AECOM seek DCC to improve their policies to create a supportive working environment for women in the workforce.
“At DCC, we hold organisations accountable for their processes. Through our advice, organisations have made a conscious effort to improve their policies.”
DCC plays a crucial advocacy role and hosts educational events and campaigns in order to raise awareness about gender inequality.
The challenges faced by DCC were very similar to other new businesses – when a business first starts out, its founders need to do everything from sales and marketing, to accounting and legal. It can seem overwhelming, as often the founders may not have all the answers.
“My advice to others for overcoming these challenges is to surround yourself with people who can support you in the areas you’re unsure of, ensure you have mentors, and look at setting up an advisory board.”
The #TechDiversity foundation was inspired by the exceptional contribution made by DCC and awarded them leadership within the Advertising category.
Gearing up for the awards, Valeria approached the awards program with the intention to evaluate the business through the process of submitting the award.
“It was a great opportunity to not only provide our work for evaluation, but also use the straightforward process to evaluate our business model and how we operate.”
The best part about winning the award is the recognition for thinking outside the box and being amongst others who are also paving the way for diversity within technology.
“Winning a #TechDiversity award is recognition for a job well done. It also highlights the importance of the social impact that enterprises such as DCC make to technology, and highlights the importance of diversity of thought within the sector.”
The ongoing commitment to diversity:
Valeria states that as a society we need to celebrate women and their contributions in all aspects of life, especially their career.
“Although there is a shortage of women in STEM-related careers, DCC and bodies such as the #TechDiversity foundation are paving the way to a more inclusive workforce.
“Women need to be where they are celebrated and not tolerated.”
DCC’s commitment to diversity manifests through the events they hold throughout the year. They not only support women, but also pave the way for the future generation of tech superstars, by holding Superhero Daughter Day annually across Australia and New Zealand.
“We ran Superhero Daughter Day together with Tech Girls are Superheroes to celebrate International Women’s Day. This initiative involved over 1000 young girls and their parents and guardians attending sessions on a Saturday afternoon to learn about STEM. The girls met role models in tech, explored virtual and augmented reality, learned how to create apps and built robots. It was a fun day filled with cupcakes and goodie bags!”