Staff Spotlight – International Women’s Day

8 March 2024 Time to read:  minutes

IWD 2024 theme is “Invest in Women: Accelerate Progress”. But what does this mean to women in the tech industry? Investing in women means more than just hiring them, it means providing opportunities for personal development and a platform where voices and opinions matter. For this week’s staff spotlight, we are shining a light on some of the women who make up the Sparta team and asking them to share their collective knowledge and experience of navigating the corporate environment.

What is one thing you know now about women and work you wish you had known earlier in your career? 

“Often as women, we are reluctant to say what is on our mind for fear that we are going to be judged. We are constantly judged for our opinions so by not speaking up, we are creating a disservice to ourselves. We become so preoccupied with trying to fit a mould often created for an archaic man’s world that we slowly lose who we really are. Although it is hard to show the real you, I encourage women to be brave and unapologetic. There’s nothing better than the real you.” 

Stephanie Teles – Global Events Lead 

What advice would you give to other women aspiring to succeed in similar industries? 

“It may sound obvious, but I would advise other women to always believe in themselves and in what they bring to the table. There is no industry where women can’t thrive.” 

Silvia Lanzuisi – Head of Customer Success 

How do you maintain work-life balance, especially in demanding roles? 

“Maintaining work-life balance, particularly in demanding roles, can be a challenge, I make self-care a priority by getting enough sleep, eating healthily, and finding ways to manage stress, such as meditation or yoga.” 

Millie Cooper – Talent Acquisition Coordinator 

What does International Women’s Day mean to you? 

“For me, it’s a chance to celebrate the achievements of women, reflect on the mentorship that has shaped my career and collectively commit to fostering diversity and inclusion within the workplace and beyond.” 

Emma Grundy – Customer Success Manager 

How can we expand women’s links to each other e.g. mentorship, coaching, and networking? 

Doing things for others and taking part in organising and carrying out community activities like hackathons and even craft groups is a great way to build your network; and to meet other likeminded women.” 

Kukena Chulu – Software Developer 

Why do we need more women in leadership roles? 

“Plain and simple – its diversity. And it’s not just about gender; but our socio-ethnic backgrounds and how heterogenous opinions ultimately influences key decision making and women form an integral part of that ecosystem. We come from different life experiences, just by virtue of our gender and all those collective difference in experiences and opinions forms a recipe for success. Thinking out of the box is a very positive thing and women offer that perspective.  

Samantha Hartke – Commodity Owner  

What would you change about the assumptions made by men of women? 

“So, to start, it’s important to realize that women are equal but different. I’ve noticed some distinct differences, especially in leadership style, communication approach, and attitudes toward power and ambition. Back when I was starting out in my career, I got feedback from my employer about how my leadership style didn’t fit their expectations, often tied to stereotypes about women. To tackle these assumptions made by men about women, we need to understand that everyone brings their own strengths and styles to the table. It’s not about fitting into a certain mould. It’s about recognising and valuing diverse perspectives. We’ve got to shine a light on unconscious biases and create environments where everyone, regardless of gender, can thrive. That means we need to actively work on attracting, nurturing, and keeping talent in our organisations, regardless of stereotypes or assumptions. It’s all about building workplaces where everyone feels valued and respected.” 

Rachel Williams – Chief Commodity Officer 

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