We’ve been canvassing their views about what this means to them and the value this brings to the company.
Was it a conscious decision to have such a healthy bias towards women at the highest level of the company, or is it something that has happened organically?
Karolina Rogowska (Strategic Marketing Analyst): “We pride ourselves on selecting the best person for the job, rather than looking at quotas.”
Tanya Ghannam (Product Manager): “We attract as many females as males in graduate job positions as well as managerial positions – I became Product Manager within my first year at the company.”
Do you think it matters, visually, to the market/to customers and to prospective new employees?
Karolina: “It’s important for potential employees to see that Generis presents equal opportunities to everyone, whatever their gender, race or socio-economic background. However one chooses to identify, people should be made to feel comfortable and at ease while working. This is what allows them to reach their full potential and thrive.”
Kali Mutoh (Marketing Manager, Japan): “Definitely. When I became a manager at another company in my 30s, there were no other female managers and no training so every day was very difficult. I worked harder than anyone else but there was a thick glass ceiling: there wasn’t the option to be promoted to a higher management position. The men who were hired later were promoted earlier, and it made me feel unfulfilled. My experience of working at Generis could not be more different.”
Do you think it makes a tangible difference to the way the business operates?
Karolina: “All ideas and input are greatly valued, which has to have an impact on our success: we don’t apply any artificial barriers. In the time I’ve worked here, management shown me that my views are important and should be heard, which is how it should be for all employees.”
Luisa Burgraff (Client Delivery Manager): “I’ve learned that even if you’re the only women in a meeting, people value good work, talent and cooperation in their colleagues rather than their gender. It isn’t intimidating. Feeling that brings out the best in people.”
Olga Vovk (Head of QA): “I have a husband and three boys at home who support me in anything I do, empowering me to move forward. Bringing this idea in the workplace helped me to see my male coworkers as team members rather than as intimidating competition. After all, we share the same goal of keeping our clients happy.”
Is there something about Generis’s focus and culture which is attracting more women?
Karolina: “The visibility of women right across the company is important – in finance, marketing, project management, configuration, quality and testing, and at all levels of the organisation. Our culture is relaxed too and the company understands that people have commitments outside work which may require their attention.
“There’s a relationship of trust here too. We’re trusted to work independently without micro-management; to complete all of our work and go above and beyond. This only works because everyone in the team was chosen for their skills and abilities.”
What do you think other companies/employers could learn from your example?
Karolina: “The importance of seeing the person, rather than statistics. Having such a high proportion of managerial positions occupied by women is the result of a workplace where each individual feels empowered, that their ideas are respected and that they have the opportunity to progress quickly if they are capable. I feel proud to represent a workplace where I am respected as an individual.”
Kali: Generis is a great example to others. The Japanese government has appealed to all listed companies in Japan to increase the percentage of female directors to 10% by 2020, but today it’s not even 6%. I appreciate the fact that at Generis I can truly make a contribution, and my ideas are listened to equally. It gives me hope that that glass ceiling can finally be overcome.”