International Women’s Day 2022

Written by Yapily · March 8th, 2022

Here at Yapily, we believe that gender diversity and success come hand in hand. That’s why we’re making commitments to become a more diverse workplace today and every day.

Women make up 49% of the UK workforce. And yet just 19% of tech workers are women. Diversity and inclusion are incredibly important in all industries, but with technology falling so far behind the curve, it’s vital that we are doing our bit to close the industry’s gender gap.

What have we achieved so far, and what change are we committing to?

  • In 2021, we have more than doubled the number of female colleagues in our company, increasing the total percentage of women to 26%
  • 44% of women at Yapily are currently in management roles
  • Women make up 33% of our overall leadership team (increasing from 29% last year)

As a business, we are taking steps in the right direction. But there’s still lots to be done. That’s why, this International Women’s Day, we are committing to ambitious hiring targets for 2022 in line with our diversity values. By the end of 2022, we are aiming to achieve a gender diversity goal of 30%, 11% higher than the tech industry average, and the work won’t stop once we reach our target.

How will we reach our goals?

Rapid growth

We are increasing the total number of women in management and leadership positions as we continue to grow rapidly. In 2021, we almost doubled our number of employees from 75 to 137 over the course of the year, and plan to more than double this again by the end of 2022. We have already increased our workforce by a further 23% so far this year, and the total number of female colleagues has over doubled since the beginning of 2021. We have a number of open opportunities across every department, actively encouraging women from all industry backgrounds to consider a career in tech.

Up-skilling our workforce

In line with our rapid growth, we are introducing new career development and role-levelling frameworks across all areas of the business. This will help to give more women a clearer pathway to the next level and guidance on how they can up-skill into leadership and management roles.

Creating a family-first work environment

A recent study showed that 50% of women felt maternity leave negatively affected their careers. We want to remove this stigma and support our colleagues, ensuring our policies are as flexible as possible, removing the need to choose between a career or starting a family. As well as offering our team complete flexibility in where and how they choose to work, our Enhanced Family Leave policy means we can support a growing number of our team when welcoming a new family member, whether that be as parents adopting or as birth-parents to a child.

A top-down approach

Our leadership team is passionate about diversity and inclusion, working hard to make sure that our commitments aren’t only communicated top-down but embraced by team members at every level. We are running a number of key initiatives, with the aim of continuing to promote awareness and foster a culture of inclusion internally.

“Our mission at Yapily is to provide fairer financial products for everyone, and diversity is an essential part of this.

"Everyone benefits from a diverse workforce. Companies that promote diversity are unequivocally more successful, more innovative and benefit from diverse points of view when making decisions. Hiring is a crucial part of this. Not only are diverse candidates essential, but so too diverse interviewers. On countless occasions I have personally seen the value of diverse points of view when hiring for a role, helping to surface attributes of a candidate that may otherwise have been missed - and turned out to be the very attributes that made them a phenomenal employee."

By committing to our 2022 targets, I hope to create a more diverse culture and workforce, and make it easier for more women to enter the tech workforce.” - Iain McDougall, Chief Commercial Officer.

Versatility

Many women may have disregarded a career in tech because they don’t think they have the right experience. At Yapily, we place a huge emphasis on transferable skills and the importance of fresh perspectives. Our colleagues come from a range of industries including education, energy, automotive, and consumer goods - so when looking at our current roles, if you have the skill set we want to talk to you regardless of your past industry experience.

#BreakingTheBias: Speaking to our women in tech

We asked a number of women at Yapily about their experiences in technology, and what, in their opinion, needs to be done to tackle the industry’s gender gap.

What do you wish you had seen or heard more of starting out your career in tech?

“I wasn’t aware of the number of different opportunities or roles available from product to marketing to engineering within the sector. At the start of my career, I thought tech was unattainable and too specialist for me to even consider.”

  • Maria Palmieri, Head of Public Policy

“I thought tech was reserved only for people who had been coding since they were 12. Once I entered the industry, I learnt that many people arrive in tech from a variety of different backgrounds”

  • Elizabeth Prendergast, Software Engineer

“I would have loved to be coached and mentored about what a career in tech means including what kind of opportunities are available and what kind of future I could build myself by choosing to work in tech”

  • Houda Cheggour, Engineering Manager

What assumptions or misconceptions are keeping women from technology roles?

When I think of my main barrier for entry, it was mainly about a lack of confidence. I wasn’t sure that I’d be seen as an asset pivoting into a technology company without a strong tech background. I decided to take a leap of faith and it was the best thing I could’ve done.”

  • Natalie Alexis, Finance Assistant

“That coding requires you to be good at maths.”

  • Elizabeth Prendergast, Software Engineer

“That you have to code to work in tech! I have a Business Degree and I still brought a wealth of transferable skills to the Product Development world. It’s worth noting that this transition was complemented by a lifelong learning approach.”

  • Mihaela Madzharova, Head of Product Operations

How can we better tackle the gender gap in technology?

“When it comes to workplace systems, there is a danger that more of a ‘tick box’ approach exacerbates the situation leading to even more discriminatory behaviour. Recognising there is gender inequality is necessary but not at the expense of merit.”

  • Maria Palmieri, Head of Public Policy

“This needs to be tackled from a young age, through educating school-age children of the endless opportunities available to them regardless of their gender. We need to ensure all genders are visible to them when their eyes are being opened to different industries they can build future careers in, thus removing gender from the equation and showing opportunities just as they are.”

  • Jess MacDonald, Account Manager

How can we empower agents of change across the industry?

“At Yapily we have a message and that message is that women belong in tech. We empower agents of change by joining in and boosting the message. This is a task not just for women, but for everyone who aims to have a dynamic and thriving culture in a modern workplace.”

  • Natalie Alexis, Finance Assistant

“Female role models are key in my view to driving change. Women being open about the challenges they have faced and how they have overcome them is a powerful way to inspire younger generations to join the industry.”

  • Maria Palmieri, Head of Public Policy

What are you going to build today?