When I decided to join the ENTERTAINER, a major drawcard for me was the fact that the company was founded by a woman.
I’m all about gender equality, so it shouldn’t have made a difference, right? Male or female leader, who cares?
But my curiosity wasn’t unfounded – we live in a society that is, unfortunately, still largely skewed when it comes to gender in the workplace. Naturally, I was intrigued by the prospect of being part of a global brand that was created by a woman.
In the past, I’d always worked at advertising agencies or tech startups, which were driven by strong male role models. I loved my time with those teams and thrived on the adrenaline-fuelled environments. I don’t remember noticing that there were very few females in the office. But today, after a year of working for a company with an almost 50/50 gender split – and with our inspirational founder, Donna Benton, to look up to – I’ve come to love being surrounded by women in the workplace. Here's why:
1. Employee happiness matters
It really, really matters. Monthly team activities are planned, employee birthdays are remembered, and a yearly conference in Dubai is organised for all global teams to hang out in real life. I’m not saying these things don’t happen in predominantly-male companies, but I can say that employee happiness is extraordinarily high on our list of priorities at the ENTERTAINER. Women are typically seen as “caring and compassionate”, and it’s an absolute stereotype, of course – but stereotypes can exist for a reason, and I love the warmth and kindness that the ladies on our team exude by putting employee happiness first.
2. Work-life balance matters
Donna says the question she gets asked most is, “How do you juggle it all?” (and yes, I was one of the people who asked). My favourite tip of hers is a simple one: ask for help. When work seems overwhelming, when life at home is so busy you want to run away, reach out and seek assistance. I struggle with this, as I know many women do – we want to have it all – but sometimes voicing your needs is the best thing you can do for your career growth. I'm so grateful to work for a company that encourages you to wave a white flag when work gets too hectic.
3. Gender should NOT matter
If you’ve read Sheryl Sandberg’s revelation of a book, Lean In, you’ll know where I’m coming from. We may be making advancements in gender equality in the workplace, and there’s a lot to be celebrated, but many women still have a tough time of making their voices heard at the boardroom table. As Sheryl says, “I believe that if more women lean in, we can change the power structure of our world and expand opportunities for all.” And I believe that the more women there are in the boardroom, the easier this will be for all of us.
I’m lucky enough to work for a company where gender is balanced (to the point where it’s a non-issue) but what are your thoughts on female-driven companies, and the future of women in the workplace?