Including Women in WordPress

April 25, 2024 00:28:48
Including Women in WordPress
Underrepresented in Tech
Including Women in WordPress

Apr 25 2024 | 00:28:48

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Show Notes

In this episode, Michelle and Samah talk about women working in WordPress and the current survey that WP Includes is doing around Gender Equality in WordPress Businesses. We talk about how women are treated and accommodated differently in the workplace country by country and company by company and share some of our own personal experiences.

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Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: Welcome to the underrepresented in tech podcast, where we talk about issues in underrepresentation and have difficult conversations. Underrepresented in tech is a free database with the goal of helping people find new opportunities in WordPress and tech. Hi, Samma. [00:00:21] Speaker B: How are you? [00:00:22] Speaker A: I said your name weird that time. Why did I say it that way? [00:00:26] Speaker B: Not at all. I'm okay. I'm okay ish. Are you Michelle? My voice is come and go, but it's kind of a nice of a change, you know? [00:00:36] Speaker A: It's a little happy. I know. [00:00:39] Speaker B: Especially when I laugh, I feel like I'm little, small. A small evil smurf, you know? [00:00:46] Speaker A: Yeah. It's like all those women in the movies that are trying to be like really, you know, sexy or whatever, you have that really low voice. [00:00:56] Speaker B: Yeah, I mean, I'm a loud voice and this is a good change for me for once. Yeah, I love it. [00:01:03] Speaker A: That's funny. Well, I sent to you earlier and I know you had a chance to look at it, but to fill everybody else in, I sent to you the survey on gender equality in WordPress business that has been put out by the WP includes team, which is Siobhan McEwen and Francesca Marano have WP includes, which is if people aren't aware of it, we did an episode, I did an episode with them last fall, so I'll tag that in the show notes so people can kind of get to know the project a little bit more. But WP includes is a mentorship program for women in WordPress to women who are directors and the C suite of WordPress to mentor women who aren't and want to be right. So to get the idea is to get more women at the higher levels of business across WordPress. So maybe it won't be quite so male dominated going forward. And so I thought we could talk about that today. I did take the survey yesterday so that I would be able to talk about the process and how long it took and that kind of thing. Excuse me, but yeah, I just, I mean, are you familiar with WP includes and just have a look at it to see what it was all about? [00:02:26] Speaker B: Honestly, I know a little bit, not that a lot of information about, but I know Francesca personally and I know she's the right person for it. And I love this initiative because I believe that is really important to bring more women to WordPress or leadership position in company at WordPress. I love it. And for this survey, I was really impressed. Like, I also filled it out. I was like the last couple ten questions left for me, but it's really interesting and it takes time to you thinking about your answers. And then, but I cannot wait what they're going to do with the results. I don't know when they fill it out, what. [00:03:11] Speaker A: I did. So Raymore is the person who forwarded it to me at our underrepresented in tech address. But I did include it in our recent newsletter that went out. So if anybody's looking for the link, we absolutely will have the link link here in the show notes as well. But sign up for our newsletter because we send out some pretty cool stuff every month. But aside from that, and this month was like, oh, meet Sama, she's our new co host and partner. And so that you featured prominently this week or this month in the newsletter. But WP includes me, which I love that, right? WP includes me. I think that's a really cool URL for sure. But the whole idea and this, I'm not sure exactly, I can't remember exactly when they launched, but it was within the last year. Absolutely within the last year. And the idea again is to pair mentors with mentees with women who are looking to, you know, learn more about how to climb the corporate ladder within WordPress. And so Ray sent over to us at underrepresented in tech, the press release and the link to the survey so that we could include that going out. And so I thought it'd be a great thing to talk about this week for sure. And I emailed back and I said, is there a deadline to complete the survey? Because I thought if they want good data, maybe we need to tell people a deadline. And she said, well, they will keep it open because they don't want, you know, they don't want to just say it over and done. However, they will start to compile the results after six weeks. So I think we're about a week in. So people, if you really want your data to be included, take a look at that survey link. It takes about 15 to 20 minutes to fill it out. It's a lot of, there are a lot of just like click the box answers right? So you can go through that part fairly quickly. And then there's some open areas where you can really give some feedback about how you have experienced life as a woman in WordPress and how your company supports women and supports different parts, aspects of being a woman. So whether it's family, medical leave, whether it's breastfeeding at work, menstrual health at work, all of these things that are part of womanhood and even not to say biological women either. I'm talking about trans women. I'm talking about women in general. And we all have. Maybe a trans woman is not somebody who has to deal with breastfeeding, but there are other parts of being a woman, whether you are bio transplant like, however you identify. And so we want to know. We want to know what it's like. I say we. I want to know because I'm going to read the survey. But WP includes wants to know what your experiences are. And so I think it's worthwhile to take 1520 minutes and respond to their survey. You can do it anonymously. I know there are some people that are afraid to put their business name in there. They're afraid to put their own name in there. As a woman, I understand that because the fear of you having said something negative about your company is real and it can. The fear of backlash and those kinds of things should your name ever come out as having said anything untoward about your company is definitely a fear, but they promise anonymity even if you're able to put that information in there. So you shouldn't fear putting it in there. But absolutely, you can answer the survey anonymously. [00:06:44] Speaker B: I'm really happy and I about it and excited at the same time because like this gender equality, I want to see if there's also geographic difference, of course, going to be difference between Europe and the states and if companies in Asia, because of course, gender, gender equality is a basic human rights for everyone, for all of the community. But of course, we're not going to talk about the. We can talk of course, about the salary gap and. And maternity leave here. Even Netherlands is different from another country is Sweden, Denmark from a different country is Switzerland. The lot of european countries, we have a different maternity leave. And like, I think in Iceland, we score in 2023 are the best country in gender equality around the world. So that's something really impressive. And at the same time, yeah, I cannot wait for the results. I wish I can move. I have the time machine to move five weeks ahead. [00:07:45] Speaker A: Me too. When my daughter was born, I'm in my fifties and my daughter is 32, so we're talking a little ways back, right? It feels like yesterday to me, but I recognize that it was not. But 32 years ago, your company could decide what your maternity leave looked like as far as paid time off. And so I had six weeks. That's all. I had six weeks to physically recover from a very traumatic childbirth because I had a very difficult childbirth and then also bond with my baby and make sure that she was getting the best start to her life that she could. And then I had to hand her to a caregiver and go to work every day at only six weeks postpartum. And it's easy to see, even if you take out the chemical makeup of postpartum depression, which is very real, but the depression of handing your child at only six weeks to a caregiver so that you can go to work and help somebody else, somebody else's business, make money, that's enough to bring on any kind of depression and things like that. So I think you're right. It's absolutely different all over the world now, since my daughter was born, we do have family medical leave act that has been enacted here in the United States, which means that you can take longer, but it's not guaranteed that you're paid during that time. And there is still a lot of discretion left to the state and the company. And there's just so much in the United States. We're a huge country, and we have states rights, and things happen at the state level. There's federal mandates, but they don't, and they always supersede the states. However, a lot of that doesn't come into state legislation, so it's not easy. I can say something happens here in New York, it's very different. In California or even just in Pennsylvania, one stayed away. So. And then to say, around the world, things look very different as well. So. And then what happens? Not even just around childbirth and, you know, bringing new life into the world. But how, how are you supported as a woman? Are, you know, does your c suite, the people at the top of. I say c suite. I don't know that everybody knows what that means, but that's like your CEO, your CTO, your CFO, all of the c level people running your company, your directors. What are the percentage of. Of that in your company? Of those people in your company are women versus men. And how are women supported and grown up into. Not grown is probably the word, but promoted up into those kinds of ranks. It's early here, so you'll have to forgive some of my poor choice support. [00:10:21] Speaker B: No. [00:10:24] Speaker A: But how is that looked at in your company? And I'm very happy to say that the president of our company is a woman, and so that makes me happy, you know, and could we do better? Of course. Every company could do better. I don't care how good it is. There's always opportunity to do better for people in general. Right. But especially as we are women finding our place in technology. And so I feel. Go ahead. [00:10:49] Speaker B: Yeah, sorry, I was saying at yos, it's really amazing because most of our sea levels are women. Yeah. Except one person, which is taco. He's the only male. But the last two months, we have a new two leadership, will and Nico. They are of course men. But we still, we have more women in leader position than men. So that is something really amazing. It's one of the IT companies that the leadership, also the CEO, the CCO, like we have a lot of position are like held by women, which is really nice and welcoming environment at the same time. Also the recruitment process of the IT company or any company or even WordPress company, it's un do something really smart. They write some position. Women are encouraged to apply for high positions. And that is like, there's a study showed that when women read this, there's high chance of more women apply for the position that you are welcome. Because I. Three podcasts ago, we talked about the women that we have to check ten points, all of the skills, while men only one thing, and then they can apply for the job. I think that that's recruitment policy that can also attract more diversity, more women to leadership positions. [00:12:17] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah. [00:12:18] Speaker B: I want. [00:12:19] Speaker A: Excuse me. I talked about this in the past with Ally on the podcast that I once was asked why women in particular weren't applying to a particular company. Okay. And so I took a look at their application and their recruiting page, gave all of the details about the job except the salary. But they do that now. Back then, they weren't putting the salary on there a lot. I like that salary transparency and hiring is becoming a better thing. But they didn't. So they had all of the information. And then at the bottom, right before you would fill out an application, it said, if you think you might be a good fit for this job, apply below. And I said, well, as women, we already doubt ourselves. We already have imposter syndrome. And you've just said three words that will make me doubt myself. You said if I think I might, right? As opposed to just saying, hey, apply below, right? Like there's the whole thing. You like what you see, apply below, right? If you want the problem, problem challenge of more applicants, which we all do, so we can get the cream of the crop. If you want more people to apply, make remove doubt. Let them. Let them read the job description and determine that they think that sounds good for them. And then apply below. Remove the doubt. And so I think that there's a lot that we can do within our companies to remove the doubt and take away that imposter syndrome. And I think, I don't know if you, I know you've mentioned it to me. I don't think you've mentioned it on the show. Maybe you did, but you have a women, I think it's women in Newfold. [00:14:01] Speaker B: Yes. We have this amazing empowered women group called Wen, which is like women in Newfold. Newfold is the mother company for Yoast. And they have a lot of companies like Yeath in Europe. So we get together once every six weeks, seven weeks, and all women or who identify themselves as women can join the group. And, oh, my God, we're talking about things like, and the conversation and even funny because the next topic is imposter syndrome. We're gonna talk about it in May because that is something that all of us, all of the women around the world, sometime in our life, we dealt with it, or we are dealing with it. So I think, yeah. And that's something really, I love to empower women. To empower women because also the leader, the lead of this chapter or say this group are sea level women. So that's something really empowerful. But also, I want to say something. We as women, if we don't find someone to give us also the chance to help within the organization, it will be very difficult for, for us to grow to be a leadership position, to be a manager position. That also the chance. Also, when you see women in leadership, you say like, oh, she made it. Maybe it's also for me, I can made it there once. [00:15:32] Speaker A: So, yeah, I give a lot of, I don't want to say even credit, but gratitude to women who have gone before me into those positions that made it possible for me to follow. Right. So, like, I think of, like, I don't, I can only speak to the american experience in some things, right. But like, Sally ride in the seventies was the first woman to go into space as part of the NASA space program. She opened the door for other women to be able to do that. Right. She breached those barriers and pushed hard to be excited at the level. And I'm sure she wasn't as accepted then as women are today. Right. So it was more difficult battle for her to do that. Recently, we had the, I think it was the Boston Marathon, and it was either the Boston or the New York marathon that there was the first time a woman ran. They were, they didn't want women, they didn't allow women to run in the marathon. And that woman, she was like, as men ran past her. They pulled on her shirt, they pushed her. They tried to make it impossible for her to finish, but she finished. I think it's like 50 years later. She ran it again this year as accepted as a woman because women can now run in the marathon because she did first. Right. So like the first woman to do something, whether it's work at your company, run a marathon or go into outer space, it was more difficult for that woman than it is for women today. And the women of today are making it easier for the women of tomorrow to also follow suit. So I feel, I think it's like when you come across a big wall and there's only one door, then you have this like giant convergence of people in through that one door. And I feel like we just keep making the door wider and wider by pushing through it. And I think that that's an amazing thing. [00:17:23] Speaker B: Absolutely. Like I, from my own culture, from Europe, of course, there's a lot of stories, but yeah, those women who's opening or make things for us easier and hopefully for the women yet to come in life for your daughter? For, hopefully I have a daughter and then all of those. So life will be easier for them because it's so difficult. There's a book, I don't want to say I don't like it. It's called lean in. I don't know if you know it, she said, like, you have to make, there's one part that I don't like it that she said, you have to sit on the table. But she forgets something, that if you're from different group around the world or from different ethnic background, do you need the people on the table to give you chance to let you sit on the table? It is also the women who supporting women because at the end, let's be honest, of course a lot of men support women, but we have the sisterhood we need to support each other, empower each other, because all of us know your, our hormonal cycle, other things, we deal with them with life. If you have kids and you're working full time mom or you're single mom and you feel the guilt of leaving your kids at home while you're going to do the work or you're missing a lot, all of those things make us more bond together and encourage each other. And, and for me, for WordPress community, I don't know. There's one thing that maybe also the financial burden because I know a lot of them contribute or they do a lot of things for free and that sometimes can. Can take a little bit of their time, but I'm seeing the number of women are getting more and more. So I'm happy about it. And hopefully, yeah, it hopefully will be more than 50%. You know. [00:19:29] Speaker A: I'm definitely encouraged by, like, this year's Wordcamp Europe. The speaker lineup is so much better balanced than it has been in the past. And I see so many more women's names on that list, and I didn't do the count. I can't tell you a percentage I think somebody else has. But if it's not close to half, it is half. And that's. I mean, that just makes me so happy, right? That there's so many women who are going to be able to be represented on the stage and share their knowledge and share their experiences to help other people. And I think something important. And we just keep talking about women being able to open the door for women. But women sharing their knowledge helps men, too. Like, there are things that I can say, and you can say that we can teach that men don't know either, right? So we are. You're always further ahead in the learning curve of whatever it is than other people, and that includes men, too. So getting women on the stage means that men can also learn, you know, getting women in those directors positions, those c suite positions, means that men are also blessed. And maybe blessed isn't the right word, but I've come from a very church background, so sometimes those words come into play. I was raised up so much, but men are also enhanced, and they can, you know, their lives can be made better and their work situation can be made better because women are sharing their knowledge and sharing their experiences as well. So it's just like the idea that if we make the web, if we make physical spaces accessible for people with disabilities, everybody benefits from that, right? And so having women on the stage, having women in positions of leadership, everybody will benefit from that, too. Even if those men who are very conservative and disagree, disagree, they are still benefiting from that. And I'm sure we'll hear from them in the comments if they're listening. But I don't think those are the people that listen to this podcast, quite honestly. So it's okay. But. And people are always free to disagree with me. I'm happy to have those conversations. I had a conversation earlier this week with somebody. It was a texting conversation, which made it much more difficult, actually. Who said that? If we. Because I was telling them about underrepresented in tech. If we really advocate that more underrepresented people take work or get work and take leadership roles, that we are just moving them from someplace else and displacing the men and the white men that are at the leadership and that it really is just. It's a mathematical problem. It isn't a people problem. And I was like, oh, dude, you are so wrong. [00:22:06] Speaker B: Oh, my God. [00:22:07] Speaker A: But when people are so firmly ensconced in their beliefs, whether we agree or not, it's so hard to move that needle for them. So hopefully I placed a little. Some thoughts that maybe someday will permeate and he'll be like, oh, yeah, maybe she was right. But who knows? Like, I can't change everybody. I can only give my story and share my. My thoughts. [00:22:32] Speaker B: No, it's for me. Yeah, definitely. I want to go back to the speaker line in world camp Europe. I noticed. I'm really happy about it, and I want to brag a little bit, like, if you can, for 5 seconds, because, yes, diversity fund helped a lot, and I don't want to mention their names or, of course, how many, but help, like, a good number of women or people from underpresented to the group to speak at World camp here 2024. We're going to help with them. So that is something. One of the things I love about WordPress is that we help each other. The diversity fund is helping women to go, but also about the. You're saying sometimes men, they don't know. Sometimes they don't know what's the struggle as we women, what we go through. But, yeah, sometimes educating them, it's the best tool. And at the same time, yeah, you should share more, have a more conversation between the two genders to let them know, because for us women, and I'm sorry to just come to work when you're on in your period and just, like, you have to be productive like a person, like a male who has his hormone all of the time, in. [00:23:54] Speaker A: The same level, it's even better. [00:23:57] Speaker B: And we still smile, we're still productive, we're still creative, and we just have a normal day. So I think that is something men should know about the hormonal cycle for all of. [00:24:10] Speaker A: Well, just the pain. Right? So, so many women. I was one of those women. I'm in menopause now, so I don't have to deal with it anymore. But I was one of those women that, for 30 years of my life, was almost incapacitated by the pain that would come with having my period. And I read, I heard studies in the last year that for some women's that are those extreme pains is the same level of intensity as a heart attack, as having that, as having a heart attack. And if a man had to work through a heart attack, like, women every month work through menses pain, the world would be a little bit different, right? Like, there would be a difference in how we treated people who were dealing with that level of pain. And I've heard stories of male bosses mad that women have, like, hot water bottles or heating pads at their desk because they don't want to know about women having their periods. And it's like, oh, dude, half of the people on this planet experience that, like, get over yourself. [00:25:13] Speaker B: It's like your wife, your daughter, your mother, your sister, your aunt, all of it. I think, if I'm not mistaken, Portugal or Spain, they have it in their law. Women can take up to three days per month out of your sick leave for having four period pain. And the changing for hormone, I think that is really amazing. But, yeah, those people who doesn't want to talk about it, we should talk about it, because you get better understand if what's happening with me, and it's also, for me, better understand when I'm gonna be creative or when I can do more thinking stuff or more, let's say, autopilot work, other than having brainstorms about a big project. So. [00:25:57] Speaker A: Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And I love to try to circle back to the beginning of our conversation. I love that WP includes this in the survey. The. The idea of support for menstruation, the support for childbirth, the support for. I forgot the other words I was thinking of. But family medical leave and childbirth and all of these things, breastfeeding, that was the one I was looking for. And I love that they include those things, because if a company, if somebody, even if it's a woman at the Helm of the company, is reading that, might think, oh, my gosh, we have never included that, we should. So maybe it's also just taking the survey is also planting some seeds of ideas for how to support women at work. So I think that's a great thing. So we will include all of those links. Also, we will include the links to the yoast diversity fund as well, if people are interested. All of that will be in this week's show notes. So, yeah, so we, you know, we. We always say, we would love to hear from you. We have a Twitter account. The DM's are open. If you have ideas, DM us there. Sama and I. I know my Twitter DM's are open, and I know you can find us both all over Slack and different slack. So reach out if you have ideas for us to talk about in the future. If you have ideas about this topic, we would love to hear from you. Yeah, so I don't know. I've got some ideas for next week, but we'll talk about that before we actually make it public. But yeah, but if you've made it this far, thank you so much for hanging with us. Let us know what you think about women in the workplace. And please take a few minutes out of your day to complete that survey over at it's a survey monkey survey. We'll include that again in the show notes, but for wpincludes me any final words? Sama? [00:27:50] Speaker B: I will tell everyone I'm getting better and replying in my slack, so of course they can reach out on Twitter. Now I'm raising my game, so I've influenced you. Thank you. Just like wait for us next week. We will have amazing things for sure. Like always. And thanks for listening to us. And yes, do the survey. Do the survey. [00:28:14] Speaker A: That's right. We'll put it out. We'll also share it on Twitter today and a few other times going forward just to make sure that everybody can see that message. So thank you so much for joining me. Even though you're not feeling so well today, hopefully next week you'll be back to 100%. [00:28:27] Speaker B: Thank you. Bye bye. See you next time. Bye bye. [00:28:32] Speaker A: If you're interested in using our database, joining us as a guest for an episode, or just want to say hi, go to underrepresentedintech.com. See you next week.

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