Reversing the Gender Gap in Hi-Tech

May 10 2017 | by Ruth Stern

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“Gender stereotypes of women and expectations by society that they will shoulder larger care responsibilities, lack of role models, a work culture that expects long working hours, the undervaluation of traditionally “feminine” skills and inadequate work-family measures limit the possibilities for women to overcome segregation and participate on an equal footing in political, social and economic life and decision-making and reach top-level positions.”

Women at Work- Trends 2016- International Labour Organization (ILO)

Meira Primes is the Chief Marketing Officer at Cloudyn, a company that has developed a multi-platform cloud business management solution for enterprise-level corporations. An active and involved mother of four, she also heads the Marketing and Sales Development departments, leading the global strategy and execution of all corporate and product marketing, customer acquisition, branding and awareness for North America and global verticals.

Cloudyn’s corporate culture is a little different from the mainstream. Although a start-up in the male-dominated cloud-domain, Cloudyn prides itself on its cosmopolitan employee base, gender equality, flexibility, flat hierarchy and open-door policy.

While most companies hire employees solely on their number of years of experience and specific skills or keywords on a CV or LinkedIn profile, Cloudyn prefers to take a more holistic approach to recruitment; with an emphasis on seeking smart, versatile individuals who can bring fresh ideas to the company in addition to the desired expertise.

To explain this approach, Meira gives the analogy of using integrated medicine in addition to a medical specialist to treat a patient. While the specialist brings their in-depth knowledge and many years of experience to the case, their approach is highly localized, treating the patient according to their specialty. Integrated medicine, however, takes the approach of focusing on the whole person, and utilizing a wide-range of therapeutic approaches and healthcare professionals in order to reach a treatment method. This is a more open-minded approach that can bring significant added value to the patient.

In an ideal world, a combination of specialist and integrated medicine would likely bring the best results for the patient, and similarly, Cloudyn uses this model in its recruitment ideology; building the company from the ground up with a combination of specialists who have vast experience and knowledge in the cloud arena, rookies who bring a different perspective and additional skills to the table, and other capabilities in between thus enhancing the team as well as company culture.

When Meira was tasked with building her marketing team, she sought skilled professionals and creative, out-of-the-box thinkers who she felt would best contribute to the fast-moving marketing efforts within the department. As it turned out, her team ended up being a predominantly female one, but still diverse, comprised of women at different stages of their lives including both young mothers and more mature women, who are passionate about their work, as well as possessing superior organizational skills enabling them to juggle the fast pace of their careers with their family responsibilities and busy lives.

“I look forward to the day when half our homes are run by men and half our companies and institutions are run by women. When that happens, it won’t just mean happier women and families; it will mean more successful businesses and better lives for us all.”

Sheryl Sandberg, COO Facebook

Women are underrepresented in many industries, and hi-tech is no exception. However, if more companies change their hiring strategy and business practices, perhaps these trends can be reversed as has been successfully accomplished at Cloudyn.

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