Here at GreenOrbit, we use Jira (project tracking software by Atlassian) to schedule our tasks and track our work.
This morning, as I waited for the caffeine to kick in, I set about arranging the tasks on my board in aesthetically pleasing ways - left, right, up, down - until one item broke through my procrastinatory haze.
"Write blog post for International Women's Day"
It caught my attention because it's a pleasant departure from the tech-focused material I usually write. But, I have to admit, it scared me a little too.
Although I've been a woman for decades now, I haven't given International Women's Day much thought. Shameful but true.
Caught up in the busyness of life - working, parenting, juggling - I've never really stopped to consider what the day meant.
Towards a Gender-Balanced World
The theme for this year's International Women's Day is #balanceforbetter.
As I look around the office, I see this in action everywhere - amazing women spanning the spectrum of age, culture, experience and expertise.
All great women - led by the switched-on Terri McKinnon, who manages young kids (and us) without ever dropping a ball.
Across the room, I see Lesley Maea - intranet guru and accomplished pianist. She's sitting beside Jasmine Clapton an amazingly knowledgeable project expert and Carmen Duncan, a problem-solving Support Analyst.
We're a diverse group of women but we love working together. We celebrate our differences, take turns at mentoring and being mentored, collaborate constantly and - best of all - we laugh (and eat) whenever possible.
I'm starting to realize that the meaning of International Women's Day is playing out in my workplace, before my very eyes.
I decide to go deeper.
Women at GreenOrbit make up close to 40% of our total workforce. Most of us are in tech or tech-adjacent roles - so it makes sense to consider International Women's Day through this lens.
Only 14% of all CTO positions in tech companies belong to women - that makes our own CTO, Josie Mangano, something of a unicorn.
As ambassador to women in mathematical sciences at ASMI, Josie is keenly aware of the forces at play.
"You won't be what you can't see. We need to tell young girls about the opportunities in tech and show them that the tech space is broad and women can play a major part in it."
Josie leads a global team of technology experts, many of whom are women. I decide to draw on their experience and wisdom - asking them how we can encourage more women to choose careers in technology.
Hey Girls - Tech is Fun!
Anuradha Sardesai, a Product Owner in our Pune office, was intrigued by the infinite universe as a child - she loved solving puzzles and tricky mathematical problems.
Anuradha believes young girls need role models who can teach them to appreciate technology - and who can downplay the perceived complexity. We need to show girls that tech can be a rewarding (and cool!) career.
As a young girl in high school, Ketaki was fascinated by the ways technology could change the world. She sees gender diversity as crucial to a company's success.
Back in our Melbourne office, Sarah Reynolds loves combining the technical with the creative in her role as Lead UX Specialist. She'd like to see more information being given to young girls so they can see what it means to work in tech and the possibilities that exist.
Like Sarah, Andrea Boundy (who leads the UX team) is passionate about demonstrating how much fun tech can be:
"Tech still has this image of the nerdy guy who sits and plays with computers, but really tech is about being on the bleeding edge of what’s coming and what’s new and what’s possible. Plus it’s really creative – you get to MAKE things".
Our Lead Software QA Engineer, Sheena Shoby, believes that more women would work in tech if they could see that it offers great work/life balance - including flexible hours and work at home options.
We're incredibly proud of these inspiring women who are kicking goals and paving the way for young girls to follow.
This year's International Women's Day is about forging a more gender-balanced world - and these women are embodying that goal every day.
Making Life Easier
As women, we're especially attuned to the ways GreenOrbit can make life easier for our sisters-in-arms:
Giving them access to the tools they need, no matter when or where they need them.
Automating the boring admin so they can focus on people, innovation and success.
Making it easy for them to connect, share ideas and support each other - having fun along the way.
Cracks in the Glass Ceiling
As far as the workplace goes, it's fair to say I've been around.
I know that women have come a long way - particularly in tech. Unfortunately, while climbing the male-dominated ladder, we haven't always been kind to each other. But times are changing.
The glass ceiling may not be broken yet - but the cracks are definitely showing.
I get it now. This day isn't an abstract concept celebrating a lofty idea. It's about real women who are out there getting work done and making things happen. Women who are supporting each other every step of the way.
So from all of us at GreenOrbit - Happy International Women's Day!