Posted by Nathaniel Chism
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As a talent manager at a growth stage startup, my biggest challenge is filling positions quickly with the best possible candidates. Naturally, that means looking for people with the skills they need to be rock stars in their roles. That also means searching for people that we know will bring a variety of different perspectives to the company.
That’s why I made it my personal mission to reach gender parity at Midaxo and attain our golden ratio: a male-female employee ratio of 50-50. Research has shown that having gender diversity at a company improves the quality of ideas, and those ideas are valuable commodities to us at Midaxo. We need to be innovative, which means that gender diversity isn’t just a “nice” thing to have— for us, it’s what we need to survive.
Part of the reason we take this so seriously is that we know tech is a traditionally male-dominated sector. In OpenView's Expansion Saas Benchmarking study, they found that 28% of Saas based companies have 0% female representation at the director level and above with only 12% having a 50/50 split. But women have always been part of Midaxo’s success—the company’s founder is Kaija Katariina Erkkilä, and roughly 50% of our management and leadership teams combined are women—so we know firsthand that women are integral to achieving our goals as a company. It’s why we continue to strive to make this a true meritocracy where women can build careers and know that their voices will be heard.
That idea will only feel genuine to candidates if there are women present throughout Midaxo. To that end, we aim for solid numbers of women at all levels of the company. Right now, Midaxo’s employee breakdown is about 34% female globally (total count being 80) and 43% female in our U.S. office, while 4/6 of our middle managers are women. Recently, a woman on the Customer Success team said that this was the most women that she had ever worked with. (Our Customer Success Team is currently at a 50/50 split) That’s an awesome thing to hear as a talent manager, particularly in the tech sphere and their lack of gender parity. It’s also a sign that our work towards gender parity is paying off.
Of course, it’s not enough to have the numbers. The workplace itself needs to be a place where employees value everyone’s input, so we’ve never fostered the kind of culture where men talk over women. Rather, our leadership team is committed to fostering an environment of curiosity, willingness to learn and openness to all ideas as they are presented. Additionally, we’re always working to question conventional thinking and undo unconscious biases. Our Learning and Development Manager runs meetings with our managers that help us recognize those biases so that leaders can foster an environment where we treat each other equally. Doing that makes us think critically about how we interact with one another, which is our responsibility as both employees and people.
Reinforcing that type of culture—one where we’re actively bucking conventional thinking— is what we need to find and keep diverse candidates. It also pushes us to combat the silos that society sets up for people. For instance, recruiting women for the sales team was initially challenging because not as many women are encouraged to go into sales. But we recognized the serious need for different perspectives and redoubled our efforts at recruiting women for the sales team. Since then, our sales team has pushed us toward success faster than we could’ve imagined and landed some huge contracts. It’s been proven in study after study that having more women on a team makes companies more creative and successful; we knew that when we started building our team, and now, we’re living that truth.
At this point, nearly half of our U.S. employees are women. As a result, Midaxo is more driven than ever while growing at an unprecedented rate. This is thanks in part to the smarts and skills of all Midaxians. However, it’s also because as a company, we know that a team isn’t complete because you fill a certain number of roles. A team is truly whole when you have different people finding new and innovative ways to solve problems together. We aren’t whole just yet. But with the goal of the golden ratio and the attitudes of our amazing Midaxians, we’ll get there.
Want to be part of something special? Check out our open positions and join the team!